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Monday, August 12

Key GOP senator proposes statewide listening tour in pursuit of transportation reforms and project list


Key GOP senator proposes statewide listening tour in pursuit of transportation reforms and project list
Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, has proposed a series of public meetings at Washington State Department of Transportation regional headquarters to jump-start the reforms and specific projects lists necessary for a successful statewide comprehensive transportation package (Olympian/tiered paywall). In a letter to WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson, King said he wants to “wipe the slate clean” and build on previous efforts to move forward with much-needed preservation and upgrades to the state’s transportation system. Although the DOT has yet to confirm the dates and times of the proposed meetings, AWB members are encouraged to participate, underscore the need for a transportation package and the need for reforms. Meanwhile, AWB government affairs director Mike Ennis is part of a legislative committee aiming to determine why transportation projects are so expensive and find solutions.

Columbia River Crossing might not be dead after all
Declared dead a month ago, the Columbia River Cross is quietly rising again as Oregon looks to move forward with a version of the bridge rejected by the Washington Legislature. Advocates, including AWB member company MacKay Sposito, are asking the governors of Washington and Oregon to push forward in any way they can with a bridge using previously allocated money from Oregon and the federal government.

AWB Institute kicks off Manufacturing Showcase with tour of Moses Lake factories, college

Maia Bellon, director of the state Department of Ecology, joined the AWB Institute’s tour of Moses Lake facilities last week during the inaugural Manufacturing Showcase. The group toured REC Silicon, Big Bend Community College, National Frozen Foods and Genie. They saw the first unit of Genie’s largest lift (the ZX180) come off the assembly line, and they watched testing of a 787 Dreamliner. “Our plan is to hold this event quarterly across the state to provide our manufacturing members a firsthand opportunity to see best practices, network with peers and better understand the dynamic impact manufacturers have on our state,” said Kris Johnson, AWB vice president, operations.

Rep. Dave Reichert joins bipartisan push for comprehensive immigration reform

AWB President Don Brunell joined other regional leaders last week in thanking U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, for his decision to buck his party’s leadership and stand up in support of much-needed comprehensive immigration reform. Reichert, a retired King County sheriff, said immigrants who came to America without authorization need to pay a fine or penalty but then should be able to become full American citizens. Reichert is the 22nd House Republican to join this move toward unified immigration reform.

Angel leads over Schlicher in primary with potential Senate balance of power implications

Republican Jan Angel is leading Democrat Nathan Schlicher by 10 points in the top two primary race for the state Senate seat representing the 26th district. A victory by Angel in the November election would add one Republican (News-Tribune/tiered subscription) to the conservative Majority Coalition Caucus that took power in the state Senate this year.

Hurry! Nominations for 2013 Manufacturing Excellence Awards are due Friday

Applications for AWB Institute’s 2013 Manufacturing Excellence Awards, sponsored by UPS, are due Friday. The awards honor Washington manufacturers that continue to innovate and improve the manufacturing design and production process while maximizing energy efficiency levels with a focus on sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.

Categories include:

  • Green Manufacturing Award
  • Operational Excellence Award
  • Innovation Award
  • Manufacturer of the Year Award

The awards will be presented Friday, Oct. 25 at the 2013 Manufacturing Summit: Manufacturing Matters NOW! Recipients will be featured in a video highlighting their accomplishments. The summit will be held at Cedarbrook Lodge at SeaTac. Download the nomination form here.

Plan now to attend AWB regional meetings in early September

Tell us what’s on your mind during AWB’s 2013 Regional Meetings, coming to a city near you next month. AWB’s regional meetings are a great place to network with AWB members from your area. The meetings are open to both AWB members and non-member businesses to learn about the association’s proposed updated to the 2013-2014 legislative priorities. Our government affairs staff will be on hand to answer questions and legislators from local districts will be invited. We want to hear your ideas about how to get our state’s economy back on track. The meeting schedule:

  • Southwest Wash. – Vancouver (Red Lion Quay, Gull’s Nest room, 100 Columbia St.) – Sept. 4, 8:30 -10:30 a.m.
  • Central Wash. – Kennewick (Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center, Bechtel Board Room, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Ste A) – Sept. 5, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Eastern Wash. – Spokane (Greater Spokane Inc., Suite 100, 801 W. Riverside) – Sept. 5, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
  • South Puget Sound – Federal Way (Marriott, Salon B & C, 31910 Gateway Center Blvd. S.) – Sept. 10, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • North Puget Sound – Everett (Holiday Inn, Oakes room, 3105 Pine St.) – Sept. 11, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Central Puget Sound – Bellevue (Puget Sound Energy, East Building, 1st floor auditorium, 355 110th Ave NE) – Sept. 12, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Please RSVP by Aug. 30 to Bonnie Millikan at 800.521.9325.

