February 5, 2018
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Governor's advisors kick off Lobby Lunch series; Republican and Democratic leaders coming next

Aides to Gov. Jay Inslee outlined his many policy goals last week at the first 2018 AWB Lobby Lunch.

Speaking to a full house in AWB's newly remodeled conference room, aides on energy, transportation, economic development and other legislative issues gave a rundown of the governor's policy goals as the 60-day session hits its halfway point.

Olympia Business Watch has a full rundown on the talk by three of Inslee's advisors: Charles Knutson, senior policy adviser on transportation and economic development; Lauren McCloy, senior policy adviser on energy; and, Scott Merriman, legislative liaison at the Office of Financial Management.

There's also a video of the presentation.

The AWB Lobby Lunch series will continue this Thursday, when Republican leaders from both chambers will have the floor.

On Feb. 15, Democratic leaders will close out this year's Lobby Lunch series.

Each Lobby Lunch is $20 and is open to current AWB members. To register for an upcoming Lobby Lunch, contact Connie Carlson at 360.943.1600. Registrations are due by noon of the Tuesday before each Thursday event.

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Manufacturing Bedrock

Work to ensure Boeing builds its next jet in the Puget Sound region

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Glowing praise of the Puget Sound region by Boeing's chief executive is reassuring as the state of Washington seeks to land production of the company's next jetliner.

"Puget Sound is part of Boeing for the future in a very strong way," Dennis Muilenburg said in an interview with Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates.

But the region and state must continue working hard to convince the company that its hometown remains the best place in the world to manufacture its next plane, informally dubbed the 797.

A task force convened by Gov. Jay Inslee last year is making progress and preparing to submit a bid if there's a formal request for site proposals later this year. Regional groups in areas such as Snohomish County and Spokane also are making their case. This is a critical effort to retain and grow an industry that's a cornerstone of the state's economy.

While Muilenburg didn't tip his hand on the 797, which Boeing hasn't yet committed to build, he did drop hints about where Washington can improve its competitiveness.

One is the cost of living and doing business in Seattle, which are "higher than most of our other sites," he said...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Hard Work Remains

Competitiveness Redbook highlights Washington's successes, opportunities

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington's economy is the envy of many states across the country. Job growth in our urban areas is booming and cranes pepper the Seattle and Bellevue skylines.

All that points to a robust statewide economy today and into the future. Or, does it?

Each year, the Association of Washington Business (AWB) digs deeper into the state's economy and competitiveness, going beyond the headlines and accolades from outside groups, to determine where Washington can improve and harness opportunities for growth.

AWB's 2018 Competitiveness Redbook, released last month, is a data-driven guide to Washington state's economic health that uses comparisons -- 59 tables in all -- with other states to benchmark performance in key indicators.

One important indicator is job growth. The latest numbers show job growth remains a strength, with nearly 80,000 new jobs added over the past year. Looking deeper, however, that's actually 21,000 fewer jobs than the previous year, dropping our state down one spot to sixth in the nation...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
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