November 9, 2015
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Election results: Wins for employers in Spokane, 30th Legislative District

AWB-endorsed House candidate Teri Hickel, a Federal Way Republican, has a substantial lead over recently appointed Democratic Rep. Carol Gregory. A Hickel victory will "tilt the state House toward moderation," The Seattle Times wrote in an election night editorial. While Seattle showed its liberal streak by embracing new taxes and publicly funded elections, and by reelecting its socialist city council member, the more conservative trend in the rest of the state is proving a counterbalance, writes Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat: " Seattle may well be on its way to becoming the most progressive city in America. But it’s also an island in its own state."

In the 9th Legislative District, Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, easily won reelection over fellow Republican Richard Lathim. Dye had been appointed to the seat representing much of southeast Washington earlier this year after the resignation.

Spokane voters rejected a "worker bill of rights" that would have imposed new regulations on employers. Nearly two-thirds of voters said no to the proposed amendment to the city charter to require large employers to pay workers a “family wage,” ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of gender or race and limit the ability for managers to terminate employees.

In Tacoma, voters chose a middle ground on a two-part minimum wage measure, opting for a phased-in increase to $12 per hour by 2018. An immediate jump to $15 per hour received less than 30 percent of the vote in early returns.

The results show that “voters understand $12 is best for Tacoma,” Tom Pierson, CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, told The News Tribune.

Seattle's so-called "honest elections" measure, Initiative 122, passed. A new property tax will pay for citizens to give campaign funding vouchers to their preferred candidates.

Tim Eyman's latest tax-cutting measure, Initiative 1366, had an early lead and appeared poised to pass. The measure will reduce the state sales tax from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent unless lawmakers send voters a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to pass tax increases. Due to concerns that the budget hole would be filled with new taxes on employers, AWB remained neutral on the measure. Over the weekend, The Seattle Times editorial board called on the state Supreme Court to quickly block the measure.

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Children Need Options

Parent Perspective: Making A Non-Political Case For Charter Schools

By Linda Sikora

I know there are funding issues and administration issues and legislative issues and union issues... all the "yeah buts" that people stake their positions on so vehemently. Here's my "yeah but" -- I wish we could channel that passion differently, I wish the "opposed" people could have the experience I had today... to see a child's eyes light up and watch her confidence emerge. It was one of those soft, seminal moments in my life. In that moment, I knew this child's life, her trajectory, could completely change. Sometimes, the biggest changes start small -- one child at a time, one school at a time. We can figure this out, people.

Please don't close these schools.

Click here to read the full blog post via the Washington State Charter School Association
Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

Businesses Languishing Without Ex-Im Bank; Congress, Reauthorize It

By The Seattle Times editorial Board

Hilliard's Beer is gaining popularity in Sweden, where the Seattle-based brewery planned to expand sales this year. It has also received interest from distributors in Toronto and London.

Those opportunities are now on hold since Congress failed to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank last summer.

Elected leaders must end the ideological battle over Ex-Im and revive this vital tool for U.S. companies to grow exports overseas.

Hilliard's Beer is one of hundreds of exporters that used Ex-Im to secure loan guarantees and credit insurance for international sales. The shutdown has resulted in more than $9 billion worth of deals lost, said U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

A lot more is at stake -- last year the bank completed $27.4 billion in transactions and supported 164,000 U.S. jobs.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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