November 20, 2017
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Some paper-making operations to shut down in Camas

George-Pacific announced last week that it will shut down some of its operations in Camas, cutting up to 300 jobs at a mill that opened in 1885. The company said that the cuts come from dropping demand for paper used in copy machines and printers. The mill will continue to produce tissue paper, employing 120 to 140 people. The Columbian covered the story.

“It’s definitely not a reflection of the employees, they have worked very hard and taken a lot of pride in running these assets and keeping them going, but it’s just a situation where it’s a declining marketplace,” said spokeswoman Kristi Ward. “People just aren’t using as much office paper as they used to.”

State Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, said she talked to company representatives about the partial closure, and said that the reductions are a sign that Washington leaders need to note the impact to manufacturers of new costs, regulations and restrictions.

"This closure should serve as a wake-up call to our elected leaders that we must work harder to foster job-retention and development in Washington state or we’re going to lose more manufacturers and the family-wage jobs they create," Pike said. “Georgia-Pacific has recognized that with the additional water and air standards foisted upon them from Olympia, and the possibility of new carbon taxes and more regulations, its future is limited in our state. The sad reality is that it’s more economical for GP to expand existing operations in Louisiana where the business climate is more favorable, than to fight a losing battle here in Washington state."

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Continue Bipartisan Successes

One-party rule in Olympia should not end bipartisan effort

By Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville

The election this month of Democrat Manka Dhingra to represent the people of the 45th legislative district changes the landscape of the Washington state Senate, resulting in a return to one-party rule in Olympia.

However, it does not have to change the bipartisan way in which the Legislature has operated since a group of Democrats joined with Republicans in 2013 to govern by consensus, ushering in unprecedented achievements.

For the past five years, the bipartisan Majority Coalition Caucus controlled the Senate, while Democrats controlled the House of Representatives and governor's mansion. For measures to pass, members of both chambers had to debate, negotiate and compromise.

This process resulted in the passage of historic legislation, such as the first-ever college-tuition reduction, a $16 billion transportation package and a plan to fully fund basic education with equitable levy reform...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Legal Maneuvers

Be watchful of Seattle's income tax

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

In July, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to impose an income tax on its wealthiest citizens, knowing full well the decision would end up challenged in court.

That apparently was part of the strategy.

By spurring debate, advocates for the Seattle income tax hope to reverse historical precedent and open the door so other communities can follow Seattle's lead.

If that were to happen, it's reasonable to think the next step would be an effort to impose an income tax statewide. That's why we should be watching this issue closely.

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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