November 27, 2017
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Join the festivities this Friday during lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree

The tree is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, and the 29th annual lighting of the state's Holiday Kids' Tree will take place this Friday. All are invited to this free event.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman will be on hand to light the tree with the help of seven-year veteran of the Washington National Guard Company Commander and 1st Lieutenant Shawnta M. DiFalco and her two daughters, ages 14 and 16.

There’s still time to donate to AWB’s annual Holiday Kids’ Tree Project. Started in 1989, the project has raised more than $390,000 to distribute to rural fire departments to help their local families have a bright holiday season. All donations are funded by AWB members and the private sector.

The cash and gifts will be handed out in the State Reception Room on the second floor of the rotunda just prior to the lighting of this year’s Holiday Kids’ Tree at 6 p.m.

The tree’s theme is “Friends of the Forest” and will feature stuffed ornaments representing animals native to Washington state. All the ornaments are wrapped and sent to children's hospitals after the tree comes down at the end of December.

All the details of the tree lighting, including a fact sheet on this year’s tree, can be read here. Thurston Talk also has information about Friday’s tree lighting.

For more information on the Holiday Kids’ Project or to donate to it, contact Bonnie Millikan at 360.943.1600.

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Investments Denied

State regulatory agencies are killing our jobs

By John Stuhlmiller, Washington Farm Bureau, and Lee Newgent, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council

The time has come to have "the talk" about Washington's economy and the role of government.

In a nutshell, it's not working.

For months now, regulatory agencies have been taking action that is basically killing jobs and private investment in our state. This has occurred in communities outside of Seattle and King County, where the economy has been slower to recover and tech jobs are few and far between...

In Longview, the Department of Ecology usurped five years of state regulatory process, denying Millennium Bulk Terminals a water quality permit for a proposed export terminal based on criteria wholly unrelated to water quality...

Another major regulatory hurdle interestingly also involving Ecology: the Hirst fix. This fight over water resources has held up the state's $4.2 billion capital budget for months now, putting construction for residential homes, K-12 schools and mental health facilities on hold -- along with the local jobs those projects create. This is to say nothing of the impact on rural landowners who find themselves with land, and wells, they cannot use.

Absent clarity from the state, this stalemate will likely drift on, leaving rural communities in the lurch...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Necessary to Compete Overseas

America needs a strong Ex-Im Bank

By Meghan Milloy, director of financial services policy at American Action Forum

A fully functional Ex-Im Bank is important to strengthen American competitiveness abroad. There are 27 countries that require support from an export credit agency before they will even consider a bid from an international company.

When Congress allowed Ex-Im's authority to expire in 2015, General Electric announced that it was forced to move 500 jobs to France as a direct result of lost export credit agency support, as 80 percent of its total sales for aviation-related turbines came from those 27 countries over the past three years. Many of the commercial aircraft deals awarded to Airbus, in contrast, benefitted from France's export credit agency...

If U.S. companies do not have a fully functional Ex-Im Bank, barring them from competing for many projects in these major markets, we can expect to see more jobs move overseas.

For an administration with an "America first" agenda, it is imperative that the remaining board nominees be confirmed, and that Ex-Im has a president who will support sufficient levels of export credit to keep jobs and companies in the United States.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill
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