March 13, 2017
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Top Stories

Legislature passes bill to push back 'levy cliff'

The Senate and House voted overwhelmingly last week on a one-year delay for the so-called "levy cliff." The bill delays a scheduled reduction in the property taxing authority of local school districts. With the pressure of that looming deadline pushed back, lawmakers now turn to the bigger job -- complying with the McCleary education funding court ruling.

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Continuing education credit available for HR professionals at AWB Workforce Summit

Human resources professionals can earn continuing education credits at AWB's upcoming Workforce Summit in Seattle. This March 22 event includes thought leaders and experts discussing how to bring together different generations in the workplace so everyone can benefit. This event is perfect for employers, business leaders and human resources professionals looking to plan ahead for workforce needs and learn how to harness the opportunities presented by a multi-generational workforce.

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Sen. Mark Mullet discusses McCleary plan during AWB webinar

AWB's education funding webinar series continued last week as Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, discussed the McCleary plan that he and other centrist Democrats have put forward. This is the fourth major McCleary plan on the table during this session.

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New video highlights how proposed capital gains taxes would hurt small-business owners

Spokane restaurateur Dave Hooke, founder of Senor Froggy in Spokane, stars in a new commercial explaining how a proposed state capital gains tax would take away the retirement funds that he and his wife poured into their restaurant for 37 years.

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New AWB Institute report highlights how crucial small businesses are in Washington

The AWB Institute has released its latest report -- a look at the vital role small businesses play in Washington's economy and communities. The report pulls together information from employers who came to last year's 15-town AWB Institute Small Business Outreach tour. State lawmakers will receive a copy of the report, which is also available online.

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Governor's budget director says lawmakers are making progress, but won't finish on time

AWB heard from Gov. Jay Inslee's top budget liaison at last week's Lobby Lunch. David Schumacher discussed the different McCleary education funding plans, mental health care, and gave his estimation of whether this legislative session would end on time (spoiler alert: he's not optimistic about going home by April 23).

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Legislation of Note

Tax increase measures fail to secure support in the Senate

Last week was the deadline for bills to pass out of their houses of origin. The Senate held a lengthy debate on income tax proposals, including a capital gains tax. A measure that would prohibit income taxes in Washington couldn't muster the two-third vote necessary. However, a motion that would have moved forward a capital gains tax proposal in Washington also didn't move forward.

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HB 1646: Carbon tax

A diverse slate of employers will testify Tuesday in opposition to the proposed carbon tax in House Bill 1646. While this bill does not have the votes to move out of the House, carbon tax supporters are using the bill to hone their messaging in advance of a presumed 2018 ballot initiative.

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HB 1130: Making the customized training program permanent

AWB will support House Bill 1130 on Tuesday when it comes up for public hearing in the Senate Higher Education Committee. This bill builds on 10 successful years of the state's Customized Job Training program, which has helped train 2,175 people to work at employers across the state.

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HB 1352 and SB 5230: Directing the attorney general's office to review auditing process and regulations on small businesses

Two AWB-supported bills that would bring some relief to small businesses are moving forward in the Legislature. House Bill 1352 and Senate Bill 5230 would direct the state attorney general's office to review state agency auditing processes and regulations on small businesses, and recommend ways to streamline and reduce them when they overlap.

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Federal Issues

House Republicans release replacement for ACA

Congress has begun its work on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Last week, House Republicans released their plan, which has the support of the presidential administration.

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Other News

'Historic agreement' between DNR and U.S. Forest Service aimed at unified forest fire prevention

The U.S. Forest Service and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources signed a "historic agreement" last week that is designed to better prepare forests to resist wildfire -- and at the same time, bring more Northwest logs into mills.

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U.S. Rep. Newhouse receives Trade Hero Award

Congressman Dan Newhouse was honored today by the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT). Newhouse, a Yakima Republican, was given the 2017 Trade Hero Award during the 2017 WCIT Washington Trade Conference in Seattle.

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Dick's Drive-In asking for input on where to locate new burger restaurant

A Seattle landmark is expanding, and they're asking for the public's help in deciding where the next Dick's Drive-In should be located. Enthusiasm was so strong and early online voting was so heavy that the website temporarily crashed.

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Community Economic Revitalization Board looking for new member

The Department of Commerce is looking for a board member on the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) to represent small business from east of the Cascades and west of the Columbia River. This board provides funding for public infrastructure to support private business growth and expansion.

