December 7, 2015
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Ex-Im Bank renewal passes Congress, Obama signs into law

Renewal of the Export-Import Bank was included in a comprehensive new federal transportation package. The four-year renwal of the bank is good news for Washington, the largest user of the bank's export credit guarantees.
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Congress passes first federal highway bill in nearly a decade

Congress last week approved the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a five-year reauthorization of the federal highway transportation trust fund.

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Gov. Inslee visits AWB, takes questions from Executive Committee

The AWB Executive Committee had the chance to ask questions and share the employer perspective with Gov. Jay Inslee last week. Inslee surprised many members of the group by saying he believes employers have done "nothing" since 2008 to address climate change. That's despite plenty of data showing declines in the state's business-related carbon emissions through collaboration, innovation and voluntary green measures. Read more »

Capitol aglow after Secretary of State leads lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree

One of the biggest crowds in memory filled the Capitol Rotunda on Friday for the lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree. Firefighters from this year's record wildfires, with their families, lit the tree. Generous AWB members and individuals donated more than $26,000 to needy families in rural fire districts around the state, helping Christmas happen in homes where it otherwise would not be financially feasible. Read more »

Bipartisan support growing for charter schools fix

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are adding their voices to those of the students and parents who have called on the Legislature to "fix this mess" by amending the voter-approved public charter school initiative after the state Supreme Court overturned it based on a century-old court ruling. Read more »

U.S. Reps. Kilmer, Herrera Beutler urge insurance commissioner to support Association Health Plans

Association Health Plans, or AHPs, are vital to thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of employees, according to a bipartisan letter two members of Washington's congressional delegation sent last week to Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. Reps. Derek Kilmer and Jaime Hererra Beutler urged Kreidler to support AHPs. Read more »


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Becoming a Top Ten State

Opportunities begin here in Washington state

By AWB President Kris Johnson and Washington Roundtable President Steve Mullin

The central Puget Sound region and Washington have long been a center of global trade.

A look behind the numbers, however, reveals that many Washingtonians are falling behind. And far too many young people fail to get the education they need to succeed and compete for great jobs being created by Washington employers.
Click here to read the full op-ed from Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin
Investing in Jobs

Boeing incentives are good for WA

By Rob McKenna

We're not talking about tax giveaways here; they're incentives to keep incredibly valuable airplane manufacturing right here in Washington. Our state benefits enormously from Boeing's presence. Just ask governors and business leaders in other states -- they'd love to have even a fraction of Boeing's high-tech manufacturing jobs in their states.

That's why it's somewhat amusing to see the showy handwringing in Olympia recently about these incentives. The tax incentive package passed overwhelmingly in a special session in November 2013 precisely because most state leaders grasp that the economic activity Boeing produces, the high-paying jobs it provides, and the taxes it generates far outweigh the theoretical value of the tax incentives.

Simply put, the incentives are a good deal for the state of Washington -- no handwringing needed.
Click here to read the full blog post at Smarter Government Washington
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