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Monday, June 9

AWB leading delegation to D.C. to support Export-Import Bank

AWB leading delegation to D.C. to support Export-Import Bank

A delegation from AWB is visiting Washington, D.C. this week to explain to members of Congress the importance of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. This nearly century-old bank helps ensure payment for exports, and last year turned a profit of $1 billion back to the U.S. Treasury. It has supported 180 Washington exporters since 2007, from small manufacturers to exporters of hay and wine. We have a fact sheet with more information and an easy tool to contact your congressional representatives about this important issue. Representatives from AWB member companies including Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, Janicki Industries and Manhasset Specialty Company have joined AWB President Kris Johnson on the trip. Follow them on social media with the hashtags #AWBinDC and #exim4jobs.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former top commander in Afghanistan, to headline Policy Summit

Retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who led American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan during a 34-year military career, will headline the 25th annual AWB Policy Summit this fall. McChrystal, a former Green Beret, is known for his candor and innovative leadership. He'll bring insights from his remarkable career, offering field-tested leadership lessons that concentrate on openness, teamwork and forward-thinking. (Watch McChrystal deliver a TED talk on leadership.) Register now to attend the silver anniversary of Washington’s premier public policy event Sept. 16-18 at the beautiful Suncadia Resort, and contact Anne Haller to find out how to become an event sponsor. #awbsummit14

Whistleblower judge to break her silence during legislative hearing
Patricia Petersen, the longtime judge who revealed that Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's second-in-command said her job would be in danger if she issues rulings in Kreidler's favor, will break her public silence next Monday. Petersen will testify June 16 about judicial independence during a work session of the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Committee Chair Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane, has requested a full report from Kreidler's office, saying Petersen's allegations are "extremely disturbing." In another twist, Petersen revealed that she was the person who sent, via Office Depot, a copy of her whistleblower case to an attorney involved with the case. Petersen said it was accidental as she was reaching out to possible lawyers who could defend her in the case. She is now represented by former legislator and state Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge.

Cost estimates and concerns emerge about proposed carbon regulations
The EPA's proposed carbon reduction rules would be costly. The United Mine Workers estimated a loss of 75,000 direct jobs by 2020 and double that by 2035. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also analyzed the impacts and found some serious costs to consider: nearly half a trillion dollars in compliance costs, $100 billion lost from GDP, higher electrical costs for consumers, and more than $200 taken from average families each year. The Washington Research Council summarizes the early reaction to the proposed regulations: lost jobs, higher costs, more uncertainty.

Push for $15 minimum wage spreads as Seattle business group pushes for $12.50 instead
A business group, Forward Seattle, has filed for a city ballot measure to increase Seattle's minimum wage to $12.50, rather than the $15 per hour approved by the City Council last week. Likewise, initiative promoter Tim Eyman announced plans for an initiative that would require the state's minimum wage to be uniform and consistent throughout the state. Meanwhile, Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Kenmore, is pushing for a $12 statewide minimum wage coupled with unspecified tax reforms for small businesses. This comes as emboldened activists push to spread a $15 minimum wage to Bellevue, Olympia, Bellingham, Spokane and beyond. Even some supporters are skeptical, however, and the mayor of Kent hopes to land employers forced out of Seattle by the minimum wage hike. In the New York Times, the nation's former chief labor economist warns that a big minimum wage boost hurts workers in the long run.

RSVP early for joint meeting of Education & Workforce Training, Tax & Fiscal Policy committees

With just over a week until the joint AWB committee meeting at the Microsoft campus, it's time to RSVP. Lawmakers will brief members of the AWB committees on education, workforce training, tax and fiscal on June 17 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Microsoft campus. The topic is the levy swap proposal, one idea to help fund the Supreme Court's basic education funding ruling. Your participation is important in the discussion. In order to accommodate Microsoft’s security procedures, an RSVP is required. Please contact Connie Grande at 360.943.1600 if you plan to attend. There will also be a secured phone line available for this meeting. For more on the agenda and policy issues, contact Sheri Nelson.

Washington ranks 10th in nation on gas tax, but the backstory is important

Washington state ranks 10th in the nation for gas tax, with 37.5 cents per gallon collected in state taxes, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation. California topped the nation at 52.9 cents per gallon. While 37.5 cents may appear high, Washington state does not subsidize the transportation budget with general fund money, as some other states do. The state also has to share the revenue with other entities: 11.95 cents is distributed to local governments, which means the state only retains 25.55 cents for the transportation budget.