Newspaper asks, ‘Where's the “Working Washington” Inslee promised?’
After watching Gov. Jay Inslee during his first legislative session, The Daily News in Longview asks, “Where’s the ‘Working Washington’ Inslee promised?” The new governor “often over-reached and came away empty-handed,” the newspaper editorialized. His administration’s unprecedented all-encompassing review of proposed coal terminals looks like it will be a roadblock to any company with imports or exports in mind. The Washington Research Council’s Richard Davis sees the same danger, writing that Washington state’s persistent regulatory overreach puts thousands of family-wage jobs at risk.

Environment likely to play a prominent role in second Obama administration
Bolder pro-environmental attitudes are likely to be a prominent part of President Barack Obama’s second term, the Washington Post predicts in a report about Obama’s evolving policies on the environment. The president sees a focus on climate change and cutting carbon emissions as “a necessary part of his legacy,” said Gina McCarthy, Obama’s new head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia warns that the administration is part of a global “war on coal.”

Feds find way to fix glitch in health law for congressional staffers

Federal officials announced last week that they found a way to close a loophole in the Affordable Care Act that threatened to dramatically raise the cost of health care premiums for congressional staff members and their families. Under a proposed rule, the federal government will be allowed to continue subsidizing health care premiums for 11,000 lawmakers and staffers. Congressional approval of the rule is not needed, officials said, but the Heritage Foundation argued that the Obama administration lacked the authority to make the change. The fix is necessary because, beginning Jan. 1, members of Congress and their staff members will be required to purchase health insurance through a government exchange. Lawmakers began scrambling recently when they realized that existing premium subsidies might not continue under the exchanges. Members of Congress from both parties, fearing an exodus of their best staffers, began calling for a fix, prompting AWB President Don Brunell to ask, “What about the rest of us?”

Rep. DeBolt steps back into a leadership role after health scare
Former House Republican leader Richard DeBolt, who dramatically stepped down from his caucus leadership post in April due to health problems, has rejoined his party’s leadership team (Olympian/tiered subscription). DeBolt, R-Chehalis, will served as the ranking minority member of the House Capital Budget Committee. He’ll work with committee chair Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, on state construction budgets.

Report unveils unintended consequences of new Seattle paid sick leave law

A new report details the costs and unintended consequences of Seattle’s paid sick-leave law. A survey focused on restaurants finds that more than half of respondents said the new law would increase costs, with more than a quarter saying they will face a big increase. Fifteen percent of those surveyed have already raised prices to deal with the costs; 18 percent have cut hours and staffing levels for their works to reduce costs. Another 17 percent had to increase costs of current benefits or eliminate benefits they once offered.

U.S. House votes to REIN in excessive regulation
Any new regulation that costs the economy more than $100 million dollars would need congressional approval under a measure that has passed the U.S. House. The bill is symbolic, since the Democratic Senate and President Barack Obama oppose it, but the 232-183 vote to pass the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, or REINS Act, highlights the impact of 224 rules by the Obama administration with an impact of $100 million or more, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce writes.

Increase in federal tax revenue takes air out of push to reduce federal debt

Federal tax collections are up 14 percent, and that rising tide of revenue is reducing pressure to fix the nation’s long-term debt problems. The national deficit has topped $1 trillion for four straight years; this year it’s down to a still eye-popping $642 billion. One of the strongest voices for debt reduction, retired Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyoming, was in Seattle earlier this month to help push hesitant lawmakers in a more fiscally responsible direction.

Save the date for 2013 Manufacturing Summit - Friday, Oct. 25, Cedarbrook Lodge, SeaTac
Mark your calendars for the second annual AWB Manufacturing Summit. This 2013 summit sponsored by McGladrey includes our ninth-annual Manufacturing Excellence Awards, sponsored by UPS. Sessions include:

  • “Developing Local Relationships That Build Your Workforce,” panel moderated by Gary Chandler, AWB vice president, government affairs.
  • “Manufacturing Challenges and Opportunities in Washington,” panel moderated Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
  • McGladrey 2013 Monitor Results, presented by Wendy Sancewich, CPA, CFE, National Manufacturing Team Director, McGladrey.
  • Awards Luncheon sponsored by The Boeing Company.

