February 26, 2018
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Top Stories Legislation of Note Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Senate approves budget; House makes major changes as end of session approaches

With 10 days left in the legislative session, both chambers are finalizing their budget proposals. On a party-line vote, the Senate on Friday approved its supplemental budget. The House is expected to vote on their budget proposal today. Along with new taxes -- carbon and capital gains -- the other major issues still being discussed: tax relief for manufacturers; $1 billion more for education; and property tax cuts for urban areas.

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AWB continues push for B&O tax relief to help all manufacturers; Senate hearing suggests issue will be part of end-game negotiations

The House Finance Committee approved a bill last week that would lower the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for manufacturers, but only in some parts of the state. It would leave out nine counties, including many that are largely rural. In response, AWB issued an Action Alert calling on lawmakers to support manufacturers in all parts of the state. Meanwhile, questioning during a hearing signaled possible Senate support for an alternative approach.

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Capital gains tax appears again with less than two weeks left in session

Last week's House budget proposal includes a new 7 percent tax on capital gains, something that lawmakers have tried and failed to pass in previous years. It's billed by proponents as a tax on the wealthy, but it could hit small business owners especially hard. A series of AWB-produced videos (watch them here and here) describe how a capital gains tax could crack a small-business owner's retirement nest egg.

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New carbon tax bill passes Senate Ways and Means; awaits vote by full Senate

A statewide carbon tax passed through a key fiscal committee and now awaits a full vote in the Senate. If enacted, Washington would be the first state in the nation to impose a direct tax on carbon. The bill would increase the cost of fuel and energy.

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Legislation of Note

SB 5935: Rural broadband

AWB testified in support of Senate Bill 5935 last week, highlighting how this rural broadband bill brings together many of the needs and suggestions from AWB's Rural Jobs Summits last year.


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HB 2327: Mandatory energy-efficiency standards for appliances

Making voluntary energy efficiency standards for appliances into mandatory rules sounds like a simple fix, but it would in fact create a cascade of problems. AWB and its members testified about those issues last week.

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HB 1622: Reforms to State Building Code Council

AWB joined many other stakeholders last week in testimony supporting House Bill 1622, which would reform the State Building Code Council.

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Federal Issues

Supreme Court declines to hear DACA case, reducing pressure for immediate congressional action on 'Dreamers'

The Obama-era program called DACA, or Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, will remain in place for now after the U.S. Supreme Court declined today to make an immediate ruling on the program. The high court said an appeals court should hear the case first.

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U.S. Commerce Secretary pushes for working Ex-Im Bank board

Manufacturers in the United States are being held back by the lack of a functioning quorum in the board of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said last week during a meeting of Commerce's Trade Finance Advisory Committee.

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Other News

Seattle mayor highlights disparities, challenges in first State of the City address

Newly elected Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan gave her first State of the City address last week. She said the city will be better off when prosperity is shared.

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Heritage Distilling prepares to open in Ballard and launch $5 million investment round

The craft distillery that was named AWB's Manufacturer of the Year last fall is continuing to grow. The Gig Harbor-based business nearly doubled its production last year and is opening a new location in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.

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RiverPartners releases new video in CleanHydro campaign

A new animated video from Northwest RiverPartners is called "The Renewable Recipe of the Pacific Northwest." It's part of an ongoing CleanHydro public education campaign to highlight the crucial role that the Pacific Northwest's hydroelectric system plays in providing reliable, affordable and carbon-free electricity.

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Keep up with the latest at AWB's Instagram account

Are you on Instagram? Make sure to follow @awbolympia for a look inside AWB's new remodel and to see glimpses of AWB's events and speakers.

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Task Force recommends more apprenticeships, career education, partnerships with labor and industry to prepare workforce

The Career Connect Washington Task Force gives recommendations to Gov. Jay Inslee on the future of Washington's workforce.

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Call for nominations: Help bring more great business leaders to AWB's board of directors

It's time to step up and help AWB remain a leader and voice for solutions in Olympia. Nominations are now being accepted for seats on the AWB Board of Directors. Businesses of all sizes and business leaders of all ages are invited to apply. Nominations are due to Bonnie Millikan by March 23.

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AWB Events & Resources

This Wednesday: Anti-Harassment training and investigations in the era of #MeToo

No employer can afford to be lax in enforcing its commitment to anti-harassment. But how do you deal with the he-said, she-said scenarios? What is expected of employers in this era of heightened awareness of harassment? These are the questions we will address in a seminar this Wednesday, along with practical guidance for minimizing the risk of liability in your workplace.

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AWB's 2018 employment law webinar series continues with 'Employee Handbook' talk

AWB's popular employment law webinar series is back for the third year, starting with the first session this Wednesday. Sarah Swale. The next seminar will focus on updating Employee Handbooks with Greg Hendershott & Angela Vogel of Jensen Morse Baker PLLC will talk about pre-hire, hiring and job descriptionsDavis Wright Tremaine LLP. Over the coming months, other legal experts will look at the many facets of increasingly complex labor laws, offering up-to-date information to keep your workplace in compliance with the latest legal changes.

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Hear from apprenticeship advocate at AWB Institute Workforce Summit March 21 in Bellevue

Back by popular demand, the AWB Institute Workforce Summit will be held this year at the Hilton Bellevue on Wednesday, March 21. Matt Poischbeg, vice president and general manager at Sea-Lect Plastics, will give the keynote, offering an enthusiastic and experienced take on apprenticeships and workforce development. Registration is now open!

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April 4 tax reform webinar: Key provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

How will the recent federal tax overhaul affect your business? Join AWB for a tax webinar on April 4 for a general overview of the new provisions affecting corporations, pass-through entities and others under the new federal tax law. Continuing education credits available upon request.

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Labor relations for beginners: for union and non-union workplaces

Whether or not your employees are represented by a union, recent changes in federal labor law impact your workplace. Join us on April 26 to learn more about employers' rights and obligations under key federal labor law principles.

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A new home for Spring Meeting -- the Davenport Grand hotel

Reserve your room May 15 and 16 in the AWB room block now for the 2018 Spring Meeting, to be held in the new Davenport Grand hotel in downtown Spokane. AWB's annual meeting in Spokane is only going to be bigger and better as it moves to this deluxe new hotel near the city's Riverfront Park.

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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.

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

New Year, Old Tax Proposals



They Said It

Support Growth and Opportunity

"We look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure the final budget is one that fosters growth and opportunity for everyone -- in urban and rural areas alike." ~ AWB President Kris Johnson, in a statement responding to the House and Senate budget proposals released last week.




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Capital Gains Tax
All Manufacturers Need Relief


Manufacturing jobs key to all of our communities

By AWB President Kris Johnson

The health of Washington state's manufacturing sector is a bellwether for the strength of our overall economy, and a key driver of economic opportunity for families in every city and small town across the state.

The sector is vital to the state. Manufacturing jobs support families with livable wages and benefits and they grow the local economy and tax base to ensure funding for critical services.

Along with all that positive news, is the reality is the sector needs some support.

Since 2000, Washington has lost more than 50,000 manufacturing jobs, the majority of which are not in the aerospace sector.

The good news is lawmakers are currently considering bills that would reinstate the uniform B&O tax relief. It's a move our members support as one way to jumpstart job creation in every part of the state...

Read the full guest column in The Olympian
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