October 23, 2017
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Top Stories

STARTING TONIGHT: We'll see you in Moses Lake for Rural Jobs Summit

Starting tonight, dozens of legislative leaders from both parties will gather with economic development advocates and local leaders in Moses Lake for AWB's second Rural Jobs Summit. Big Bend Community College will host the sold-out event, which will continue the discussion started this spring about how to bring jobs to rural Washington and economic prosperity to the entire state.

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Tax Foundation takes note of flurry of Seattle tax proposals

From a tax on sugary drinks to an income tax and even a tax on jobs, Seattle has plenty of income-generating ideas in the hopper. The Tax Foundation took note in a blog post about "the sheer number of new tax proposals" in Seattle.

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Bipartisan bill co-negotiated by Sen. Murray aims to stabilize Affordable Care Act

Two dozen senators from both parties have signed on to a bipartisan deal to stabilize the federal health insurance system under the Affordable Care Act and replace cost-sharing subsidies canceled by the Trump administration. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., negotiated the deal over recent months with U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. The deal faces an uncertain future in the House and mixed messages from the administration.

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Supreme Court to hear McCleary arguments this week

The Washington State Supreme Court will hear arguments this Tuesday on whether the state has finally and fully complied with the 2012 McCleary education funding ruling, requiring full and equal state funding of K-12 basic education.

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Amazon received 238 bids for its HQ2; what's next after last week's bid deadline?

The deadline last week for cities to submit proposals to host Amazon's "HQ2" meant a flurry of activity for cities from Tacoma to Atlanta. Cities around Washington were among a reported 238 bid submissions from cities across North America. The company is expected to make a decision by the end of the year.

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Federal Issues

Senate passes key vote to proceed with tax reform; rejects sales tax deductibility measure from Sen. Cantwell

The U.S. Senate voted last week on a key measure that will allow it to consider tax reform with just 50 votes. Along the way it narrowly voted to reject a proposal by Sen. Maria Cantwell to protect state and local sales tax deductibility.

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Other News

Department of Labor & Industries files latest rulemaking documents on Initiative 1433

Last year, voters approved Initiative 1433, which requires employers to provide paid safe and sick leave starting Jan. 1 of 2018. Last week, the Department of Labor & Industries filed the latest rulemaking documents as it implements the sick and safe leave provisions of I-1433. A series of public meetings will be held to solicit more input.

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M3 Biotechnology launches clinical trials for Alzheimer's drug

The Alzheimer's disease therapy pioneered by M3 Biotechnology in Seattle is about to begin phase I clinical trials. If successful, the drug would be the first to restore lost connections in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, slowing or even stopping disease progression. M3 Biotechnology founder Leen Kawas was named AWB's Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016, and the company was featured in this year's Grow Here campaign.

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Washington gets REAL ID extension through October 2018

Seventeen states, including Washington, have been granted a yearlong extension from the enforcement of stricter federal requirements on driver's licenses and ID cards. The extension to the REAL ID act will last through October 2018.

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Boeing makes $5 million commitment to USO after success of pilot project in Washington

Boeing has announced a $5 million, multi-year donation to help expand United Service Organizations (USO) Pathfinder -- the nation's first comprehensive employment readiness program for transitioning military service members.


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AWB Events & Resources

Oct. 24: Introduction to Private Equity Investing

Private equity investing is a source of capital for manufacturers and digital infrastructure companies and an alternative asset for accredited investors. Register today to attend the workshop hosted by Davis Wright Tremaine in Bellevue and featuring Kristofer Gray, CFP of Integrity Financial, on Oct.24, 6-8:30 p.m.

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Oct. 24 'Return to Work/Stay at Work' webinar available free to AWB members in the CompWise manufacturing retrospective rating group

A free CompWise Safety Academy class for AWB's manufacturing retrospective rating group will be held via WebEx on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 9-10:30 a.m. and cover employer Return to Work and Stay at Work programs. The Safety Academy is free for employers participating in AWB's CompWise manufacturing retrospective rating group. Course information and registration details are on the website.

