December 14, 2015
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Be heard! Registration now open for 2016 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

AWB’s annual legislative day is expanding this year. Now known as the AWB Legislative Day and Hill Climb, the one-day event on Jan. 19 will still feature discussions with leading lawmakers and policy experts, but will include an afternoon visit to the Capitol. Attendees will meet with their local lawmakers in a revival of AWB’s Hill Climb.

Gov. Jay Inslee is scheduled to give the morning breakfast keynote starting at 7:30. He’ll be followed by the AWB board meeting. At 9:30 the panel topic will be climate change and the environment. At 10:30 we’ll talk minimum wage and predictive scheduling with legislative leaders. At 11:15 the topic is education funding.

The lunchtime keynote will address Washington’s competitiveness and a look at the two distinct regions of the state. Agency directors Maia Bellon of the Department of Ecology and Joel Sacks of the Department of Labor & Industries will talk with AWB members at 1:30. Gary Chandler, AWB vice president, government affairs, will wrap up the afternoon’s discussions at 2:15 – and then the Hill Climb begins.

Attendees who have let AWB staff know in advance of the event will travel to the Capitol at 2:45 to meet with lawmakers at pre-scheduled meetings in the afternoon.

The day will end with a meet-and-greet reception with lawmakers and other Olympia notables starting at 6 p.m.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Legislative Day and Hill Climb. Please be sure to check the “Hill Climb” box on the registration form to allow our staff to schedule the appointments with lawmakers and arrange meeting space as needed in advance of your arrival Jan. 19.

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Leading Without New Top-Down Mandates

Recognize success industries are having in cutting CO2

By Kris Johnson, AWB president, and Daren Konopaski, vice president and business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 302

It is true this year's drought and wildfire season wreaked havoc on the state, a point that Gov. Jay Inslee makes while promoting his government-centric carbon emissions reduction plan. But the governor's labeling of those who disagree with the details of his plan as "fear mongers" is not fair.

There is no denying there is more work ahead, but there is also no denying that Washington employers and their employees are already leading the way toward the cleaner future that Gov. Inslee -- and frankly all Washingtonians -- so strongly desire.

Gov. Inslee has continued to say "it's time to lead," but Washington employers and employees are already leading the way toward environmental solutions that work -- without top-down, bureaucratic mandates that raise taxes on everyday citizens but don't solve the problem.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Herald
Delays Hurt Workers and Economy

State should speed up permits for export docks

By Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch

While our neighbors to the north and south of Washington watch their port infrastructure grow and flourish, our state -- the most export-dependent in the nation -- is improbably holding up billions of dollars in private infrastructure development that would only help us compete with California and Canada.

The delay with regard to the export terminal expansions in Bellingham and Longview is patently unacceptable. Proposed projects and potential investments in this state should benefit from a fair, timely and predictable review process. Yet that is not the case with these projects, whose review has been in process for three years and subject to numerous, ongoing delays.

It is one thing to politically disagree with these projects on the basis of exporting a particular commodity -- in this case, coal -- and to express concern over the environmental standards to which these projects must adhere. It is quite another to attempt to bind these projects with endless government bureaucracy and red tape in hopes that the investors will give up and go elsewhere. Our competition is ready and willing to accept new business and is making the needed investments to do so.
Click here to read the full column in The Olympian
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