May 15, 2017
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Federal Issues Legislation of Note Other News AWB Events & Resources AWB Institute Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Dynamic 2017 Spring Meeting engaged business leaders, health care professionals

AWB's 2017 Spring Meeting brought together hundreds of employers from around the state to hear the latest on business leadership, health care and the state's new medical education programs, communications strategies, state and national political developments, and much more. Read more »

A few lawmakers work on budget, but Legislature 'nearly silent' as most legislators at home

Most lawmakers are at home as budget negotiators meet to reach a compromise on the 2017-19 state operating budget. And, after a promising economic forecast last week, it is a scenario that could last until after the June 20 quarterly state economic and revenue forecast report.

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Third class of Leadership Washington graduates; nominations open for Class of '18

The 10 participants in AWB Institute's Leadership Washington 2016-17 class officially graduated at AWB's Spring Meeting in Spokane May 8. Applications for the Leadership Washington Class of 2018 are now being accepted. Don't miss your chance to be part of the state's premiere business leadership development program!

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Seattle mayoral race sees several new entrants as Mayor Ed Murray announces he won't run for second term

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced last week that he would not seek a second term in office. That decision set off a rush of high-profile candidates, including Sen. Bob Hasegawa, Rep. Jessyn Farrell, former Mayor Mike McGinn and former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan.

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Celebrate Washington's vibrant manufacturing sector during Manufacturing Week this October!

Manufacturing is the backbone of Washington's economy. To help highlight manufacturing in Washington, AWB will cross the state this October in a week-long tour culminating with Manufacturing Day on Oct. 6 and presentation of the Manufacturing Excellence Awards.

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Federal Issues

Happy Infrastructure Week! Let's start (re)building America

This is Infrastructure Week, a time to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue affecting everyone and every corner of the nation. America's economy depends on its roads, bridges, airports, electrical grid, telecommunications networks and other parts of the infrastructure system. To call attention to Washington's needs, AWB recently worked with the state's cities, counties and ports on a comprehensive infrastructure report, Building the Economy.

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Legislation of Note

REAL ID bill to be signed Tuesday

After months of negotiation, the Legislature passed and the governor will sign Senate Bill 5008 tomorrow. The new law will put Washington state on track to comply with the 2005 federal REAL ID Act. AWB Government Affairs Director Mike Ennis helped shape the bill, which addresses the issues around state identification requirements under the act as well as lowering the cost of an enhanced driver's license from $143 to $78.

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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 tomorrow afternoon.

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Other News

State tax collections come in slightly above forecast

There is good news for lawmakers watching the state's economy and tax collections as part of negotiating the state's two-year operating budget. The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council's report last week shows tax collections are projected to increase by $44.4 million, or 1.6 percent, above the last forecast. The quarterly forecast will take place June 20.

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BNSF challenges environmental review of Millennium Bulk Terminal project

BNSF Railway has appealed the final Environmental Impact Statement on the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, saying the state and county document was wrong on its forecasted cancer risk to those living nearby.

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Washington ranks No. 39 in Chief Executive magazine's 2017 'Best and Worst States for Business'

With a poor showing in the overall Taxation and Regulation category, Washington dropped eight spots to a mediocre 39th in the latest "Best and Worst States for Business" report in Chief Executive magazine. The state scored better in Workforce Quality and Living Environment categories.

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Youth Apprenticeship Signing Day highlights the value of advanced manufacturing jobs

It's no longer just athletes who have glamorous signing ceremonies. Gov. Jay Inslee recently attended signing day events for youth who were accepting offers to take part in apprenticeship programs. The cameras and flashbulbs popped for the teenagers joining these advanced manufacturing programs.

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Jan Yoshiwara named to lead State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

A longtime leader within the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges will take over as executive director for the 34-college system when Marty Brown retires this summer. Jan Yoshiwara, currently the deputy executive director, has been with the agency for 33 years.

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State Board of Education urges quick legislative action to eliminate biology test as graduation requirement

More than 3,000 Washington high school students have passed all graduation requirements except one: a biology end-of-course exam. The State Board of Education, noting that both proposed budgets will eliminate funding for this graduation requirement, passed a resolution last week urging the Legislature to remove that test requirement, effective immediately, to ensure that these students can graduate next month.

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In forest products industry 'small' is big

The future of the forest products industry will be highlighted by small mills that specialize in sustainability, according to a feature in Timber West that includes a look at several small Washington mills in Pierce and Whatcom counties.

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Passages: Carol Newhouse, wife of U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse's wife, Carol, died on Friday after a long battle with cancer. The couple married 35 years ago and have two adult children.

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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.

Read more »

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

We Are Washington

They Said It

Leadership Washington Leads the Way

"This program that you guys are on is brilliant. What the public appreciates most from the business community is mentorship. And it's mentorship that brings people into your places of work and teaches them how economics work and teaches them how business work." ~ Communications expert Frank Luntz, speaking about the AWB Institute's Leadership Washington program during his address at last week's Spring Meeting in Spokane. Luntz urged employers to bring students into their places of business to better understand the free market system, and educate their employees so they can become employers someday.

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Invest in Aerospace

Aerospace incentives tax helps small family businesses, too

By Rosemary Brester, president and CEO of Hobart Machined Products, Inc.

The aerospace industry in Washington state is a tremendous success story. And it's not just Boeing. Hundreds of companies have contributed.

My family business, located in rural King County, has provided parts for commercial and military airplanes for 40 years. Through hard work and bootstrapping, we survived the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the recent recession and continue to provide jobs and support our community...

Two bills have been introduced in Olympia (HB 2145 and HB 2146) to reopen the aerospace tax-incentive package that legislators passed with bipartisan support in 2013.

Hobart has been able to leverage the state's aerospace tax incentives to stay competitive. Tax incentives for the aerospace sector, which I helped draft, were first enacted by the Legislature over a decade ago to help grow this manufacturing industry. They enable us to compete with other firms across the world, and are critical to our success.

We've used the incentives to help us provide good pay and benefits to our employees, create 14 internships for local high school students, invest in new technology and give back through charitable contributions that make a difference to local families. We're not alone. Nearly 350 companies in Washington state rely on the incentives...
Read the full editorial in The Daily News
A Straight-Shooter

Colorful Mike Lowry was one for the ages

By Don Brunell

To Lowry, politics was a battle of ideas and ideals. It isn't personal, it is the way our system works. He believed an adversary today may be an ally tomorrow.

When fighting for his health reforms, Lowry exempted labor unions because their insurance benefits were better than the state would mandate.

At the time, I was president of the state's oldest and largest business organization and many of our members who were not unionized also had health insurance plans better than the state required. We lobbied for an amendment allowing those businesses to also be exempt from the bill...

We lost that battle, but two years later when Washington's reforms failed to receive Congressional approval, Lowry worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to enact new health reforms allowing small businesses to buy affordable health insurance.

At last count, about a half million small business employees now have health insurance thanks to Lowry's leadership. Nearly half of them had no previous coverage.
Read the full column in The Columbian
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