April 2, 2018
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Top Stories

Gov. Inslee signs supplemental budget, proclaims end to McCleary case

Signaling that the state is finally in compliance with the state Supreme Court's 2012 McCleary ruling, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the state's supplemental operating budget last week. It includes $970 million in teacher raises, satisfying the last major education funding piece as required by the court.

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AWB files challenge to I-1631 ballot title

The official ballot title for a proposed "pollution fee" does not fully describe the measure or where the money it generates will go. Last week, AWB challenged that ballot title with the goal of ensuring voters receive an accurate and transparent look at this significant proposal.

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Election update: State Senate majority leader to step down; former Senate majority leader runs again

Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, announced last week that she is retiring. Coincidentally, a former Senate Majority Leader, Rodney Tom, said last week that he will run again, facing recently appointed Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue.

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Join a national conversation on early childhood learning at AWB's Early Learning event April 17 in SeaTac

There are many reasons that employers can and should be part of the early childhood education conversation. AWB will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to discuss them at an Early Childhood Learning event on April 17 at the Seattle Airport Marriott. Learn more and register online.

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Reserve tickets now for Spring Meeting keynote by Captain 'Sully' Sullenberger

Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger, the "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot, will give the evening keynote address at the 2018 Spring Meeting. Tickets are now available for this May 15-16 event, which is being held this year for the first time in the new Davenport Grand hotel on the Spokane River waterfront.

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Federal Issues

Washington state leaders talk trade as tensions with China escalate

Forty percent of Washington jobs are tied to trade. With increased concerns over tariffs and trade tensions, especially between the United States and China, there was plenty to discuss last week during a Washington Council on International Trade summit in Seattle. On Monday, China followed through with threats to impose tariffs on a range of U.S. goods.

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Legislation of Note

Governor's partial veto of unanimously passed Board of Tax Appeals reform bill irks lawmaker

Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, sent Gov. Jay Inslee a letter last week expressing her frustration with his partial veto of her bill, which passed with unanimous support, to reform the state Board of Tax Appeals.

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Other News

Manufacturer to move shopfloor jobs from King County to Kansas, cites growing cost of doing business

Kent-based manufacturer of industrial waterjets, Flow International, announced last week it will move its manufacturing operations to Kansas, laying off 110 shopfloor employees. The company's leaders cite the growing cost of doing business, particularly manufacturing, in the Seattle area.

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Gov. Jay Inslee's Boeing 797 group will be co-chaired by Noel Schulz and Rick Bender

The governor has tapped a former labor leader, Rick Bender, and a Washington State University engineering professor, Noel Schulz, to co-chair the group he formed to help persuade Boeing to build its new Mid-Market Airplane (NMA) in Washington.

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Major milestone reached in merger of Avista and Hydro One

Avista and Hydro One have announced the conditions of a proposed merger. After the $5.3 billion sale, Avista's headquarters will remain in Spokane, it will keep similar workforce levels, and the company will continue to be a major part of economic development efforts in the region.

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Aerospace analyst: Great jobs to open up at Boeing in the next several years as thousands of workers get ready to retire

Thousands of Boeing workers are approaching retirement in the next five years, aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton reports. That means good jobs will open up to younger workers who want to work at one of America's most recognized companies.

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Deadline approaching for 2018 Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship

Female college students can receive up to $15,000 in financial aid from the Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship, awarded each year to support young women interested in public policy.
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Seattle event to highlight 'Emerging Technologies and Torts of the Future'

The Institute for Legal Reform and the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center will host a forum in Seattle on April 18 to explore emerging technologies and the impact of liability issues on innovation.

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AWB Events & Resources

This Wednesday: Tax reform webinar covers key provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

How will the recent federal tax overhaul affect your business? Join AWB this Wednesday for a tax webinar to hear 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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Tax Planning for Your Business: Understanding How the New Tax Reforms Can Benefit Your Business

What will the recent federal tax law changes mean for you and your business? Learn what the law means -- and how to make the most of the changes -- from the financial and legal experts of Moss Adams, Integrity Financial, ACT Capital Advisors and Davis Wright Tremaine, during a joint seminar on April 11 in Bellevue. Register here.

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AWB's 2018 employment law webinar series continues with 'Wage & Hour Laws' talk

AWB's popular employment law webinar series is back for the third year. The April 11 webinar will focus on wage and hour laws with Katheryn Bradley of Lane Powell, PC. 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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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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Tweet of the Week

A Timely Topic



They Said It

High Costs Kill Jobs in Washington

"The cost of doing business in the Seattle area has changed dramatically over the last few years, and the cost of manufacturing in the region continues to climb." ~ David Savage, chief executive of Shape Technologies, announcing that its subsidiary, Flow International, will be closing its manufacturing operations in Kent and moving the work to a waterjet manufacturing facility in Kansas. The decision, based on increasing costs of doing business in Washington, will mean the loss of 110 manufacturing jobs at its Kent facility.




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Hits, Misses in 2018 Session


Legislature adjourns on-time, leaves important work for 2019

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Lawmakers left town on the final day of the constitutionally-prescribed 60-day session March 8.

Like every session, there were hits and misses.

Early in the legislative session, lawmakers reached a bipartisan agreement for a permanent fix to the state Supreme Court's "Hirst" water rights ruling and passed the state's capital construction budget. These were issues left undone during the prior session and both issues are crucial to economic development, particularly in rural and underserved regions of the state.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Business World
Taxed to the Max?


Seattle taxes may reach a tipping point

By Jon Talton

A slew of new taxes and tax increases pose a big lift for taxpayers and the economy...

It's not a competitive issue to be dismissed. Eastside leaders, and even those in the South Sound, would love to see the city stumble, creating an opportunity to grab some of its corporate assets and talent.

The head tax could be particularly destructive for Seattle employment.

The city's boom over the past decade has not been a result of the City Council's brilliance. Instead, it has come from Amazon and other companies; Paul Allen's South Lake Union innovation district; being cheaper than the Bay Area; and the "back to the city movement," drawing companies and workers to high-quality cities.

This unique moment in history is not guaranteed to continue...

Read the full column in The Seattle Times
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