October 19, 2015
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Lawmakers from Wyoming, Montana visit Washington ports

Keep Washington Competitive, the coaliation of employers, organized labor and other export-minded groups, is hosting top lawmakers from Montana and Wyoming this week for tours of ports in Longview and Seattle.The tours come days after the Department of Ecology announced another delay, until at least 2016, of an environmental review process that has already lasted for two years. Read more »

Wildfire summit set for Nov. 9 in Wenatchee

After the worst wildfire season in Washington state's history, a group of local leaders and government representatives will come together Nov. 9 to talk about developing a regional approach for reducing the risks of wildfire loss at the first-ever Wildfires and Us Summit in Wenatchee.
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AWB Government Affairs Council talks education, charter schools, carbon, politics at annual retreat

AWB's Government Affairs Council, met last week at the Alderbrook Resort for two days of discussion and policy presentations. They met with top state climate and weather experts, heard from gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant and from Sen. John Braun, and heard about key issues heading into the 2016 election year. Read more »

Washington's tax collections continue upward trend, come in greater than forecasted

The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council issued its monthy tax collection update last Wednesday and the news was better than expected. The state general fund collected 2.2 percent more tax revenue, or nearly $28 million, than forecasted last month. Read more »

Gov. Jay Inslee to attend United Nations climate-change summit in Paris later this year

On the heels of the governor's announcement that he will direct the state Department of Ecology to draft a carbon reduction rule and voters may be faced with two dueling initaitives to put in place a carbon tax, Gov. Jay Inslee last week said he plans to attend the United Nations climate-change summit in Paris Nov. 30-Dec. 11. It is unclear whether taxpayers will pick up the tab for the trip. Read more »

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Export-Import Bank Critical to Washington's Economy

Ex-Im Bank Is an Easy Yes

By Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers

ProGauge Technologies, Inc., a manufacturing company based in Bakersfield, California, is bidding on a project that could lead to 30 new jobs, but only five are staying here in the United States. The rest will be created abroad.

It didn't have to be that way. ProGauge is one of countless manufacturers in the United States, large and small, losing out on foreign sales and international deals because of Congress' failure to stand up for American jobs. "It's pretty sad not to be able to keep the jobs here," said ProGauge president Don Nelson.

Earlier this year, Congress allowed the Export-Import Bank's charter to expire and has not yet acted to reauthorize it. The Ex-Im Bank has served for more than 80 years as the U.S. export credit agency, ensuring access to competitive export financing for manufacturers in the United States that private banks are unable to offer. Countries around the world have similar credit agencies, and without ours, it is harder for U.S.-based companies to sell their products, made by American workers, overseas.

Click here to read the full column in U.S. News & World Report
Ag Worth Billions to State

Needed: More Water for Everyone in Yakima Valley

By The News Tribune editorial board

Some of America's richest farmland lies just over the Cascade Mountains in the Yakima River Valley. It provides most of the nation's apples and hops, and pulls billions of dollars into the state economy.

It's also fragile, as this year's unprecedented drought demonstrated. The valley's reservoir system is roughly a century old; even in the best of years, it doesn't deliver enough water to go around. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has introduced a measure that would bring the system into the 21st century; the Senate should pass it.

Her bill would put the U.S. government behind the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a combination of irrigation, reservoir and habitat improvements. The legislation is backed by an improbably broad coalition that includes farmers, environmentalists, the Yakama Indians, fishermen, Republican and Democratic leaders.

A lot of those people are normally in the habit of squabbling with each other. Their unanimity in this case reflects the fact that the Integrated Plan pretty much makes everyone happy.

Click here to read the full editorial in The News Tribune
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