May 8, 2017
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Top Stories

It's time! Spring Meeting starts today in Spokane

It's time to meet with other top employers at AWB's Spring Meeting, which begins today. If you're in Spokane, join us at The Historic Davenport Hotel downtown. Hear from communications and public opinion expert Frank Luntz, Alaska Airlines' Joe Sprague, and many others.

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Unions: Workers need the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview

A broad coalition of labor unions are pushing Gov. Jay Inslee to approve the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview. The modern shipping facility will provide jobs for thousands of people outside the "Seattle bubble" who are struggling, a union leader and local official also wrote last week in The Seattle Times.

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Senate again approves Hirst fix

The special legislative session means that bills return to their houses of origin. One of the top items on the Senate agenda was to continue moving forward on a fix to last year's state Supreme Court's Hirst water rights ruling that is putting a damper on rural development and impacting rural home builders. Last week, the Senate again voted through its Hirst fix on a bipartisan 28-18 vote. The bill returns to the House to await action.

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Spokane, Tri-Cities and Seattle business leaders honored

Longtime civic leaders across the state were recognized by their communities during recent awards ceremonies. Among those honored: Rich Hadley and Paul Redmond in Spokane, Steve and Shirley Simmons of the Tri-Cities, and Bob Watt of Seattle.

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Federal Issues

House narrowly approves Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the American Health Care Act, which repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The bill now heads to the Senate.

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Legislation of Note

Paid family leave negotiations continue

AWB continues to work with lawmakers in both chambers and both sides of the aisle to represent the interests of employers as a paid family leave bill is formed. AWB is hosting regular meetings to update employers on the status of negotiations, including a meeting this Wednesday afternoon.

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HB 2145 and HB 2146: Rewriting aerospace tax incentives deal

The House Finance Committee heard public testimony last week on two bills that would place new conditions on the bipartisan 2013 tax incentive package that ensured Boeing's construction of the 777X airplane and its high-tech carbon fiber wing in Washington. The bills would change the tax incentive agreement to require the company to maintain a certain level of employment in the state. The legislation raises concerns that restructuring the deal would be a dangerous precedent, the Snohomish County executive and a small aerospace manufacturer write in a Herald op-ed.

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Governor signs HB 1531, recognizing carbon sequestration value of fish-friendly forest stream buffers

When foresters preserve streamside buffers to protect salmon, those trees not only provide environmental benefits for fish -- they also pull carbon from the atmosphere. A bipartisan bill signed last week by Gov. Jay Inslee will allow foresters to benefit from the carbon-sequestration benefits of those trees they do not log.

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Gov. Inslee signs HB 1296 & HB 2005, which make life simpler for employers

Gov. Jay Inslee last week signed House bills 1296 and 2005, two bills that ease paperwork burdens for employers are now law. AWB was on hand for the signing of both bills.

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Other News

Researchers develop recycling for carbon fiber composites

Researchers at Washington State University have developed a way to efficiently break down and recycle carbon fiber composites. This allows recycling of the high-tech material used in everything from modern airplanes to sporting equipment.

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Fred Hutch designs treatment for tough-to-treat cancers

Scientists at the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center created a treatment known as CAR-T that could be a game-changer in cancer treatment. CAR-T is currently in clinical trial development and is awaiting FDA registration.

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Delta partners with South Seattle College to train in-demand workers

Delta Airlines partnered with South Seattle College to ensure that the shortage of aviation maintenance technician workers is addressed through recruiting local college students. South Seattle College was one of 38 programs Delta selected nationwide.

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB offers long-term care solutions for you and your employees

As part of its range of services to help employers provide great benefits to their employees, AWB now offers a long-term care product. In partnership with Long Term Care Associates, this plan will help employers and employees protect their assets and experience peace of mind

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Employment Law Webinar -- Accident Investigation Plans

Did you know that all employers in Washington are required to create a written Accident Prevention Plan or Program? Learn about what your company needs to do to be in compliance with state law during a June 14 webinar with Bruce Cross of Perkins Coie. Read more »

Reserve your space at Policy Summit, Sept. 19-21 at Suncadia Resort

Registration is now open for the 2017 AWB Policy Summit at Suncadia Resort. Reserve your space now at AWB's largest public policy gathering for employers.

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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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AWB Institute

Leadership Washington applications being accepted for Class of 2018

The Leadership Washington Class of 2017 will graduate in just a few weeks. Applications are now being accepted for the 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 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.

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Honors for a Leading Spokane Citizen



They Said It

Governor Says No Income Tax

"I don't think it's right for the state of Washington." ~ Gov. Jay Inslee, telling KIRO radio last week that he does not support an income tax.




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State Should Not Pick Winners, Losers


Initial Thoughts: After Five Years, State's Millennium EIS is Disappointing

By The Daily News Editorial Board

The final EIS is an 11,000-page report, so we spent the last several days pouring over it. What we found after just an initial review was clear evidence to back our belief the state has treated Millennium differently than other companies seeking permits.

What other business has been asked to mitigate the carbon emissions of other companies? What other business has been asked to mitigate for carbon emissions across the globe in other countries?

Other than Millennium, none that we know of.

Can you imagine the impact to the Puget Sound Region if Boeing had to mitigate the carbon emissions from the production of the carbon fiber used in its planes all the way through to the emissions from the jet fuel used by commercial airlines? This is exactly what the state is trying to do to Millennium and we believe it's wrong.

Read the full editorial in The Daily News
Fix Hirst


House Should OK Bill Addressing Issues Raised by Ruling on Wells, Development


By The Columbian Editorial Board

While school funding is the focus of this year's special session in the Legislature, the extra time also gives the House of Representatives an opportunity to take important action regarding water rights.

A state Supreme Court ruling from October places undue burdens upon development in rural areas, inhibiting landowners and stifling economic growth in many portions of the state. Before leaving Olympia for good this year, members of the Democrat-controlled House should follow the lead of the Senate and pass a bill addressing the issue.

Environmental protections and growth management are important, but those desires should not quash smart development -- which is the result of the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling in Whatcom County v. Hirst. That decision places extra scrutiny upon the state's precarious balancing of water rights by demanding that counties, independent of the state, guarantee that water is available for development before issuing building permits in certain areas. Several counties, in the wake of the decision, have taken steps to limit the issuing of permits.

The net effect is to make the drilling of new wells prohibitively expensive and impractical for landowners planning minor developments. Legislators heard emotional testimony from landowners who poured their life savings toward building a home in a rural area, only to now be told they are unable to procure a permit because of the court ruling.

Read the full editorial in The Columbian
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