June 26, 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

With only five days left, Legislature hits the final sprint toward a budget deal

It's crunch time. With just five days left in the fiscal year, budget negotiators are in the familiar position of racing to finalize a deal by midnight June 30. Last week, the latest revenue forecast offered good news, but not nearly enough new revenue to cover the differences between House and Senate budget proposals. Without a deal, state government will go into partial shutdown on July 1.

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Seattle's rising minimum wage has cost workers $125/month, new UW study reports

A wide-ranging study by the University of Washington released today finds that Seattle's quick minimum wage increase toward $15 an hour has reduced average take-home pay for the workers it was intended to help. The study estimates that Seattle would have had 5,000 more jobs without the minimum wage ordinance.

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Employers, employees poised to reach common ground on paid family leave bill

A compromise paid family leave bill is in the final stages of the drafting process. The bipartisan bill was negotiated over months between leaders of both parties, along with representatives of business and labor. It takes into account the needs of employees and the economic impacts to employers -- especially small businesses. It also has provisions for businesses that already have leave policies in place.

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Save the date: Rural Jobs Summit to be held Oct. 23 and 24

AWB's expanded Rural Jobs Summit is taking shape. Plan now to join us Oct. 23-24 to continue the discussion we started this spring about how to bring jobs to rural Washington and economic prosperity to the entire state. More details to come.

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There's still time (barely) to apply for Leadership Washington's Class of 2018

This Friday is the deadline to apply to be part of the state's premier leadership development program -- Leadership Washington. Watch the latest graduates talk about the program, download an application and click here to learn more about this growing program.

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Deadline is Friday to apply for AWB's Manufacturing Excellence and Evening of Excellence awards

The deadline for this year's AWB award nominations is this Friday, June 30. Nominate 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.

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Federal Issues

Senate version of health care overhaul released

Congressional Senate Republicans have released their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Better Care Reconciliation Act is similar in many ways to the House health care bill released earlier this year, the American Health Care Act.

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Sen. Maria Cantwell co-sponsors apprenticeship bill with Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins

Companies would be eligible for tax incentives for providing apprenticeships to prospective employees under legislation introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

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Legislation of Note

Lawmakers agree on compromise over high-school graduation testing requirements

After years of disagreement about standardized state tests as a requirement for high school graduation, lawmakers agreed last week on a deal that will ease the biology test requirement for students and provide alternative ways of showing competencies in reading and writing. Read more »

Other News

Swedish Hospital announces pick for CEO

Dr. Guy Hudson will serve as the CEO of Swedish Hospital, the largest not-for-profit health care provider in the Seattle area.

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Union Pacific releases plan for $5.1 million Washington infrastructure investment

As part of a $3.1 billion capital investment program, Union Pacific will invest $5.1 million in its rail infrastructure in Washington. The money will increase safety and efficiency.

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Blue Origin announces Alabama as site of rocket production

Huntsville, Alabama will be home to the new manufacturing facility for the next-generation BE-4 rocket engines used in Blue Origin spacecraft. Washington state, home to Blue Origin, was considered early on as a factory site, but without a competitive incentive package, Washington did not make the final short list as a site location for the 340 manufacturing jobs and $200 million capital investment.

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Boeing wins more orders than Airbus at Paris Air Show

Thanks in large part to its new 737 MAX 10, Boeing came home from the Paris Air Show with more new orders than its rival Airbus.

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Gov. Inslee announces interim director for state Health Care Authority

Lou McDermott will lead the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) as the interim director, Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week. McDermott has directed the HCA's Public Employees Benefits Division since 2012.

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AWB to be closed July 3-4 for Independence Day

AWB's Olympia office will be closed on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4, in commemoration of Independence Day. Next week's Fast Facts will be sent out on Wednesday, July 5.

AWB Events & Resources

Hear from members of Congress, international consuls at expanded Policy Summit

New speakers are joining the line-up for the 2017 AWB Policy Summit. For more than a quarter century, the Policy Summit has been the premier gathering to discuss statewide policy and look ahead to upcoming issues. This year's expanded agenda also includes a focus on federal affairs, including remarks from members of Washington's congressional delegation. Rooms at the resort sell out quickly, so reserve your space today to be part of 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.

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Uneven Economic Opportunity

They Said It

Smaller Paychecks from Higher Minimum Wage

"If I were a Seattle lawmaker, I would be thinking hard about the $15 an hour phase-in." ~ David Autor, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist, independently reviewing what he called "very credible" research by the University of Washington that finds a net pay decrease of $125 per month in Seattle due to cutbacks from the rising minimum wage.

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Facts, Not Fear

LNG not the menace critics want you to believe

By Andy Wappler, vice president of customer operations and communications, Puget Sound Energy

Construction is underway on a $300 million facility at the Port of Tacoma that will provide a cleaner fuel for ships as well as much-needed additional natural gas for customers in the growing Tacoma area on the coldest nights of the year.

Much conflicting information is circulating about the project, so here is a brief review of why LNG is better for our community than sitting on our hands and doing nothing...

Read the full guest column in The News Tribune
Follow the Data

Seattle should open its eyes to minimum-wage research

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Just last week, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray celebrated a University of California-Berkeley study that found the city's minimum-wage experiment had been good for restaurant workers: higher pay with no negative impact on jobs.

Don't expect similar treatment for a different study, released Monday, from a research team at the University of Washington. It found disturbing effects from Seattle's minimum-wage law beyond just the restaurant industry, which accounts for less than a third of all low-wage jobs in the city.

The UW researchers found a 9.4 percent drop in hours worked by low-wage workers both in and out of the restaurant industry -- resulting in the equivalent of a whopping 6,317 full-time jobs eliminated. Even with a higher wage floor, the average low-wage worker's monthly pay dropped by $124 -- a 6.6 percent pay cut -- because of lost hours...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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