Registration opens Sept. 3. Contact Anne Haller at 800.521.9325 for more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

‘Morning Joe’ duo, Time magazine’s economy editor to headline Fall Policy Summit

Have you registered for Policy Summit? AWB’s 24th annual Policy Summit, sponsored by AT&T, is a little more than a month away. This year’s line-up features a powerful slate of speakers addressing national politics and economic issues. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” team of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will keynote the dinner. Other featured speakers include:

  • Rana Foroohar, Time Magazine columnist and economy editor.
  • A CEO panel featuring Scott Morris, chairman of the board, president and CEO, Avista Corporation, Spokane, and Colin Moseley, chairman, Green Diamond Resource Company, and Ezra Eckhardt, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sterling Bank.
  • Health Care at a Crossroad … What’s Next? featuring Don Conant, an active AWB member and a member of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board; Jeff Rowe, executive vice president, Premera Blue Cross of Washington; Dr. Lee A. Antles, MD, West Olympia Internal Medicine; and Hadley Heath, a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum and an expert on the Affordable Care Act
  • Skills Gap Threatens Washington’s Economy: What’s the Solution? Panel of educators and business leaders moderated by Doug Bayne, Walla Walla Community College Foundation. Panelists include Lee Huntsman, University of Washington President Emeritus; Gerald Pumphrey, South Puget Sound Community College President, Retired (invited); and Brian Benzel, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Whitworth University.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee will address attendees at lunch on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Policy Summit will be held Sept. 17-19 at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. Register online and go here for Suncadia room reservations. Follow Policy Summit on Twitter at @AWBSummit or by searching the hashtag #awbsummit13.

Policy Summit debuts new mobile app

A few sponsorships are still available for AWB’s new Policy Summit mobile app. Later this month, attendees can download the new app onto smartphones, providing digital access to all of the summit materials, including event updates, social media integration, and the power to connect directly with speakers and guests. Email Anne Haller, AWB’s director of member relations and events, or contact her by phone at 360.943.1600 for complete sponsor details.

Annual golf tournament set for Rope Rider Golf Course Sept. 17

The AWB Institute is excited to host this year’s fundraising golf tournament, sponsored by Altria, for Washington Business Week — an educational program that offers students a chance to experience simulated career challenges in a general business setting or in the career-focused pathways of health care, energy, manufacturing and agriculture. The shotgun start at Rope Rider Golf Course is 10:30 a.m. sharp on Tuesday, Sept. 17, during AWB’s Policy Summit. Golfers will enjoy playing on this Jacobsen Hardy Design course, one of the nation's most respected course architecture firms. Golfers will check in at Inn at Suncadia/Prospector Golf Course to warm up on the driving range and participate in the putting contest. Registration is $140. Golf sponsorships are available here.

Don Brunell Scholarships Applications Now Being Accepted

Washington Business Week has “a magical quality that transforms lives,” AWB President Don Brunell recently wrote. To help spread the opportunity for Business Week’s transformative power, the AWB Institute is now accepting applications for the 2013 Don Brunell Scholarship for Future Business Leaders. AWB members with children or grandchildren are encouraged to apply. The scholarship is targeted to undergraduate, graduate, or career/vocational students currently pursuing or who intend to pursue a course of education that will lead to a degree or certification in business. Recipients may receive up to $2,000. Details and an application packet are online, or contact the scholarship administrator, Mike Hudson, at The deadline for submitting applications is Oct. 31.

Conducting Effective Pre-Hire Interviews That Bring Results, Sept. 10From the top executive to front-line employees, having the right people on your team is the key to executing any business strategy. The company with the most talented team wins — period. The pre-employment interview is crucial to understanding a candidate’s history and potential. Learn how you can effectively choose and ask clear and probing questions that lead to the right hire. Jenifer Lambert, vice president of TERRA Staffing Group, will lead a webinar with “tricks of the trade” to help you significantly improve your odds of selecting top performers that will provide your company a real competitive advantage. This session is geared toward any manager that has responsibility for hiring and will cover:

  • Avoiding potential legal landmines during the pre-hire process
  • Classic hiring mistakes that all managers make and how to avoid them
  • An “ESP” process that will help you get beyond “interview answers” to the truth
  • Strategies for gathering references that lead to more effective hires
  • The three questions you must be have clear answers to before hiring anyone

Lambert’s lessons comes from more than 20 years in the recruiting and staffing industry helping clients across diverse industries hire more effectively. This Sept. 10 webinar runs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The cost for AWB members is $49 and for non-members is $69. Contact Jennifer Davis at 800.521.9325 for more information.

AWB offers simple 401(k) plan for members

Members can take advantage of an exciting retirement program – MyFuture 401(k) – an easier, more cost-effective plan for your company. Each adopting employer retains control of the vesting, eligibility requirements, matching contributions, profit sharing, and general plan design while decreasing the administrative burden and fiduciary liability. On-site education and enrollment services are provided to your employees by Integrity Financial, a local investment advisor, along with institutional grade investment options and professionally managed risk-based portfolios. For more information, please contact AWB at 1.800.521.9325 or visit


“It’s kind of like what we said about education. You can’t keep putting money into the same programs and expect the same result.” ~ Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, on road construction costs and the need for transportation reforms.

This Week's President's Perspective: Political Courage and a President’s Legacy

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