November 13, 2017
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Spokane voters reject initiative that would have imposed fines on coal- and oil-carrying rail cars

Spokane voters have decisively rejected a proposal to fine rail cars carrying energy products like coal and oil. Proposition 2 was failing on election night with only 41 percent voting in support of the measure, which had been criticized as illegal and damaging to the economy.

Read more »

Sen. Kirk Pearson resigns from state Senate after presidential appointment to USDA post

Monroe Republican Sen. Kirk Pearson has been appointed by the Trump administration to serve in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pearson has served as chair of the Senate Natural Resources & Parks Committee. Read more »

Reports laud Boeing for LGBTQ workplace inclusion and for support of veterans

Two new reports applaud The Boeing Company for its policies. Monster.com lists Boeing in its roundup of the 10 best companies for veterans. And the Human Rights Campaign Foundation gave the company a perfect score for its policies of inclusion and quality for LGBTQ employees.

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Boeing seeking thousands of applicants for open manufacturing jobs

Workers with experience in construction, auto mechanics, electrical work, precision machining and welding have the skills that Boeing is looking for. The company will be holding five job fairs as it looks to hire thousands of people for assembly, electrical and aviation maintenance positions.

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Senate begins work sessions on education, transportation, other issues

The 2018 legislative session is six weeks away, but a number of Senate committees began meeting today for work sessions and other discussions of issues likely to play a prominent role in legislative debate come January.

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Rural Jobs Summit


Why Rural Economic Development Is Top of Mind in Washington State and Elsewhere

By Joshua Wright

Rural economic development is a thorny, multi-layered topic with many challenges and few obvious answers. But the summit -- hosted in Moses Lake by the Association of Washington Businesses -- was encouraging, not just because it focused on solutions for small towns and regions but also because so many people attended the event.

Sweeney himself said it speaks well for Washington that 250 decision-makers from every part of the state came together to talk rural jobs and economies.

"We put our focus on where the need is, and the need is the biggest in rural communities," said Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington Department of Commerce.

Read the full essay at EconomicModeling.com
Quality Health Insurance


Association Health Plans offer model for the nation

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Since they were created, Association Health Plans (AHP) have grown in popularity, insuring as many as 400,000 people at their peak. Many of those people were not previously insured. For AWB's plan, approximately 40 percent of employers did not have prior coverage. It's clear that AHPs expand health care access and choices for small employers, their employees and families.

What's more, employers that start with an AHP tend to renew. Historically, as many as 90 percent renew coverage year after year...

Washington's AHPs offer high-quality health insurance plans with consumer protections like guaranteed issue (nobody can be denied coverage) and renewal built in. They are fully insured and comply with all state and federal mandates, including those contained in the Affordable Care Act such as dependent coverage up to age 26, lab and X-ray, preventative care and mental health services.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
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