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Webinar Nov. 8: Learn how to navigate the Legislature online

Follow the latest legislative news right from your computer or phone with the tips, tricks and details that we'll teach you at the upcoming "Navigating leg.wa.gov & Bill Tracking" webinar. Cheri Randich of the Legislative Information Center will offer her insights on tracking the legislative process at this Nov. 8 AWB webinar.

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Webinar: Learn how to prepare for I-1433 paid sick and safe leave that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018

Washington voters approved Initiative 1433, which raised the statewide minimum wage and created a new mandate on employers to provide Paid Safe and Sick Leave. The new leave policy goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018, and will apply to every employer in the state with hourly employees. Find out what's required, and how to prepare, in a Nov. 14 webinar with Tim O'Connell of the law firm Stoel Rives.

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SAVE THE DATE: Evening of Excellence to honor employers at red-carpet awards event Nov. 29

Mark your calendars for the second-annual AWB Evening of Excellence. The black-tie gala at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle highlights achievements of the state's top employers.

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AWB Holiday Kids' Tree lighting ceremony is Dec. 1

AWB hosts the Holiday Kids' Tree Project each year with the goal to help as many deserving families as possible during the Christmas season. Since 1989, the Holiday Kids' Tree Project has raised over $390,000 to purchase gifts at Christmas for families in need. All donations are funded by AWB members and the private sector. This year's funds will be distributed to rural fire districts at the annual tree-lighting ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda on Friday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. The theme of this year's tree is "Friends of the Forest" and will feature stuffed ornaments of animals native to Washington state.

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Registration is open for fourth-annual AWB D.C. Fly-in

Meet with members of Congress. Tell your story. Be part of the solution. AWB's 2017 D.C. Fly-in Dec. 4-6 offers business leaders and owners a chance to talk directly with members of Congress and other decision-makers in the nation's capital. Registration is now open for the fourth-annual D.C. Fly-in.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Council to meet Nov. 6

The AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Council will meet at Peterson Sullivan, 601 Union Street, Seattle, WA Suite 2300, on Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact Eric Lohnes for information about the meeting or for remote participation via Skype.

Tweet of the Week

Supporting Manufacturers



They Said It

Taxing Jobs

"If Seattle City Council members want to foster solutions-oriented partnerships with our region's businesses, a tax on jobs… seems diametrically opposed to this goal." ~ Maud Daudon, president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, about proposals to tax each employee on large businesses in Seattle, a so-called "Amazon tax."




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Rail Keeps Our Economy Rolling


We must keep trains rolling safely and fairly

By Rep. Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom

As a state representative, I've spent quite a bit of time studying and learning about rail safety. It's a subject I take seriously. I live in the Town of Steilacoom, where trains are a way of life.

In fact, the Puget Sound coastline in my district is defined by the rail line. And, it's not just about moving freight. Amtrak will soon transport passengers at a very high speed through Lakewood and DuPont. Rail safety is a big deal for our communities.

In 2014, more than 119 million tons of freight traveled by rail over more than 3,000 miles of rail tracks across the state. This activity supports Washington businesses across a variety of important industries, from lumber to agriculture to oil.

Freight rail is also directly responsible for nearly 4,000 jobs and supports tens of thousands more throughout the state...

Read the full column in The News Tribune
Regulatory Overreach


Ecology's decision harming state's future

By Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen

The Washington Department of Ecology seems determined to oppose any industrial development in Cowlitz County. And the rest of the 19th Legislative District.

About three weeks ago, Ecology issued an opinion denying a water-quality permit sought by Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) to complete its coal export facility. Ecology bureaucrats claimed that the project would cause "significant and unavoidable harm" to nine environmental areas: global air quality, vehicle traffic, vessel traffic, rail capacity, rail safety, noise pollution, social and community resources, cultural resources and tribal access to traditional fishing locations near Bonneville Dam.

A few of these factors -- particularly "global air quality" -- are not described in any relevant federal or state law. Rationalizing the unprecedented opinion, Ecology Director Maia Bellon relied on some broad rhetorical strokes...

The Department of Ecology's focus on "global impacts" is a luxury paid for by limiting the prospects for the working people of Cowlitz County. Director Bellon and the other Department of Ecology bureaucrats need to return their focus from global ambitions to local concerns.

Read the full column in The Daily News
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