Fast Facts

Monday, June 10

Senate holds firm on reform as deadline looms; House backs off on some business taxes; emergency appointment fills Senate seat

Senate passes new budget plan Saturday, holds firm on calls for reform
The state Senate approved a new operating budget over the weekend, shortly after the House approved one of its own. But with time running out in the special session, it’s unlikely that lawmakers from both chambers will reconcile their spending plans before midnight Tuesday. The new Senate budget includes some concessions on revenue — the Majority Coalition Caucus agreed to end a tax break for residential phone services and make nonresidents apply for sales tax refunds — but only if the Democrat-controlled House agrees to pass important policy reform bills, including workers’ compensation legislation (Engrossed Senate Bill 5127) that AWB has advocated. The Senate also wants the House to cap non-educational state spending, give principals veto power over teachers assigned to their schools, and approve a payday loan bill. The Senate approved a referendum measure on the education spending bill that would give voters the final say in November.

House backs off some business taxes, keeps others in its sights
State House lawmakers blinked first in their standoff with Republicans, approving a revised operating budget Friday that drops some of the proposed tax hikes targeting employers. Democrats — including Gov. Jay Inslee— called House Bill 1057 and a separate measure (House Bill 2034) that eliminates or changes seven tax preferences a major step toward compromise with the Republican-controlled Senate, but Senate leaders didn’t greet it with enthusiasm. Dropping the plan to extend the so-called temporary B&O tax on employers is a move in the right direction, but the House budget still needlessly raises taxes on employers, including bottled water companies, travel agents, prescription drug resellers, fuel companies and high-tech employers.

Senate approves workers’ comp bill, keeping spotlight on employer taxes
The state Senate approved Engrossed Senate Bill 5127 yesterday, with leaders from the Majority Coalition Caucus saying once again that workers’ compensation reform is a key element in behind-the-scenes budget negotiations. Labor leaders continue to oppose the bill, but Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, and Kris Tefft, AWB’s general counsel and government affairs director, explain why it’s needed in this news article, saying that without reform Washington employers will face $200 million surcharges each year for the next 10 years in order to make up a $2.2 billion shortfall in the state’s workers’ comp system.

Radio ad highlights need for jobs, not higher taxes
A new radio ad from Recover Washington and AWB calls on voters to contact their legislators and tell them Washington needs more jobs, not more taxes. The ad, which is playing on radio stations in the Puget Sound region, calls attention to House Democrats’ proposal to increase taxes on manufacturers and high-tech employers, as well as satellite TV services, and it makes the connection between higher business taxes and lower employment. Listen to the ad here. And then contact your legislator today: 800.562.6000.

Should I-5 bridge repair serve as model for other transportation projects?
The collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River didn’t just raise public awareness of Washington’s transportation infrastructure: It also called attention to the regulatory delays that accompany most projects. The I-5 bridge repair is moving quickly — a temporary bridge is on track to open next week — fueling interest among lawmakers to construct all highway projects with similar speed, the Everett Herald reports. Meanwhile, as work continues on the I-5 bridge repair, lawmakers made little visible progress over the weekend on a possible transportation revenue package.

Carrell honored as statesman during Senate memorial
Lawmakers and friends saluted the late Sen. Mike Carrell this morning with a tribute resolution and a memorialservice (TVW video) in the Senate chamber. Gov. Jay Inslee saluted what he called Carrell’s twin legacies: his career as a public school science teacher and his “gracious” work as a legislator who could craft bipartisan legislation on complicated topics such as protection for vulnerable runaway teens. Carrell, a Republican, garnered more bipartisan praise from Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, who called him a statesman who relied on science and data to craft legislation. Carrell’s friend and newly appointed successor, Sen. Steve O’Ban, said, “A great life like the one Mike lived leaves a great hole. Great lives also remind us that our lives have tremendous meaning, tremendous significance.”

Senate back to full strength, and tiny Republican-dominated majority, after emergency
appointment
Former state Rep. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, was sworn into the Senate on Wednesday, one week after the death of his mentor and friend, Sen. Mike Carrell. The Pierce County Council narrowly chose O’Ban over former county Councilman Dick Muri, who had been the top choice of Pierce County Republican precinct committee officers. Carrell’s widow pushed for O’Ban, a lawyer who was in his first term in the House.

PRIORITY LEGISLATION
Don’t saddle employers with an unfair tax — ask your legislator to support HB
1958/SB 5808
As lawmakers spend the final days of the legislative session trying to strike a budget deal, the state Department of Revenue is preparing to implement a tax increase stemming from a Washington Supreme Court decision regarding temporary staffing agencies. While the court ruling clarifies the temporary staffing taxation, it also resulted in differing interpretations of the requirements needed in order to qualify for exclusion from the state’s B&O tax on payroll reimbursements made within an affiliated company. Unless lawmakers approve House Bill 1958 or Senate Bill 5808, employers will be forced to pay an unfair tax — one that no other state levies — on intercompany transactions. Contact your legislators and ask for their support of HB 1958 and SB 5808. For more information, contact AWB’s Amber Carter.

