January 30, 2017
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Governor's top advisors speak at first Lobby Lunch of 2017

Three top aides to Gov. Jay Inslee joined AWB members for the first Lobby Lunch of 2017. They discussed Inslee's $4.4 billion tax proposal and answered questions from AWB members about the possibility of offsetting additional costs by lowering the costs of workers' compensation taxes and other costs on employers. This week's Lobby Lunch will feature Republican legislative leaders. Democratic leaders will speak Feb. 9.

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Presidential administration appoints state senators to federal posts

Sen. Brian Dansel, R-Republic, stepped down last week after being appointed to a federal Department of Agriculture post. Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, is shuttling between Olympia and Washington, D.C., after being tapped for a short-term position with the Enviromental Protection Agency. Democrats tried unsuccessfully on Friday to temporarily take over the Senate after the slim Republican-led Majority Coalition Caucus dropped to a 24-24 tie due to Dansel's departure. Today Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, was appointed to Dansel's former Senate seat.

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Senate MCC unveils education funding and McCleary plan

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus released its education funding plan on Friday. It changes both how K-12 teachers are paid and how K-12 public schools are funded. First-year teachers would see a raise to $45,000 a year. Top teachers would earn bonuses. The plan also meets AWB's priority of support for career and technical education.

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Washington Research Council policy brief: 'Washington State Businesses Pay 58 Percent of State and Local Taxes'

During a legislative session when talk of new taxes is widespread, it's worth remembering that employers in Washington already pay the majority of the taxes collected by state and local governments. In fact, Washington employers pay an average of $7,600 per employee in taxes -- that's higher than the amount in 45 other states.

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It's a wrap! Filming concludes for the next round of Grow Here commercials and employer image campaign

Video crews were in the farming country of southeast Washington last week filming operations at The McGregor Company. This 130-year-old family business has a great story to tell about its commitment to farm families, small towns and the environment. AWB's multi-media Grow Here campaign will do just that, and will also explore the innovative work being done at Alaffia and M3 Biotechnology. The first commercials should begin airing in late February.

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Registration open for Spring Meeting in Spokane May 8-9

Back by popular demand, noted communications expert Frank Luntz will keynote the 2017 AWB Spring Meeting in Spokane. Luntz, whose 2012 Policy Summit talk was well-received, will look at how employers can communicate their message. Registration is now open for Spring Meeting May 8-9 at The Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane.

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VIDEO REWIND

A look at the 2017 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

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Employers Helping Find and Fund Solutions

Kudos to Microsoft for bold public-policy goals for Washington state

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Microsoft is taking its regional public service to a new level with the release of an ambitious legislative agenda for Washington state.

Under its president, Brad Smith, the company has increasingly advocated for education, transportation and economic development.

Recognizing that the entire state has unmet needs, the company is broadening its agenda beyond the Puget Sound area. Best of all, Microsoft is offering to help incubate and partly fund several new programs to get them launched.

The public benefits from such corporate citizens providing thoughtful and supportive engagement on critical policy issues.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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