June 5, 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

AWB launches brand update, unveils first new logo in 31 years

AWB unveiled a new look last week, including a logo that reflects its mission of bringing together employers of all sizes from among Washington's diverse industries and geography. The brand update shows how AWB is focusing on its mission of being the state's catalytic leader and unifying voice for economic prosperity.

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Seattle City Council approves soda tax, moves forward on income tax

The Seattle City Council voted today in favor of a tax on soda and sugary drinks, after amending the proposal last week to exclude diet drinks. The revised ordinance would also have lower or no taxes on smaller soda manufacturers. The council is also moving forward on a city tax on "high income" households, despite several anticipated legal hurdles.

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As second overtime session nears halfway point, big tax proposals are likely off the table

In a time of very closely divided government, the big tax ideas that lawmakers faced in January are slowly being taken off the table, The Seattle Times reports. Proposals for capital gains taxes, carbon pricing and major shifts in property taxes are likely out of the picture, the newspaper reports.

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'Generations in the Workplace' and more insights in latest edition of Washington Business

The spring edition of Washington Business magazine is hot off the presses. The cover story is a unique generational collaboration that shows how even the youngest and most seasoned members of the workplace can find common ground. We also take a look at the value of infrastructure investment, a high-tech tinkerer's paradise in Edmonds, and much more.

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Only one month left to submit your company for AWB's Manufacturing 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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Federal Issues

Federal administration to launch $1 trillion infrastructure overhaul proposal this week

The presidential administration this week will hold a series of events to highlight the need for investing in America's roads, bridges and other bedrock infrastructure. Washington state is well positioned for tapping into any eventual increase in federal funding for these kinds of vital projects, thanks to the joint "Building the Economy" report AWB, the Washington State Association of Counties, the Association of Washington Cities and the Washington Public Ports Association commissioned earlier this year.

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Galen Institute: Congressional Budget Office is wrong on health reform projections

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported last week that a U.S. House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would mean 23 million fewer people have insurance by 2026. In a new paper, the Galen Institute says those figures are wrong, and notes that the CBO has repeatedly overestimated the number of people who would get insurance under Obamacare exchanges.

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Legislation of Note

Paid family leave negotiations reflect 'good faith' from both business and labor

The slow-moving budget negotiations have one positive side effect -- more time for discussions to find a consensus on paid family leave in Washington. The Associated Press took a look at this year's efforts to find ways to pay for a 2007 family leave law.

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Other News

Career Connect Washington Task Force is announced as new public-private workforce partnership

The first-ever Governor's Summit on Career Connected Learning drew more than 1,200 leaders in business, industry, education and government together last week to help more young people in Washington prepare for high-demand careers. One outcome: the launch of a new Career Connect Washington Task Force, led by Microsoft President Brad Smith and Perry England, a vice president at MacDonald Miller Facility Solutions.

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Rep. Jessyn Farrell resigns from Legislature to focus on run for mayor of Seattle

State Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle, is resigning from the Legislature to focus on her run for Seattle's mayor. The move will also allow her to raise money for the race, something lawmakers are not allowed to do during the legislative session. A total of 21 candidates have filed to run for mayor after the incumbent, Ed Murray, announced he would not seek a second term.

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Lack of state income tax helps Washington make No. 1 on 'Best States to Make a Living'

Without a state income tax, Washington is the best place in the nation to make a living, according to MoneyRates.com. Other factors considered: average wages, cost of living, unemployment rates and incidents of workplace injuries.

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AWB Events & Resources

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

Bold New Brand Update

They Said It

A Fresh Look for AWB

"A brand is much more than a logo, and AWB's brand has evolved over the last several years. The new logo and other visual changes symbolize that evolution and signal to our members and others where we are going." ~ Marty Dickinson, executive vice president at Umpqua Bank and chair of the committee that led AWB's brand update.

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Budget and Paid Family Leave

Special session focused on state budget, taxes and workplace policies

AWB President Kris Johnson

This year, lawmakers headed into the first 30-day special session April 24 after failing to agree on a two-year state operating budget.

The sticking point is taxes -- whether to increase them and by how much.

But at the same time lawmakers are debating the budget, they continue to work on a key employer and workforce policy issue: creating a uniform, statewide paid family leave program.

If they can reach agreement, they could end the patchwork of local paid leave programs cropping up across the state...
Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
Endless Overtime Sessions

No easy fix for Washington's broken process of legislating

By Jerry Cornfield, The Herald

Washington voters amended the state Constitution in 1979 in hopes of bringing discipline to a legislating process run amok.

Sixty percent of them passed Senate Joint Resolution 110to establish a new requirement for annual legislative sessions of up to 105 consecutive days in odd-numbered years -- when budgets are written -- and 60 days in even-numbered ones. And it set a new limit of 30 days for any special legislative session...

Thirty-eight years later, with the 2017 Legislature nearing the end of a second largely unproductive week of a second special session, the process of legislating looks out of control, again.
Read the full column in The Herald
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