OTHER NEWS
State hires climate consultants to address greenhouse gas emissions
A legislative working group headed by Gov. Jay Inslee agreed last week to hire a Virginia-based climate consulting firm to help Washington officials develop plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, The News Tribune reported (tiered subscription). The Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup voted unanimously to select Science Applications International Corp. of McLean. Va. to receive the $350,000 contract.

Utah company plans to bring 400 new jobs to Spokane area
Vivint Inc., a home security, energy management and home automation company based in Provo, Utah, announced last week that it plans to open an office in Liberty Lake this summer. The company will lease approximately 25,000 square feet of space and plans to employ 400 sales professionals. The company wasrecruited to the area by Greater Spokane Incorporated, which contacted Vivint in the fall of 2012 after identifying it as an ideal prospect for the Spokane region.

AWB Institute studying effectiveness of training employees by distance learning
The AWB Institute is working with the state’s Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board and the community college system to determine the effectiveness of training employees in the workplace using distance learning techniques and technology. If you have had experience training employees by distance learning or would like to learn more about it, please contact the Institute’s Mike Hudson at mikeh@awb.org or by phone at 360.943.1600.

AWB EVENTS & RESOURCES
Accident Prevention Plan webinar set for June 20
An accident prevention plan is a key element in any organization’s safety and health program. In fact, failure to have one can be one of the fastest ways to receive a citation, whether from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration or state jurisdictions. This one-hour webinar is designed for anyone who is responsible for safety and health within a workplace, including risk assessment managers, safety and health directors, personnel or committee members, and human resources department personnel. Topics will include: Developing an accident prevention plan; job hazard analysis; training on the plan; accident investigations; and ongoing review of the plan. Presenters are Bob Battles, and Chrystina Solum, from the law firm Eisenhower Carlson. Join us Thursday, June 20 from 9-10 a.m. Register online. Members: $35. For more information, contact AWB’s Karlee Glasgow.

At the Speed of Now: Crisis Communications in a 24/7 World webinar July 9
Between the 24/7 news cycle and the abundance of social media avenues, there has never been a more important time to review your company’s strategy for dealing with the unexpected. When and how should you respond to a reporter’s questions? What should you do when a television crew shows up at your facility? Find out answers to these questions and more during a July 9 webinar featuring strategic communication veterans Randy Pepple and Jennifer West. Members: $49. Non-members: $79. Register now. For more information, contact AWB’s Karlee Glasgow.

AWB’s Human Resources Forum will address the impending “talent war” July 16
As the unemployment rate drops, many of your employees will be looking to make a move. A recent survey by FPC, a national executive search firm, found that 88 percent of employees across all industries and all job levels are planning to look for a new job as the market improves. What can you do to retain your current stars as well as attract the best and brightest to your business? Join AWB and special guests for a high-energy discussion on creating a better workplace through innovative initiatives, creative benefits and cultural shifts. Learn from award winning companies as they share their success stories (and challenges) in transforming their workplace environment. HR continuing education credits have been applied for.

Presenters include:
· Top Threats Facing Employers Today, Reid Bates, franchise owner, Express Employment Professionals
· Your People Are Your Brand, Where Science and Comedy Meet to Increase Employee Engagement and Performance: Ken Grant, president, Motivated Branding and Dr. Patrick Hopp, senior consultant, Leadership Development Worldwide
· Ingredients For an Innovative Workplace: Panel of past AWB Better Workplace Awards for Innovation moderated by Ken Grant
· Implementing Innovative Initiatives Successfully, Real World Experience in Making Significant Cultural Changes: Delta Emerson, executive vice president and chief of staff, Ryan, LLC.

The forum is from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 16 at the Seattle Airport Marriott. There is a limited group room block at the Seattle Airport Marriott so make your reservation early; call 800.228.9290. Questions contact Karlee Glasgow, 800.521.9325, or register here.

‘Morning Joe’ duo and Time magazine’s economy editor to headline Fall Policy Summit
The line-up for AWB’s 24th annual Policy Summit in September will feature a powerful lineup of speakers addressing national politics and economic issues. MSNBC’s morning show team of Joe Scarborough andMika Brzezinski will speak at the keynote dinner. We will also hear from:

· 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, Seattle.
· A health care panel 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; and Hadley Heath, a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women's Forum and an expert on the Affordable Care Act

The Policy Summit will be held Sept. 17-19 at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. Sponsorships for the new Policy Summit App are now available. Details here or contact Anne Haller, AWB’s director of member relations and events, at 360.943.1600 or AnneH@awb.org. Registration opens soon. Go here for Suncadia room reservations.

Annual golf tournament set for Rope Rider Golf Course Sept. 17
AWB Institute is excited to be hosting the annual fundraising tournament 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 tee time at Rope Rider Golf Course is 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, during AWB’s Policy Summit. Golfers will enjoy playing on this spectacular course designed by Jacobsen Hardy Design, one of the nation's most respected course architecture firms. Registration is $140 and opens online June 10. Golf sponsorships are available here.

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 visithttp://www.awbmyfuture401k.com/.

THEY SAID IT
“I come from a different planet. It's called the Senate.” ~ Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, speaking at a Wednesday press conference with House Democrats announcing they are seeking half of the tax increases they initially hoped for a month ago.

This Week's President's Perspective: Preserve and Expand Washington’s Traditional Manufacturing Jobs

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