January 22, 2018
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Agreement reached on Hirst fix and capital budget

Rural communities will benefit greatly after lawmakers agreed on a deal to fix the Hirst water rights issue and fund the state's capital construction budget. The bills were quickly signed into law last week, ensuring that rural property owners can drill wells on their property, and that construction projects have the funding to move forward.

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New report from Washington Roundtable: Unlocking Washington's Full Potential

Although Washington's economy continues to thrive overall, economic progress is uneven and some rural areas are "outright struggling," a new report from the Washington Roundtable shows. Washington should work to drive economic growth more evenly across the state and address several key areas, including workforce development, infrastructure, innovation, trade and investment and regulatory reform, to maintain its status as a national economic leader, the report says.

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Two new AWB videos highlight need for manufacturers to have B&O tax relief

During last year's record 193-day session, the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed a budget that included a reduction in the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for manufacturers, but the governor vetoed it before it took effect. In a pair of videos AWB launched last week on social media, Stacie Vaughan of the Vaughan Co. and Allison Budvarson of Out of the Box Manufacturing explain why it's important for lawmakers to support manufacturers by restoring the B&O tax relief.

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Amazon announces 20 finalists for second headquarters

Seattle-based Amazon is closer to finalizing the location of a second, co-equal headquarters. The company announced 20 finalists for "HQ2" last week. Washington didn't make the list. Many policy-makers say the company's expansion elsewhere is a sign that Washington needs to improve its competitiveness to retain and attract employers.

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Passages: Gov. John Spellman

Former Gov. John Spellman, a political moderate and public schools advocate, died Tuesday. He was 91. Newspapers across the state recalled a kind, principled executive from another political era.

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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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