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Passages: Former Rep. Helen Sommers, who spent 36 years as a state representative, dies at age 84

A powerhouse Seattle lawmaker, former Rep. Helen Sommers, has died. The Seattle Democrat was the second-longest serving representative in state history. She chaired several committees, eventually becoming the most powerful Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

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AWB Institute

AWB Institute offers internship bulletin board website to connect employers with interns

The Association of Washington Business Institute is helping connect employers with community and technical college students across Washington state to set up internships. Employers will receive support throughout the internship process. The new internship bulletin board website is now live.

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Leadership Washington accepting applications for Class of 2018

Applications are now being accepted for the AWB Institute's Leadership Washington class of 2018. This seven-session program helps the next generation of Washington leaders learn about the business and political landscape of Washington.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Water Quality, MTCA, PBT and PSP committees to meet every other Monday

The AWB Water Quality, MTCA, PBT and PSP committees will meet at AWB every other Monday at 11 a.m. Contact Mary Catherine McAleer for information on the content of the meeting, or Connie Carlson for call-in details.

AWB Education & Training Committee to hold weekly update calls each Friday morning

Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for education, will hold update phone calls with the Education & Training Committee each Friday at 8 a.m. Contact Anderson at 360.943.1600 to learn more and Connie Carlson for call-in information.

AWB Events & Resources

Employment Law Webinar -- Performance Evaluations, Disciplinary Action & Termination

Britenae Pierce of Ryan Swanson will discuss Performance Evaluations, Disciplinary Action & Termination during the next AWB employment law webinar. Register now to reserve a spot for this timely and informative April 5 webinar. Read more »

Registration open for Spring Meeting in Spokane May 8-9

Alaska Airlines' Joseph Sprague will give the lunchtime keynote address at the 2017 AWB Spring Meeting in Spokane. Sprague, senior vice president for communications and external affairs for Alaska Air Group, will be among many relevant and timely speakers. Register now for Spring Meeting May 8-9 at The Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane.

Read more »

Submit your company for AWB's Manufacturing Excellence and Evening of Excellence Awards

Now is the time to submit your business for consideration in AWB's two awards programs: Manufacturing Excellence and Evening of Excellence. Finalists and winners will be honored at events this fall, including a formal downtown Seattle soiree at Benaroya Hall that will honor Evening of Excellence Award finalists and winners. Nominate your company today! The deadline for award applications is June 30.

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Innovation and Employment



They Said It

An Uneven Economy Across the State

"Seattle is booming and everybody else is like, this is nothing special." ~ David Schumacher, director of director of the Office of Financial Management, about the lackluster economic recovery in all of Washington except the Seattle area.




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Time for R&D


Future-Proofing Manufacturing Jobs

By Jay Timmons, president of the National Assocation of Manufacturers

Manufacturing is America's economic engine: In 2015 alone, manufacturers contributed $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy. Conservatively, based even on outdated definitions of what manufacturing jobs look like, manufacturing supports more than 18 million jobs. And manufacturers in the United States perform more than three-quarters of all private-sector research and development in America, driving more innovation than any other sector. The strength of our industry and the strength of our country are inextricably linked: To achieve full employment and to sustain our leadership in the world, America needs more manufacturing.

The question is, how do we grow the industry from here? At a time when many policymakers are talking about rebuilding communities that have been forgotten, we need to show our country what we can accomplish when we support an industry most of America doesn't know that well: modern manufacturing. As the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is demonstrating through our nationwide State of Manufacturing Tour, this is an industry that is about upscaling, upskilling and future-proofing jobs for all Americans -- a dynamic environment that supports not just today's jobs but also tomorrow's...
Read the full editorial in Forbes.com
Washington Needs Local Control


Save EPA, but let state take lead on clean water rules

By The Everett Herald Editorial Board

In most cases, factories and wastewater treatment aren't the source of the pollutants, but they've become responsible for removing them because they are at the end of the pipe. The EPA's standards are "asking for big investments from the wrong people," Rob Duff, a senior policy adviser with Gov. Jay Inslee's office, told The Seattle Times in November, when the EPA rule was announced.

An industry group that includes the AWB, the Northwest Pulp and Paper Association, the Washington State Farm Bureau, the Utility Water Act Group and others recently petitioned the EPA to reconsider its determination and use the standards adopted by the state Department of Ecology.

The standards that had been reviewed and adopted by the state last year remain some of the most protective in the nation. The EPA will have plenty of battles to fight in other states and in Washington, D.C. This Washington can take care of its water.
Read the full editorial in The Herald
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