February 4, 2019
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New location and format helps employers 'be heard' at Legislative Day and Hill Climb



Washington employers converged on the Capitol in Olympia Tuesday to tell their story directly to state lawmakers at AWB’s 2019 Legislative Day and Hill Climb.

Topics ranged from budget and taxes to rural jobs, better broadband, smart transportation investments and more.

The context is critical. State government has record tax collections of about $50 billion, thanks to a growing economy. Despite the growing budget, the governor and many lawmakers are proposing new and higher taxes.

The top leaders from both sides of the aisle took part in Legislative Day. Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane; Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, D-Seattle; Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville; and, House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, were among the many legislative leaders to take part in Legislative Day.

Breakout lunchtime sessions covered transportation, workplace law and the budget.

Dozens of lawmakers opened their offices to AWB members for the Hill Climb portion of the day. And the evening's legislative reception was held for the first time in the elegant Capitol rotunda.

Olympia Business Watch has a full report.



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Bridging the divide between Washington state and D.C.

By AWB President Kris Johnson

On a map, the distance from our Washington to the "other" Washington looks so far away. But, policies being made and debated there hit us here in Washington state.

Take trade policies, for example.

As one of the most trade-driven states in the nation, what happens with trade agreements has a direct impact on Washington state's economy.

A recent report found that Washington farmers and other export-dependent producers saw their foreign sales drop by as much as 28 percent during the six months after the United States began imposing tariffs on trading partners.

That's one reason why the Association of Washington Business and its members have become more engaged than ever on the national front. In fact, AWB staff and 25 business owners and leaders recently returned from the association's fifth D.C. Fly-in...

Read the full guest column in The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
Hydropower Is Crucial


The Snake River dams fill a power gap. Lawmakers need to know that

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

Saying we don't need the four lower Snake River dams because they generate just a small percentage of the region's electricity is a bit like saying the Seattle Mariners don't need relief pitchers who are in the game for only an inning or two.

The dams, like a closing pitcher, are needed for their reliability and to fill in during critical times.

As lawmakers consider Gov. Jay Inslee's proposal to make Washington 100 percent carbon free, we hope they grasp the role hydropower plays in providing clean, renewable, low-cost power to the region

We also hope they come to understand the essential role the Snake River dams play in the power-generating system...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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