April 1, 2019
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Nikki Haley, former U.N. ambassador, to give keynote address at Spring Meeting



AWB is proud to welcome Nikki Haley, America's 29th permanent representative to the United Nations, as the keynote speaker at the 2019 AWB Spring Meeting at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane. Haley's keynote address will cap a day of speakers touching on the latest political and business news in Washington, the nation and the world.

Haley served as the United States permanent representative to the United Nations from 2017 through 2019. She was also a member of the Cabinet and the National Security Council.

At the United Nations, Ambassador Haley worked to ensure that the American people saw value for their investment, introducing reforms to make the organization more efficient, transparent, and accountable. In a two-year period, she negotiated over $1.3 billion in savings, including rightsizing U.N. peacekeeping missions to make them more effective and targeted, while improving their ability to protect civilians.

As U.N. Ambassador, Haley championed human rights, challenging human rights violators across the globe, standing up to oppressive regimes in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and Russia. During the U.S. presidency of the U.N. Security Council, she hosted the first-ever session devoted solely to promoting human rights. She traveled the world visiting people oppressed by their own governments to see firsthand the challenges they face and to work with them directly on life-improving solutions — from Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey, to internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, and Venezuelan migrants walking miles every day to cross the Colombian border for food and medicine.

Prior to her service in the United Nations, Haley was elected in 2010 as the first female and first minority governor of South Carolina. Reelected in 2014, she served as Governor until confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations in January of 2017.

Under Governor Haley’s leadership, South Carolina was a national leader in economic development. Known as the “Beast of the Southeast,” South Carolina’s unemployment rate hit a 15-year low, saw over $20 billion in new capital investment, and her administration announced new jobs in every county in the state, over 85,000 total.

Haley also ushered in the state's largest education reform in decades — making education funding more equitable for schools in the state's poorest communities, prioritizing reading in early grades, and equipping classrooms with the latest technology.

Born in Bamberg, South Carolina, she is the daughter of Indian immigrants and a proud graduate of Clemson University. In her first job, Haley kept the books for her family's clothing store — at the age of 13.

Haley and her husband, Michael, a major in the South Carolina Army National Guard and combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan's Helmand Province, have two children, Rena, 20, and Nalin, 17.

After leaving public service for the private sector, she recently founded an organization called Stand for America, closing an introductory blog post on the site with these words: "Even though I have entered private life, I will never stop standing up for America’s freedom and values. We all have a part to play in keeping our country safe, strong, and prosperous."

In February, Boeing announced that Haley was joining the company's Board of Directors.

“Ambassador Haley brings to Boeing an outstanding record of achievement in government, industry partnership, and successfully driving economic prosperity for communities in America and around the world,” said Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg. Boeing has helped sponsor Haley's appearance at Spring Meeting, and a representative of the company will be joining her on stage for part of her presentation.

Follow Haley on Twitter @NikkiHaley.

For more on Spring Meeting and to register, visit AWB's website.



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Spring Meeting
A Better Way Forward


Four reforms to rein in state spending, avoid higher taxes

By Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn

Last week, House Democrats unveiled their $53 billion state operating budget proposal for the upcoming 2019-21 biennium. Unsurprisingly, their budget dramatically increases state spending -- funded by new taxes on businesses, home sales and capital income -- proving yet again that it's easy to spend money that isn't yours.

All told, their proposal grows spending by more than $8.5 billion beyond current levels. For context, when I was first elected in 2014, the state budget spent $33.7 billion. Between economic growth and new taxes, state revenue will have increased by about 57 percent in five years.

Has your salary grown by 57 percent since 2014? Probably not, as average annual wage growth is hovering below 4 percent.

Structural issues are largely responsible for this alarming rate of budget growth. Each year, lawmakers enact all sorts of new programs and services, predicated on promises of long-term savings and improved social and health outcomes. Once enacted, these programs are almost always automatically funded in subsequent years, with virtually no oversight or review by the Legislature.

The result: spending persistently outpaces revenue, enabling our most essential services to be held hostage in exchange for new taxes.

There is a better way...

Read the full guest editorial in The Seattle Times
Facts From the Tri-Cities


Salmon and dams can coexist

By Kennewick May Don Britain; Pasco Mayor Matt Wakins; Richland Mayor Robert Thompson; and West Richland Mayor Brent Gerry

For more than 20 years. there has been an ongoing debate about the impact of the four Snake River dams on the Pacific Northwest's salmon population. Since the 1970s, billions of dollars have been spent to upgrade the dams and to improve salmon habitat.

The results? According to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the average number of returning salmon and steelhead are more than double what they were when counts first began when the Bonneville Dam started operations in 1938. Despite this clear evidence that dams and fish can coexist, the debate continues.

More recently, the struggles of the southern resident orca population have further stoked the debate. No one disagrees that the health and future of the orca population must be preserved. However, the numbers clearly show that removing the dams will not save the orcas...

Ironically, at the same time there is a push for the Washington state Legislature to fund this study on the impacts of removing the dams, there are also several bills to push for carbon reduction. If the goal in Washington is to reduce carbon, the existing clean hydropower resources play an essential role in keeping our air clean. These dams generate some of the cheapest, most reliable, carbon-free electricity in the Pacific Northwest...

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times
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