January 8, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Federal Issues

Businesses give bonuses, raises because of federal tax overhaul

Alaska Airlines employees will receive a $1,000 bonus this month as a result of the recently approved federal tax overhaul. The Seattle-based company announced the bonus for its 20,000-plus employees on Thursday. Top executives will not receive the bonus.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been assessing the significance of the new tax law,” said Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan. “We are sharing this unexpected benefit with our employees.” The Puget Sound Business Journal also covered the story.

First Financial Northwest Bank is also giving its non-executive employees a bonus as a way to pass along the savings from the tax cut, The Herald reports. The Renton-based bank's 138 employees will receive a $1,000 bonus and a handwritten note from the bank's president and CEO.

“We pride ourselves on providing excellent benefits, competitive salaries and the opportunity for participation in the company’s long-term success,” said bank president and CEO Joseph W. Kiley III. “The expected tax savings give us an opportunity to invest even more in our team.”

For more information on federal issues, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson at 360.943.1600.

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Don't Spend Rainy Day Fund

Washington's debt level a cause for concern

By The Editorial Board of The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

... Washington state Treasurer Duane Davidson has urged lawmakers and the governor to keep their hands off the state's rainy-day fund, noting that we are in an economic expansion, which is the time to be saving, not borrowing.

With that, we heartily agree.

Read the full editorial in The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Fiscal Restraint

Our Voice: It's not raining hard enough to dip into state reserves

By The Editorial Board of The Tri-City Herald

The state's rainy-day fund is supposed to grow when times are good so there is money available when times are tough.

A simple enough plan to understand, yet apparently difficult for some lawmakers to follow.

Gov. Jay Inslee's budget includes taking money from the state's emergency reserves to help pay for teacher salaries in the 2018-19 school year, but we think this would be a mistake.

The legislative session begins Monday, and we advise the Legislature to find some other way to meet its obligation to public education without "borrowing" from reserves...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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