February 18, 2019
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GOP leaders speak at Lobby Lunch

The salon owners and independent stylists who recently spoke out against big changes to independent contractor law received praise from Republican legislative leaders Thursday at AWB’s Lobby Lunch.

House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox said the group, which recently came out in force to protest Senate Bill 5326, was an inspiration.

“I would say to all of you, let’s be more like the hair dressers,” Wilcox said Thursday. “They were not afraid of a fight. And boy are they learning what side they need to be on.”

Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, described the current legislative session as “a terrible attack on small business.” Becker, who has experience as a Realtor and administrator of medical clinics, highlighted one of several proposed tax increases that have been floated this year.

“The B&O tax increase is going to kill a lot of small businesses,” she said. “I hope that you all are out there, fighting this,” she said to business leaders in AWB’s conference room.

In December, Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a 67 percent increase in the B&O tax on service businesses, from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, addressed debate over the state’s tax system, which collects about $50 billion today, and the overall size of state government. Those are legitimate discussions, he said, but they should be separated.

“Every extra dollar that we spend on the spending side gives them an excuse, a pretext, to come to you all for an extra dollar on the tax and revenue side,” he said.

Olympia Business Watch blog covered last week’s Lobby Lunch.

AWB’s Lobby Lunch will continue throughout the 2019 legislative session at the AWB offices, located at 1414 Cherry Street SE in Olympia.

This week's speaker is Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal.

Lobby Lunch is open to current AWB members. The cost is $25. To register for an upcoming Lobby Lunch, contact Liv Johnson via email or at 360.943.1600. Registrations are due by 9 a.m. of the Tuesday before each Thursday event.

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Career-Connected Learning Works

How do you get there from here? Career Connect Washington

By Avista CEO Scott Morris and IBEW Local 77 Assistant Business Manager Mike Brown

It's sometimes hard to remember how hard the "What do you want to be when you grow up?" question is. The follow-up question is even harder: "How are you going to get there?"

We know that young people don't always have the answers, but they are curious and eager to explore their options. They want to learn about different careers and what mix of experience and classroom learning is needed to do those jobs. They are excited about their next steps, but also cautious about challenges like educational debt...

"Career-connected learning" is a broad term for programs that help students explore, prepare and start their careers. It helps kids get out of the classroom and try on different jobs and different industries, so when it's time to make big life decisions, they are better prepared to step up...

Career Connect Washington is a coalition of employers, unions, educators, state agencies and others who are trying to ensure that all students in the state have the chance to do career-connected learning.

Read the full guest column in The Spokesman-Review
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