September 18, 2017
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources AWB Institute Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

New study says Hirst ruling will cost state $6.9 billion in lost economic activity a year

The 2016 state Supreme Court case known as the Hirst ruling will put ever-increasing economic burdens on rural regions, costing the state $6.9 billion in economic activity a year. That's according to a new study that says the Hirst ruling will also cost nearly 9,300 rural jobs a year.

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It's Policy Summit time -- we'll see you at Suncadia!

Both of Washington's U.S. senators will speak at Policy Summit. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell will join former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, futurist Jacob Morgan, Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, and dozens more at the 28th annual Policy Summit at Suncadia Resort this Tuesday through Thursday. This video has more.

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New edition of Washington Business coming to your mailbox

Take a walk in the shoes of a small-business owner with the cover story in the latest edition of Washington Business magazine. The article looks at three entrepreneuring companies in light of workforce development, regulatory and tax issues, and much more. Read the full edition online or watch your mailbox for the print edition.

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Reserve your seat at Manufacturing Summit Oct. 5 in Seattle

Seats are still available for the AWB Institute's Manufacturing Summit, which will be held Oct. 5 at Emerald City Trapeze Arts in Seattle. Highlights will include a roundtable discussion on manufacturing issues with  state leaders, as well as presentation of the 2017 AWB Manufacturing Excellence awards.

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Registration is open for fourth annual AWB D.C. Fly-in

Meet with members of Congress. Tell your story. Be part of the solution. AWB's 2017 D.C. Fly-in Dec. 4-6 offers business leaders and owners a chance to talk directly with members of Congress and other decision-makers in the nation's capital. Registration is now open for the fourth-annual D.C. Fly-in.

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Federal Issues

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is working with Republicans on Obamacare fix

Several versions of health insurance reform bills are being considered in Congress. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is working with the Republican chair of the Senate health committee on a bill to fix the Affordable Care Act.

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Republicans plan to release tax overhaul details week of Sept. 25

A major tax overhaul bill will be released next week, according to members of Congress and the presidential administration. The form of the bills, and how the proposed tax reform will affect employers, still isn't publicly known.

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Other News

Media outlets file suit over legislative secrecy

Newspapers and other news media outlets sued last week to force legislators to release records through their work as public officials. Lawmakers should not be exempt from the state's public records law, the news outlets argue in the lawsuit.

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State's unemployment rate rises for first time since recession as job seekers increase

It's been eight years since Washington's overall unemployment rate increased. That changed last month, thanks to a rising number of people who are seeking a job.

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Lifesaving heroes to be honored at Governor's Industrial Safety and Health Conference in Tacoma

Gov. Jay Inslee will thank 27 workplace heroes and heroines this week during an industrial health and safety conference in Tacoma.

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Inland Empire Paper awarded for 15 years of forest, waterway renovation

Years of thoughtful and deliberate work to improve fish habitat has earned plaudits for Inland Empire Paper in Spokane. The company's investment in road and bridge infrastructure is an example of how large forest landowners are enhancing the environment, the state Department of Natural Resources said.

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB's app offers a smart way to prepare for Policy Summit, Manufacturing Week and other events

Hot off the digital press, AWB's new smartphone and tablet app -- AWB Events 365 -- is now available in Apple and Google app stores. This easy-to-use app has detailed information on speakers, schedules, and more -- plus ways to connect with other attendees. The app is free. Download it before heading to Policy Summit to get the latest agenda and speaker updates.

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Webinar Oct. 19: Learn the latest on Washington's new Paid Family & Medical Leave law

Washington's new Paid Family and Medical Leave law was negotiated with employer concerns front and center, especially small businesses. Learn what's happening with this new law during an Oct. 19 webinar with AWB Government Affairs Director Bob Battles, who was a major employer advocate at the table during this legislative session.

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Schedule filling up, seats selling out for Rural Jobs Summit at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake

Top legislative leaders from both parties will gather in Moses Lake Oct 23-24 for AWB's Rural Jobs Summit. Big Bend Community College will host the event, which will continue the discussion started this spring about how to bring jobs to rural Washington and economic prosperity to the entire state. Watch this new video for more. As of last week, only 50 seats remained for the two-day summit.

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Webinar Nov. 8: Learn how to navigate the Legislature online

Follow the latest legislative news right from your computer or phone with the tips, tricks and details that we'll teach you at the upcoming "Navigating & Bill Tracking" webinar. Cheri Randich of the Legislative Information Center will offer her insights on tracking the legislative process at this Nov. 8 AWB webinar.

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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 October in a week-long tour. A video looks at all that's ahead during this busy, insight-filled week.

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Manufacturing Day will open up shop floors to neighbors, lawmakers and students

Washington's manufacturers are often too busy designing and creating products to open their doors to the public, and that means that the innovative work they do is often not visible to the general public. To tell the great story of modern manufacturing, Manufacturing Day on Oct. 6 will help Washington's manufacturers swing their doors open to a curious and admiring public and show off the great job opportunities to the next generation of workers.

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Tweet of the Week

Girl Power

They Said It

Hirst Hurts

"This is not just a rural issue." ~ Sen. Judy Warnick, in a letter signed by 21 members of the Senate, urging Gov. Jay Inslee and the Legislature to act on Warnick's bill to fix the Hirst ruling, which a recent study shows will have a $6.9 billion annual impact on the state's economy if not addressed.

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A Warning

Seattle, stop bemoaning growth like it's a curse. Another city is about to eat our lunch

By Emily Parkhurst, Editor-in-Chief, The Puget Sound Business Journal

We may have already missed our opportunity to ride Inc.'s prominence to global fame. Amazon's decision to seek a location for a new second headquarters, we hear, has been in the works for some time.

But since that news broke, I've heard more than a few people quietly -- or in a few cases, loudly -- expressing relief.

Finally, housing prices might stabilize. Our transportation infrastructure might keep up with growth. There might actually be a parking spot downtown.

While we catch our breath, another city will begin eating our lunch. It will start slowly, with just a bite or two.

Then, when we're going head-to-head with our new competition, our political leadership will be asked to defend this region's business climate. Our government will be asked to pony up incentives, to encourage growth in a measurable and meaningful way, to match what another city -- till high on its big win -- is falling over itself to do.

Will we do that? Will we step up to protect the jobs, wealth and prosperity Amazon has brought to this region?

Read the full editorial in The Puget Sound Business Journal
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Building Trades Unions Reaffirm Support for Vancouver Energy Terminal

By Keep Washington Competitive

Support for the Vancouver Energy terminal at the Port of Vancouver remains stronger than ever among members and leadership of the building trades unions, who voiced their backing during the port's third lease hearing Tuesday.

"This project has the backing of a broad cross-section of my colleagues in the IBEW as well as many others in the building trades because it will bring the kind of family-wage jobs and career opportunities that are in short supply to Southwest Washington," said Mike Bridges, President, Longview/Kelso Building Trades, IBEW 48. "These jobs will be the catalyst for significant economic development gains in this region. We urge the port to continue this lease and to consider the greater economic impact Vancouver Energy will have on this corner of the state."

Willy Myers, executive secretary for the Columbia Pacific Building Trades, reiterated the level of support for the project and the economic development benefits it would bring to the region.

"Major infrastructure projects such Vancouver Energy are essential for developing apprenticeship programs, which turn into careers in the building trades," Myers said. "That's the best way to ensure a workforce pipeline that continues to meet all of our infrastructure needs. We need projects like Vancouver Energy and support the continued extension of this lease as we await the final outcome of the regulatory review process."
Read the full story at Keep Washington Competitive
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