Wyoming governor visits Longview site of Millennium terminal
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead
spent two days in Longview last week in support of the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals' $643 million export facility. When completed, the terminal would employ 135 workers, but construction is on hold as the state enters an unprecedented, years-long global environmental review. The facility could export 44 million tons of coal a year — up to 10 percent of Wyoming's output — to Asia, and would also export lumber, gypsum and other materials, Mead told The Longview Daily News. And with China hungry for coal, he said, the choice is whether it uses cleaner Wyoming coal mined under strict environmental rules or turn to other potential Asian suppliers with dirtier coal and mining practices, Mead said.

HR credits available at upcoming HR Forum in Seattle on July 10

Hundreds of millions of employers and workers connect online using LinkedIn, and you can hear from LinkedIn’s enterprise manager for talent solutions, Michelle Cowden, at AWB’s Human Resources Forum July 10 in Seattle. She’ll be joined by other experts with practical ideas about recruiting, retaining and managing your employees. “Strategies for Securing Your Competitive Advantage,” will kick off with an interactive “LinkedIn” breakfast and Employment Law Update with Bob Battles, AWB’s general counsel and government affairs director for employment law. This program has also been approved for 4.50 (HR General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

Participatory sessions include:

  • “Go Social or Go Home” — LinkedIn’s Michelle Cowden, Enterprise Account Manager, Talent Solutions will explain how to keep up with HR trends and challenges using social media tools.
  • “Your Survival Guide to Generational Communications in the Workplace” — With four distinct generations now actively participating in the workplace, it doesn't always go smoothly! Learn tested coping strategies from a seasoned HR professional Michael Lee, Seattle franchise owner, Express Professionals.
  • Ryan, Swanson, & Cleveland’s Susan Fox, Gulliver Swenson and Kristin Meier will shine the light on opposing views in real-life legal cases. “How the simple act of hiring spawned two lawsuits and derailed a company’s strategy to secure a competitive advantage” in Employment Law Court.

The forum will run from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle. Learn more and register here. Send two or more staff and receive a discount. Sponsorships still available, contact Follow the event online at with the hashtag #HRforum.

Director of state's Department of Financial Institutions to speak at Equity Crowdfunding Summit
A new law this year, HB 2023, allows “equity crowdfunding” — which is a bit like Kickstarter, but with donors actually becoming investors who receive a small piece of the company. AWB is co-sponsoring the 2014 Equity Crowdfunding Summit to learn more about this new law. Our panel will include Joe Wallin, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, who wrote a good summary of the new law. The panel will also include the prime sponsor of HB 2023, state Rep. Cyrus Habib, D-Bellevue. They will be joined by two top administrators from the Securities Division of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Director Bill Beatty and Chief of Registration Faith Anderson. High-tech lobbyist Lewis McMurran will round out the panel. The summit will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, June 26 in “The Grove” building at North Seattle College. For more information and to register, visit

Deadline approaching for Leadership Washington, AWB’s newest statewide program
With an eye on the silver tsunami of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce, AWB is helping prepare the next wave of business leadership. This is the inaugural year of Leadership Washington, the AWB Institute’s new statewide leadership development program. Over nine months, young leaders will travel the state for a series of training and networking events focusing on the different industry sectors and political landscapes of Washington. Graduates from the program will be strong, articulate, informed leaders who will help Washington move forward in a globally competitive economy. Contact Amy Johnson for information on this exciting and valuable new opportunity. Applications for the program are due June 15.

We need to hear your manufacturing story — please join the AWB Institute’s statewide listening tour

The AWB Institute will visit Mount Vernon, Everett and Federal Way this Thursday as we continue our statewide Manufacturing Listening Sessions. We need your participation as we gather ideas on how to support the economic climate in Washington. We want to hear your ideas on how to address the economic, regulatory and workforce challenges Washington manufacturers face. The information will go into a follow-up to the 2012 report, Challenges & Opportunities for Manufacturers in Washington state. A full list of upcoming listening sessions is online. Contact the AWB Institute’s Amy Johnson to attend a listening session near you.


“You cannot just shut down coal units and expect for the grid to continue to operate.” ~ Kimberly Harris, president and CEO of Puget Sound Energy.

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