December 5, 2016
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Evening of Excellence recognizes top employers during Seattle event

An elegant event in Seattle's Benaroya Hall brought together some of the state's most innovative and forward-looking employers for the first-ever AWB Evening of Excellence. The event also allowed AWB to publicly thank two longtime business advocates with special awards for service to the employer community.

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Third-annual AWB D.C. fly-in begins today

Twenty-four AWB members are in Washington, D.C. this week for AWB's third-annual D.C. fly-in. After a welcome dinner and candlelight tour of the Capitol this evening, attendees will meet with lawmakers and connect with other national policy-makers through mid-week.

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Rossi appointed to Senate as interim replacement for Sen. Andy Hill

Dino Rossi is headed back to the state Senate. This afternoon the Metropolitan King County Council chose Rossi to fill the 45th District Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond. Rossi will fill the seat until a special election next November.

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Minimum wage set to increase to $11 an hour on Jan. 1

The minimum wage increase approved by Washington voters in the November election begins taking effect in less than a month. The minimum wage will increase to $11 an hour on Jan. 1 for all workers, including those in agriculture. Workers under age 16 can be paid 85 percent of the adult wage, or $9.35 per hour.

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Workers' compensation rate to increase by 3.1 percentage points more than needed to break even

The Department of Labor & Industries approved its workers' compensation premium rate increases for next year. Rather than raising rates, it could have lowered them by 2.4 percent and still broken even. By raising them an average of 0.7 percent instead, L&I has increased costs for employers by 3.1 percent more than necessary.

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Holiday Kids' Tree lighting brings joy to Olympia and $22,000 to needy families

Gov. Jay Inslee, firefighters from across the state, a military family from Gig Harbor and countless families joined AWB for the 28th annual lighting of the state's holiday tree in the state Capitol Friday evening for a fun, festive evening.

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Sustainability in Action

A green milestone for Microsoft: 500-acre Redmond campus generates (almost) zero waste

By Nat Levy, GeekWire

The 44,000 employees at Microsoft's Redmond headquarters campus went through a whopping 189 million pounds of food and packaging between July and December 2015. Even more impressive than employees' appetites is the fact that the company managed to keep 99.5 percent of food and dining waste out of landfills.

Microsoft said Monday its headquarters has earned the gold level of Zero Waste Certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council for keeping 90 percent of food, office, and construction waste out of landfills. Microsoft says it is the first tech company in the country to obtain such an achievement.
Read the full story in GeekWire
Build on Success

Washington lawmakers should hold off tinkering with Boeing tax break

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Benefits of the state investment can be seen in Everett, where Boeing has now spent more than $1 billion on its facility for building advanced, composite wings for the 777X.

This work involves a constellation of suppliers. It also expands the cluster of companies and expertise working with advanced composites in Washington.

That cluster, the jobs it supports and the future opportunities it creates should continue, regardless of what happens with the WTO.
Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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