January 15, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note

HB 2177: Rural job training

AWB joined Sierra Pacific Industries and the timber management company Green Crow in testifying in support of House Bill 2177 last week before the House Higher Education Committee. The bipartisan bill would create a program to pay student tuition and fees for up to 45 credits at a community or technical college located in a rural county in relevant fields to fill open jobs.

AWB Government Affairs Director Amy Anderson showed committee members a photo book chronicling AWB's Manufacturing Week bus tour last fall. Anderson said the cross-state trip, as well as two recent AWB Rural Jobs Summits, highlighted the needs of rural areas for a well-trained workforce to support rural economies.

The Columbia Basin Herald reported on the bill and employer support.

Testimony by Sierra Pacific, Green Grow and Anderson are available on TVW. Contact Anderson at 360.943.1600 for more information on workforce training and education.

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Fix Hirst, Support Manufacturers

Support rural Washington

By The Wenatchee World Editorial Board

The Puget Sound region's economy is booming. But across the state, the post-recession economic recovery has been uneven. Much of rural Washington is still struggling, with higher rates of unemployment and comparatively modest economic gains.

Fixing Hirst and delivering tax relief to manufacturers will help expand our state's prosperity to rural counties.

Read the full editorial in The Wenatchee World
Costly and Unnecessary

No sense in carbon tax

By The (Longview) Daily News Editorial Board

Gov. Inslee is urging legislators to pass a $20 per ton carbon tax during the current legislative session. We urge you to call your local legislators and tell them to vote "no" on carbon tax legislation.

If passed, money raised from a carbon tax reportedly would fund schools; provide incentives for renewable energy, such as solar energy; be applied to research for new clean technologies; manage storm water runoff; help prevent forest fires; and more.

While all of these issues are worthwhile, the effects of a carbon tax on citizens and businesses far outweighs the benefits, which is why we don't support the tax.

The governor's staff indicated a carbon tax likely will increase power rates 4 percent to 5 percent for electricity, 9 percent to 11 percent for natural gas and 6 percent to 9 percent for gasoline.

If a carbon tax law is passed, utilities such as the Cowlitz PUD, will be negatively impacted and we believe the power rate increases would be pushed much higher than the governor's staff estimates. Citizens and businesses can't afford those types of increases...

Read the full editorial in The Daily News
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