December 7, 2015
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Capitol aglow after Secretary of State leads lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree

In a moving and festive ceremony Friday evening, Secretary of State Kim Wyman and AWB President Kris Johnson led the lighting of the 27th annual AWB Holiday Kids’ Tree in the state Capitol.

Firefighters from the Okanagan and their families pressed the button to light the tree, then Wyman led the hundreds of people in the Rotunda in a call for Santa and his elves to join them.

KING 5 television covered the event with a touching story about this holiday tribute to heroes.

Each year, AWB works with members and rural fire departments throughout the state to make Christmas happen in places where it wouldn’t otherwise. This project is known as the AWB Holiday Kids’ Tree and hundreds of AWB members and individuals contribute to the Holiday Kids’ Tree fund. Last year, members contributed $20,000 to the fund that helped families in need across the state during the holiday season – and donations this year topped $26,600!

Wyman and Johnson presented gifts and financial donations to rural fire districts to help bring some cheer to their holiday season.

To learn more about the project, follow this link.

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Becoming a Top Ten State

Opportunities begin here in Washington state

By AWB President Kris Johnson and Washington Roundtable President Steve Mullin

The central Puget Sound region and Washington have long been a center of global trade.

A look behind the numbers, however, reveals that many Washingtonians are falling behind. And far too many young people fail to get the education they need to succeed and compete for great jobs being created by Washington employers.
Click here to read the full op-ed from Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin
Investing in Jobs

Boeing incentives are good for WA

By Rob McKenna

We're not talking about tax giveaways here; they're incentives to keep incredibly valuable airplane manufacturing right here in Washington. Our state benefits enormously from Boeing's presence. Just ask governors and business leaders in other states -- they'd love to have even a fraction of Boeing's high-tech manufacturing jobs in their states.

That's why it's somewhat amusing to see the showy handwringing in Olympia recently about these incentives. The tax incentive package passed overwhelmingly in a special session in November 2013 precisely because most state leaders grasp that the economic activity Boeing produces, the high-paying jobs it provides, and the taxes it generates far outweigh the theoretical value of the tax incentives.

Simply put, the incentives are a good deal for the state of Washington -- no handwringing needed.
Click here to read the full blog post at Smarter Government Washington
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