February 5, 2018
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Momentum building for B&O manufacturing tax relief

Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate to offer manufacturers business and occupation (B&O) tax relief that would provide a needed boost to an important part of Washington's economy. Last week, AWB launched an "action alert" on this important manufacturing issue as a follow-up to our ongoing social media video campaign.

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Senate committee passes carbon tax; energy and fuel costs would increase

The Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee passed a carbon tax and regulation bill last week. The bill would establish a lower price per ton of carbon than had been proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee, but would still increase costs for energy and fuel used by consumers and many employers, as well as middle- and low-income families.

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Governor's advisors kick off Lobby Lunch series; Republican and Democratic leaders coming next

Advisors to Gov. Jay Inslee spoke last week to a full house in AWB's remodeled conference room, kicking off this year's Lobby Lunch series. Olympia's "power lunch" continues this Thursday as AWB hosts top GOP legislators. The series will conclude with updates from Democratic legislative leaders next week.

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AWB Government Affairs team to provide mid-session update this Thursday -- register now

Tuesday is the last day for bills to pass out of committee in their houses of origin. This major cutoff will clarify what bills are still in play as the legislative session hits the halfway mark. AWB's Government Affairs team will update members this Thursday in a live webinar to take stock of what's happening. Can't make the live webinar? A recording of the discussion will be available later as a podcast. Registration for the webinar is open.

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Jeff Bezos, with help from Amazon's Alexa, opens 'remarkable' Spheres

Amazon's newly-opened geodesic domes in Seattle highlight the retail giant's Seattle campus, and make a statement. The glass bubbles are designed as an urban oasis in the heart of Amazon's home town.

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Winter edition of Washington Business magazine is hot off the press

The new issue of Washington Business magazine takes a closer look at the urban-rural divide. Stories also highlight innovations in education, sustainability, electrical smart grids, and more. Copies of the magazine will be arriving by mail this week. The full magazine is also available online.

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Manufacturing Bedrock

Work to ensure Boeing builds its next jet in the Puget Sound region

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Glowing praise of the Puget Sound region by Boeing's chief executive is reassuring as the state of Washington seeks to land production of the company's next jetliner.

"Puget Sound is part of Boeing for the future in a very strong way," Dennis Muilenburg said in an interview with Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates.

But the region and state must continue working hard to convince the company that its hometown remains the best place in the world to manufacture its next plane, informally dubbed the 797.

A task force convened by Gov. Jay Inslee last year is making progress and preparing to submit a bid if there's a formal request for site proposals later this year. Regional groups in areas such as Snohomish County and Spokane also are making their case. This is a critical effort to retain and grow an industry that's a cornerstone of the state's economy.

While Muilenburg didn't tip his hand on the 797, which Boeing hasn't yet committed to build, he did drop hints about where Washington can improve its competitiveness.

One is the cost of living and doing business in Seattle, which are "higher than most of our other sites," he said...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Hard Work Remains

Competitiveness Redbook highlights Washington's successes, opportunities

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington's economy is the envy of many states across the country. Job growth in our urban areas is booming and cranes pepper the Seattle and Bellevue skylines.

All that points to a robust statewide economy today and into the future. Or, does it?

Each year, the Association of Washington Business (AWB) digs deeper into the state's economy and competitiveness, going beyond the headlines and accolades from outside groups, to determine where Washington can improve and harness opportunities for growth.

AWB's 2018 Competitiveness Redbook, released last month, is a data-driven guide to Washington state's economic health that uses comparisons -- 59 tables in all -- with other states to benchmark performance in key indicators.

One important indicator is job growth. The latest numbers show job growth remains a strength, with nearly 80,000 new jobs added over the past year. Looking deeper, however, that's actually 21,000 fewer jobs than the previous year, dropping our state down one spot to sixth in the nation...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
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