December 14, 2015
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As Paris group sets global carbon reduction goal, Washington employers are leading without new mandates

Nearly 200 nations agreed on new carbon reduction goals at the Paris climate talks on Saturday. The Department of Ecology is expected to release a draft carbon reduction rule this month. Amid these calls for further regulation, AWB continues to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee's office, emphasizing that employers are already effectively reducing carbon emissions.
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Be heard! Registration now open for 2016 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

The Hill Climb is back! AWB's 2016 legislative summit will include a trip to the Capitol and a time to meet with individual lawmakers. That's in addition to the regular slate of legislative leaders and policy makers, as well as employers and AWB's policy experts. Reserve your spot today. Read more »

Charter schools look for creative lifelines while awaiting legislative fix

The Washington Charter School Commission is making final plans to lay off its staff in the continuing fallout from the state Supreme Court's ruling that invalidated voter-approved public charter schools. The nine charters that have already opened, with more than a thousand students enrolled in their innovative educational programs, are looking at creative ways to stay open as they await a legislative solution.
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Inslee declares state of emergency after floods, landslides

Pounding rains and winds buffeted much of the Pacific Northwest last week. Floodwater deluged low-lying areas and mudslides closed northbound Interstate 5 at Woodland as well as several mountain passes. Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to the severe storms. Read more »

Boeing offers first look at new 737 MAX

The first Boeing 737 MAX was unveiled in Renton last week for a celebration with thousands of employees. Boeing is building the new fuel-efficient plane in a third production line alongside two existing 737 lines. Read more »

New federal education law replaces 'No Child Left Behind'

The 2002 No Child Left Behind law has been left behind as Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a revised federal education bill. The Every Student Succeeds Act drops strict accountability and testing requirements. Under the new law, Washington could regain about $40 million in federal funding that was diverted last year after the state became the first to lose a federal waiver.
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Leading Without New Top-Down Mandates

Recognize success industries are having in cutting CO2

By Kris Johnson, AWB president, and Daren Konopaski, vice president and business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 302

It is true this year's drought and wildfire season wreaked havoc on the state, a point that Gov. Jay Inslee makes while promoting his government-centric carbon emissions reduction plan. But the governor's labeling of those who disagree with the details of his plan as "fear mongers" is not fair.

There is no denying there is more work ahead, but there is also no denying that Washington employers and their employees are already leading the way toward the cleaner future that Gov. Inslee -- and frankly all Washingtonians -- so strongly desire.

Gov. Inslee has continued to say "it's time to lead," but Washington employers and employees are already leading the way toward environmental solutions that work -- without top-down, bureaucratic mandates that raise taxes on everyday citizens but don't solve the problem.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Herald
Delays Hurt Workers and Economy

State should speed up permits for export docks

By Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch

While our neighbors to the north and south of Washington watch their port infrastructure grow and flourish, our state -- the most export-dependent in the nation -- is improbably holding up billions of dollars in private infrastructure development that would only help us compete with California and Canada.

The delay with regard to the export terminal expansions in Bellingham and Longview is patently unacceptable. Proposed projects and potential investments in this state should benefit from a fair, timely and predictable review process. Yet that is not the case with these projects, whose review has been in process for three years and subject to numerous, ongoing delays.

It is one thing to politically disagree with these projects on the basis of exporting a particular commodity -- in this case, coal -- and to express concern over the environmental standards to which these projects must adhere. It is quite another to attempt to bind these projects with endless government bureaucracy and red tape in hopes that the investors will give up and go elsewhere. Our competition is ready and willing to accept new business and is making the needed investments to do so.
Click here to read the full column in The Olympian
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