May 30, 2017
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Top Stories

Memorial Day: Honoring service, sacrifice and memories of the brave men and women of America's armed forces

With origins dating back to the American Civil War and an official holiday since 1971, Americans observed Memorial Day Monday to pay tribute to the men and women, and their families, who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. military.

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Governor calls lawmakers back for second special session to finish budget, education funding work

Gov. Jay Inslee called lawmakers back for a second, 30-day special session last week to give lawmakers another opportunity reach agreement on a two-year state operating budget and resolve their differences on the final piece of McCleary -- funding equity among school districts across Washington. With the next revenue forecast scheduled for June 20 and the new fiscal year beginning July 1, the clock is running out.

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Last call! Leadership Washington accepting applications for class of 2018 through June 1

Applications will be accepted for the AWB Institute's Leadership Washington class of 2018 through this Thursday, June 1. The seven-session program helps the next generation of Washington leaders learn about the business and political landscape across Washington.

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State schools chief outlines long-term vision for K-12 public education

On everything from boosting school funding to ending standardized test requirements for high school graduation, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal last week outlined his long-term, big-picture vision for Washington state's K-12 education system. The six-year plan is estimated to cost taxpayers an additional $4 billion per year.

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Court rejects reconsideration of salmon culvert ruling

A 2013 court ruling that ordered the state to address hundreds of fish culverts across the state will stay in place after a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week rejected the state's appeal of the ruling. Opponents of the ruling said it sets a precedent that could be applied to activities that affect wildlife in other western states.

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Federal Issues

Some details released on federal infrastructure investment initiative

With very little fanfare last week, the 2018 $4.1 trillion federal budget laid out key principles of an infrastructure investment plan, including how to ensure investments are targeted to address high priority infrastructure projects and how to leverage the private sector. More details on a funding package to address infrastructure repairs and upgrades across the nation are expected later this year.

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Ex-Im Bank operating budget sees reduction under initial 2018 federal budget proposal

The U.S. Export-Import Bank is integral to increasing the amount of Washington state products sold around the world. Despite calculations that the bank is expected to generate $588 million in receipts in 2018, last week's federal budget proposal would reduce the bank's resources by $14 million.

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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 continuing to host regular meetings to update employers on the status of negotiations. To learn more or become part of the conversation, contact Bob Battles, AWB government affairs director for workplace, labor and employment law.

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Other News

Hundreds gather for former Gov. Mike Lowry's memorial service

Four living former governors -- Chris Gregoire, Gary Locke, Dan Evans and John Spellman -- and Washington's current Gov. Jay Inslee were among the hundreds of mourners at former Gov. Mike Lowry's memorial service today.

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Boeing lands $4.2 billion deal with Chinese airline

To meet skyrocketing travel demands of its citizens, China's Hainan Airlines plans to purchase 19 Boeing passenger jetliners in a deal worth $4.2 billion.

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Reports indicate possible record cherry crop, bountiful asparagus harvest

Cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest are expecting a bigger crop -- as much as 15-25 percent larger than 2014's record-breaking 23.2 million, 20-pound boxes -- this year. Meanwhile, another Washington staple, asparagus, is set to yield 22 million pounds, or 5,000 pounds per acre, 90 percent of which is sold fresh.

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BNSF freight train aids in rescue of injured hiker along B.C. shoreline

Freight trains carry all manner of commodities, but last week BNSF added a new kind of cargo to their resume -- an injured hiker and emergency responders.

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Gallup poll shows Americans still look to manufacturing for job creation

Respondents to a new Gallup poll say that keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is the best way to create more American jobs.

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AWB Events & Resources

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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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.

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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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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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AWB Institute

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 Oct. 2-6 in a week-long tour culminating with AWB Institute's annual Manufacturing Summit and presentation of the Manufacturing Excellence awards and Manufacturing Day that takes place on Friday, Oct. 6.

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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.

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Tweet of the Week

A Hero's Salute

They Said It

Honoring Our Heroes

"Memorial Day remains one of America's most cherished patriotic observances. The spirit of this day has not changed -- it remains a day to honor those who died defending our freedom and democracy." ~ Former U.S. Congressman Doc Hastings as quoted in The Columbian's Memorial Day editorial

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Memorial Day

Pause to Reflect on the Meaning of Memorial Day

By The Seattle Times editorial board

On Memorial Day, Americans honor our war dead. This official pause to reflect on U.S. troops' supreme sacrifice was made a national holiday in 1971. But its origins date to 1868, to the aftermath of the American Civil War, a conflict that threatened to rend the 85-year-old republic.

The stunning loss of about 620,000 lives in a war that pitted American against American over fundamental human freedoms might make the political squabbles of our modern Democracy look tame by comparison.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Rail is Safe

Washington's Double Standard on Rail

By John Stuhlmiller, CEO, Washington Farm Bureau

Perceptions of railroads appear to be relative to where you live these days.

If you live in the big city, trains that whisk you from one urban center to the next are "state-of-the-art," but if you live in rural areas, where trains are used to move commodities, they pose a cancer threat.

At least that's what the state of Washington is telling us.

Read the full column in Capital Press Ag Weekly
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