November 27, 2017
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It's time to shine! Evening of Excellence awards event takes place Wednesday in Seattle

There are still some tickets available for this Wednesday's gala awards event for some of the best and brightest employers in Washington. Join us at Benaroya Hall for the second annual Evening of Excellence, with a paparazzi moment on the red carpet, elegant reception and Oscars-style awards reveal. Register here and we'll see you in Seattle!

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Judge rejects Seattle income tax ordinance, but legal fight continues as city vows to appeal

Seattle's income tax on high earners lost the first round of the legal fight over its constitutionality. A King County Superior Court judge ruled last week that the measure violates the Constitution, state law and legal precedent. The city is appealing the ruling.

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Seattle City Council pledges to keep employee head tax alive, with vote by next March

Despite narrowly failing a split vote this month, the Seattle City Council continues to push for a per-employee tax on large employers. Council members pledge another vote on the tax by March.

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Good news in latest economic revenue forecast

Washington tax collections are likely to come in hundreds of millions of dollars above expectations, the state's revenue forecast council said last week. That's good news for budget-writers.

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Join the festivities this Friday during lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree

Secretary of State Kim Wyman will join AWB in hosting the 29th annual lighting of the tree in the state Capitol on Friday. AWB leads 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.


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Investments Denied


State regulatory agencies are killing our jobs

By John Stuhlmiller, Washington Farm Bureau, and Lee Newgent, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council

The time has come to have "the talk" about Washington's economy and the role of government.

In a nutshell, it's not working.

For months now, regulatory agencies have been taking action that is basically killing jobs and private investment in our state. This has occurred in communities outside of Seattle and King County, where the economy has been slower to recover and tech jobs are few and far between...

In Longview, the Department of Ecology usurped five years of state regulatory process, denying Millennium Bulk Terminals a water quality permit for a proposed export terminal based on criteria wholly unrelated to water quality...

Another major regulatory hurdle interestingly also involving Ecology: the Hirst fix. This fight over water resources has held up the state's $4.2 billion capital budget for months now, putting construction for residential homes, K-12 schools and mental health facilities on hold -- along with the local jobs those projects create. This is to say nothing of the impact on rural landowners who find themselves with land, and wells, they cannot use.

Absent clarity from the state, this stalemate will likely drift on, leaving rural communities in the lurch...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Necessary to Compete Overseas


America needs a strong Ex-Im Bank

By Meghan Milloy, director of financial services policy at American Action Forum

A fully functional Ex-Im Bank is important to strengthen American competitiveness abroad. There are 27 countries that require support from an export credit agency before they will even consider a bid from an international company.

When Congress allowed Ex-Im's authority to expire in 2015, General Electric announced that it was forced to move 500 jobs to France as a direct result of lost export credit agency support, as 80 percent of its total sales for aviation-related turbines came from those 27 countries over the past three years. Many of the commercial aircraft deals awarded to Airbus, in contrast, benefitted from France's export credit agency...

If U.S. companies do not have a fully functional Ex-Im Bank, barring them from competing for many projects in these major markets, we can expect to see more jobs move overseas.

For an administration with an "America first" agenda, it is imperative that the remaining board nominees be confirmed, and that Ex-Im has a president who will support sufficient levels of export credit to keep jobs and companies in the United States.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill
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