July 10, 2017
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Top Stories

Gov. Inslee vetoes B&O tax relief for manufacturers

On Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a tax relief measure for the state's crucial manufacturing sector. The business and occupation tax reduction was part of the final budget agreement between Democrats and Republicans, and would have helped create and preserve good-paying jobs across the state, especially in rural areas.

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Hirst ruling remains a top priority in capital budget discussions

Last year's state Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision has all but shut down rural development in much of the state. AWB continues to push for the comprehensive Hirst solution in Senate Bill 5239, rather than a House proposal that would put off finding a full solution and continue the uncertainty for families and employers in rural Washington.

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Gov. Inslee signs education funding bill, adding $7.3 billion more to K-12 over next four years

Ending a five-year struggle over education funding, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Legislature's bipartisan education funding bill last week. The bill brings funding of K-12 schools back to the state level and continues the work of the past two budgets that have added $4.5 billion of new money to public education.

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Federal Issues

McConnell: Votes might not be there for ACA repeal-and-replace bill

The Senate is unlikely to vote on a health insurance bill this week as Congress returns from the July 4 break, Politico reports. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that if Republicans can't agree on a full repeal-and-replace measure, he'll work with Democrats on more minor fixes to keep the Affordable Care Act exchanges working.

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Ex-Im head says bank could soon return to full strength

The Export-Import Bank, which provides crucial support to hundreds of manufacturers in Washington, could soon be back to full strength and capabilities, the acting chair said last week.

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What's next for Dodd-Frank reform?

On June 8, the U.S. House passed the Financial CHOICE Act (FCA) on a party-line vote. The FCA would make comprehensive changes to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Senate is considering its own bipartisan approach to Dodd-Frank revisions.

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Other News

Seattle's income tax passes City Council 9-0

The Seattle City Council unanimously voted today in favor of a city-wide income tax. The council's finance committee had already approved the tax last week after increasing the rate to 2.25 percent of income over $250,000 (or $500,000 for married couples). Concerns remain about whether the tax could pass legal muster -- and if it does, whether it opens up the potential of a statewide income tax.

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Mandatory 10-digit dialing begins this month; new area code 564 comes online in August

By the end of the month, even local calls in Western Washington will require dialing all 10 digits, including the area code. Next month a new area code, 564, will be used for some new numbers in parts of the state that now use the 360 area code. 

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Boeing donates $1 million to help wounded veterans

In conjunction with last week's 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games, The Boeing Company donated $1 million to six nonprofit organizations that help veterans.

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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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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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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. Read more »

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 October in a week-long tour, including AWB Institute's annual Manufacturing Summit and presentation of the Manufacturing Excellence awards on Oct. 5 and Manufacturing Day on Oct. 6. A new video looks at all that's ahead during this busy, insight-filled week.

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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

A Missed Opportunity



They Said It

Avoiding Budgetary Brinksmanship

"As lawmakers managed to avoid the slide to a partial government shutdown last weekend, their leaders tried to alibi what has become standard brinkmanship of writing a two-year budget. It was a result of major changes in public education. It was a function of divided government. It was a reflection of a growing state with increasingly complicated state programs. All of which are mostly true, and mainly irrelevant." ~ Jim Camden, political reporter for The Spokesman-Review, discussing the Legislature's persistent problem in putting out a budget on time, and outlining possible solutions.


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Inside AWB's Spring Magazine: Generations in the Workplace

Nine workers from three generations offer their thoughts on work, tech and what drives them.

Read the full story in Washington Business magazine
Economics 101


Seattle's $15 wage experiment did not pay off

By The News Tribune Editorial Board

In the fall of 2015 a citizens' campaign group calling itself 15 Now Tacoma put a measure on the ballot to move Tacoma's then $9.75-an-hour minimum wage to an immediate $15 per hour.

This editorial board called the proposal "magical thinking."

Spiking the minimum wage ignored the realities of owning a small business; it didn't take into account slimmer profit margins, the cost of health care, rent, or workers' benefits. We surmised that big businesses like Costco or Walmart could absorb the impact, but common sense said small businesses would collapse under the weight of a $15 hike.

Now a recent study out of the University of Washington confirms what we suspected: accelerating the minimum wage can hurt the very people it intends to help.

Thankfully, the Tacoma City Council sent a more modest proposal to the November 2015 ballot. The reasonable increase of $12 by 2018 left room for businesses to adjust and was supported by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce...

Read the full editorial in The News Tribune
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