January 22, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note

Rural jobs and broadband: HB 1422, SB 5208 and HB 2749

AWB's Rural Jobs Task Force will connect via conference call this Wednesday at 10 a.m. to discuss the latest legislation dealing with rural issues. The task force will also hear from proponents of House Bill 1422/Senate Bill 5208, the Rural Jobs Act. There is an amendment on the bill that now includes an allocation to rural broadband. Contact Connie Carlson or Mike Ennis to join the conference call.

A separate rural broadband bill, House Bill 2749, would allow a local sales and use tax credit against the state sales tax for high-speed internet infrastructure. Sponsored by Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, the bill would allow rural counties to impose an additional 0.05 percent sales tax as a credit against the state sales tax for development of broadband in unserved areas. Currently, counties can keep 0.09 percent of the state sales tax for economic development purposes and this bill would allow counties to keep an additional 0.05 percent restricted to rural broadband infrastructure. The bill will have a public hearing on Tuesday before the House Technology and Economic Development Committee.

Contact Mike Ennis, AWB government affairs director for rural issues and infrastructure, to learn more.

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Key Workforce Education

Help community colleges meet job training needs

By The Editorial Board of The (Everett) Herald

The state's 34 community and technical colleges are playing an indispensable role in educating and preparing students for further study and advanced degrees at universities but also for more immediate jobs with employers throughout the state, particularly in manufacturing and other trades.

With some 740,000 job openings in the state expected over the next five years -- and more than half of those requiring post-high school education and training -- community and technical colleges represent the best option for many of those students...

Read the full editorial in The Herald
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