January 29, 2018
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Major business tax changes and increases proposed; bipartisan manufacturing tax relief also on the table

The state House is considering a change to business and occupation (B&O) taxes that would increase the tax rate on many employers by 6 percent to pay for a tax credit for Washington's smallest businesses. The bill is up for a public hearing on Tuesday. Meanwhile, lawmakers from both parties have introduced bills to reinstate the B&O tax relief for manufacturers that Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed last summer.

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AWB ongoing video campaign highlights how manufacturing tax relief would support employers, employees

As part of last year's two-year budget, the Legislature overwhelmingly passed a business and occupation tax reduction aimed at supporting the state's small- and medium-sized manufacturing operations. However, the governor vetoed the tax relief before it could take effect. In two new videos, AWB members -- small, family-owned manufacturers -- explain what tax relief would mean to their business, employees and job creation.

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Gov. Inslee rejects permit for Vancouver Energy project

Gov. Jay Inslee has rejected permitting for the proposed Vancouver Energy terminal after four years of work and a record $10 million spent by the company for environmental reviews for the project. The terminal would have provided more than 1,000 jobs while bringing oil from the upper Midwest to domestic oil refineries in Washington, California and Alaska.

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Lobby Lunch series begins Thursday with update from governor's staff

Olympia's "power lunch" resumes this Thursday as the AWB Lobby Lunch series returns for 2018. Keith Phillips, the policy director for Gov. Jay Inslee, will meet with AWB members to give an update on the legislative session from the gubernatorial perspective. The series will continue with updates from Republican and Democratic legislative leaders.

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2018 Redbook now available in print and online

Rich with information and completely up-to-date, the 2018 Redbook is now available in print and in a mobile-friendly online version. Find out the ways that Washington is a competitive place to do business -- and areas where there is room to improve.

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AWB HealthChoice members can get access to medical care anytime, anywhere

AWB members enrolled in the HealthChoice Trust Premera plans have access to Teladoc, which offers 24/7 access to U.S. board-certified doctors via phone or video consults. Teladoc doctors can diagnose, treat, and send prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice, all from the comfort of your own home.

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Not the Solution

Look to B.C. for evidence carbon tax doesn't work

By Brier Dudley

If Washington wants to reduce pollution and fare better on its climate-change goals, it should reject Gov. Jay Inslee's proposed carbon tax.

Instead, the state should put its efforts into environmental regulations that directly and measurably reduce harmful emissions.

As proposed, the carbon tax is a grab bag of handouts for the powerful and politically connected, funded by a steep new tax largely on the middle class. Many of the handouts have dubious benefits in reducing emissions.

Carbon taxes also don't work as promised. North America's first such tax, in neighboring British Columbia, is failing to reduce emissions.

Emissions from driving are rising faster than population growth in B.C., despite a carbon tax higher than Inslee's proposal...

Read the full column The Seattle Times
Snake River Dams

Washington's dams balance clean energy needs, fish protections

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Construction of the four Lower Snake River dams -- Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite -- began in 1962. Back then, the focus was on the efficient production of energy, transporting goods and supplying water to Washington's vibrant agricultural sector.

Today, the dams produce 40 percent of the region's energy through clean hydropower generation, support agricultural production and transportation, and improve our quality of life by lifting the economy and supporting recreation. They are also integral to flood control.

Equally critical, they support healthy fish and wildlife populations and their complex life cycles, thanks to a series of improvements to the dams set out in Federal Columbia River Power System's (FCRPS) 2014 biological opinion, or BiOp...

Read the full guest column in The Spokesman-Review
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