March 20, 2017
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Legislation of Note Federal Issues Other News Key Hearings/Meetings AWB Institute AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

New report shows Washington is ready for federal infrastructure investments

Washington state is well-poised to qualify for any new federal infrastructure investments after the release today of a comprehensive report detailing the state's needs for upgrades and improvements to roads, bridges, ports and municipal services. AWB worked with the state's ports, cities and counties to commission the report.

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It's time! Join the generation revolution this Wednesday at AWB's Workforce Summit in Seattle

Human resources professionals can earn continuing education credits at this week's Workforce Summit in Seattle. Hear from 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. Read more »

State revenue forecast comes in higher than expected, adding a half billion dollars for budget writers

State tax collections continue to grow. Last week, the latest forecast estimated the state will collect $571 million more than expected in the next budget cycle. That's good news for lawmakers working to craft a budget, and adds to the evidence that a strong budget can be created without tax increases.

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Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz: DNR will focus on rural economic growth

Hilary Franz, Washington's new public lands commissioner, said she plans to use the state Department of Natural Resources' diverse land holdings to help support economic opportunities in rural communities.

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Legislation of Note

HB 1646: AWB and employers testify against carbon tax proposal

A diverse slate of employers testified Tuesday in opposition to the proposed carbon tax in House Bill 1646. While the bill likely 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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SB 5866 & SJR 8209: Creating a tax court

A panel of employers testified last week in favor of Senate Bill 5866, which would create a standalone court to hear tax appeals. The bills would significantly improve Washington's current system, according to the Council On State Taxation.

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HB 5232: Counting incremental hydro improvements as a renewable resource

AWB will testify in favor of House Bill 5232 on Tuesday. This bill would ensure that incremental electricity produced from efficiency improvements at hydroelectric projects would qualify as a renewable resource under the Energy Independence Act.

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Federal Issues

Businesses say they need the Export-Import Bank to sell goods abroad

American employers are evaluating their options for export assistance since the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank -- without a full board -- lacks full authority to guarantee loans. Some businesses are being forced to create jobs overseas to qualify for crucial credit guarantees that the Ex-Im Bank hasn't been able to provide.

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Presidential administration rolls out 'skinny budget' blueprint

The presidential administration unveiled its "skinny budget" last week. The budget aims to put into numbers the words used by the president on the campaign trail and since taking office, his staff said.

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Other News

Paccar, Nvidia unveil prototype self-driving truck

Longtime AWB member Paccar, in cooperation with chipmaker Nvidia, unveiled a self-driving truck concept vehicle last week. The truck is capable of driving itself under most conditions, although a driver can take the wheel when necessary.

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OceanGate announces first expedition to the Titanic in over a decade

Last week, Seattle-based OceanGate Inc. announced that it will conduct its first manned submersible expedition to the sunken ocean liner Titanic since 2005. OceanGate will create high-definition, 3-D images of objects underwater and document the decay of the ship.

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Free workplace safety seminar on March 30 features companies known for safety

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries is hosting a one-day seminar on March 30 for employers to learn from companies around the state that have been recognized for safety excellence.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

Tax & Fiscal Policy Council to meet every Monday

The AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Council will be meeting each Monday at 9:30 at the AWB office. Some of the meetings may be held by phone. Contact Eric Lohnes for information on the content of the meeting, or Connie Carlson for call-in details.

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 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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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 speakers at this spring tradition. Register now for Spring Meeting May 8-9 at The Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane.

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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.

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Tweet of the Week


They Said It

Budget Report

"... while we can celebrate this additional revenue from a booming economy in Western Washington, we still need to remain mindful of the challenges others in our state face and do what we can to stimulate those economies with the ability to grow new jobs -- not stifle them with tax increases." ~ Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, about the $571 million increase in state revenues announced last week.

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Impacts of Capital Gains Tax
Tax Increases Aren't Necessary

More taxation threatens to dampen state's robust economy

By Matt McIlwain, managing director of Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group

During his re-election campaign, Gov. Inslee appeared to understand that our economy would be harmed by new taxes. But, with the election over, he is proposing $5.5 billion in new taxes, including imposing a state tax on capital gains, an increase in the B&O tax and a carbon tax on using energy.

During his re-election campaign, Gov. Inslee appeared to understand that our economy would be harmed by new taxes. But, with the election over, he is proposing $5.5 billion in new taxes, including imposing a state tax on capital gains, an increase in the B&O tax and a carbon tax on using energy...
Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
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