December 8, 2014
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Holiday Kids' Tree lighting attracts hundreds of visitors, gives nearly $20,000 to families in need

Friday's lighting of the state's holiday tree was the best attended in years. Generous donors gave nearly $20,000 for distribution to families in need. A Coast Guard boatswain and his family, helped by Gov. Jay Inslee, lit the tree and kicked off the Yuletide season.

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At Puget Sound ports, some shippers say damage from work slowdown already done

The work slowdown at West Coast ports has done damage that can't be repaired even if shipping were to improve today. And even as the economic impact builds, the labor dispute continues.

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U.S. House approves $42 billion retroactive tax break package, including sales tax, R&D credits

A last-minute retroactive 2014 tax break package passed the U.S. House last week. If it passes the Senate, Washingtonians who itemize their federal income tax return will be able to claim a sales tax deduction for this year. The plan also includes a number of business tax breaks.

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WSDOT report: Freight congestion could cost $3.3 billion, 27,000 jobs by 2030

Failing to improve highways will be costly, and a new WSDOT report details just how painful transportation could get if a funding and upgrade plan is not put into place soon.

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Minimum wage: protests and legislative hearing

As protesters demonstrated for a $15 statewide minimum wage, AWB members testified before a legislative committee about the realities and impacts of a big minimum wage boost on employers and employees.

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WORKING TOGETHER

New 'business-blue' coalition focuses on protecting Washington's trade status

By Eric Schinfeld, Washington Council on International Trade

As an advocate for international trade, I'm fortunate to work with some of the most innovative global brands in America today, witnessing companies whose efforts both distinguish them across the globe and also bring jobs and prosperity back to America's middle class. Last week, following our annual Washington Trade Conference, I introduced a panel discussion convened by partners from Keep Washington Competitive, a new coalition of business and labor leaders.

READ MORE: Click here for the full op-ed column in the Puget Sound Business Journal
NO GUBERNATORIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER

Opinion: Gov. Inslee and Carbon Emissions Reduction Taskforce should carefully consider climate policy


By Mike Elliott, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

The low-carbon fuel standard the governor is considering by way of executive order could raise prices at the pump anywhere from 13 cents a gallon to $1.50. I'm told the purpose of the fuel standard is to encourage sustainable fuel production and use, with the ultimate goal being a reduction in carbon emissions (largely from cars and trucks operating on our roadways).

When considering climate change on a global scale, few would dispute the need to seek reductions in carbon emissions. But without a thorough understanding of potential impacts on fuel prices and, ultimately, jobs connected to transportation costs, further study of the fuel standard as a means of achieving reduced carbon emissions is warranted. While I'm all for lower carbon, cleaner fuels and better efficiency in our cars, trucks, industrial processes and lives, I cannot support taking action without knowing for certain we're not sending jobs out of the state or, worse, overseas where few standards, if any, exist.

READ MORE: Click here for the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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