October 30, 2017
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Top Stories Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Key Hearings/Meetings Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Rural Jobs Summit brings solutions to the forefront with sold-out event in Moses Lake

AWB's statewide Rural Jobs Summit last week at Big Bend Community College brought together 250 solution-minded people, including the leaders of the House and Senate, to ensure that every corner of Washington can flourish.

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Supreme Court drills down during McCleary oral arguments

"Frustrated" and "skeptical" state Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments last week in the long-running McCleary education funding case. Lawyers for the state argued that by adding billions of dollars in K-12 spending and changing the property tax levy system, they have addressed the Supreme Court's orders to fully fund K-12 basic education.

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Appeal filed over rejection of Millennium Bulk Terminals permit

The Department of Ecology "reinvented the rules and created an unprecedented process to evaluate our project," Millennium Bulk Terminals' CEO said last week as the company filed a lawsuit challenging a permit denial on its export terminal in Longview. Unions, farmers and other supporters of the Millennium project voiced support for the appeal, saying the state's delay-filled permitting system is putting jobs at risk. In related news, a judge ruled in favor of Millennium in the case of a tidelands lease that the court said was improperly denied by the Department of Natural Resources.

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AWB's Evening of Excellence to honor employers at red-carpet awards event Nov. 29

Mark your calendars for the second-annual AWB Evening of Excellence. The black-tie gala at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle highlights achievements of some of the state's top employers. Online registration for the event is now open.

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Federal Issues

Controversial Ex-Im Bank nominee to get Senate hearing this week

Rep. Scott Garrett, the former U.S. House member who vowed to shut down the Export-Import Bank, will get a hearing this week for his nomination to serve as president and chairman of the agency. Also up for a hearing are four other non-controversial nominees to serve on the bank's board.

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U.S. factory sector activity hits 13-year high

American factory shop floors are hopping. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index hit 60.8 in September, overcoming the headwinds of a severe hurricane season to make its best showing since May of 2004.

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Other News

Tax Foundation business tax climate index ranks Washington poorly on corporate taxes, but high for lack of income tax

Washington state continues to rank in the middle of the pack for its business tax climate, according to the latest national rankings from the Tax Foundation. The state ranks among the worst for its corporate and sales tax rates, but is ranked one of the best in the country for its lack of an income tax. Overall, Washington kept its ranking of 17th best in the nation.

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Lew Moore stepping down as president and CEO of Washington Research Council

After three years as head of the Washington Research Council, Lew Moore will step down in early 2018. He'll pursue business and policy interests in Utah, where he currently has a home.

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AWB members top PSBJ's annual list of top corporate philanthropists

All ten of the top corporate philanthropists in Washington state are AWB members. The Puget Sound Business Journal's 2017 Giving Guide notes the major contributions by Microsoft, Boeing, Costco, and other Northwest business icons -- all longtime AWB members.

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AWB Events & Resources

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 leg.wa.gov & 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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Webinar: Repeat of September webinar on I-1433 paid sick and safe leave law

After overwhelming demand for AWB's September webinar on Initiative 1433, Tim O'Connell is going to be presenting the information again on Nov. 14. O'Connell, a partner at Stoel Rives, will repeat his presentation about the new mandate on employers to provide Paid Safe and Sick Leave. Those provisions of Initiative 1433 go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, and will apply to every employer in the state with hourly employees.

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AWB Holiday Kids' Tree lighting ceremony is Dec. 1

AWB hosts the Holiday Kids' Tree Project each year with the goal to help as many deserving families as possible during the Christmas season. Since 1989, the Holiday Kids' Tree Project has raised over $390,000 to purchase gifts at Christmas for families in need. All donations are funded by AWB members and the private sector. This year's funds will be distributed to rural fire districts at the annual tree-lighting ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda on Friday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m. The theme of this year's tree is "Friends of the Forest" and will feature stuffed ornaments of animals native to Washington state.

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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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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Council to meet Nov. 6

The AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Council will meet at Peterson Sullivan, 601 Union Street, Seattle, Suite 2300, on Monday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact Eric Lohnes for information about the meeting or for remote participation via Skype.

AWB Paid Family Leave Committee to meet Nov. 7

The AWB Paid Family Leave Committee will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 7, to discuss rulemaking, the advisory committee, and other issues. The time and location of the meeting are being finalized. Contact Bob Battles to learn more.

Tweet of the Week

A Strong Start

They Said It

Rural Jobs Now

"Together, we've got a lot of kinetic energy. Let's focus it and make sparks fly." ~ Alex McGregor, managing partner of The McGregor Company, giving a rousing keynote address to kick off last week's sold-out Rural Jobs Summit in Moses Lake.

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'Hirst Will Shatter the American Dream...'

Call the Legislature back to pass capital budget, fix water-rights ruling

By former Gov. Dan Evans

It's time for Gov. Jay Inslee, together with Republicans and Democrats in both houses of the Legislature, to put partisanship aside and solve two pressing problems. Washington state needs a capital budget and a fix to the state Supreme Court's Hirst decision, which has impacted homebuilding in rural areas.

As construction costs rise, every day that goes by without passage of the state's capital budget means that taxpayers will pay more for building schools and other projects, and it means that needed construction is delayed.

Equally important is modification of the law in response to the Hirst decision. Hirst will shatter the American dream for some Washington state families because they may not be able to obtain water on the properties they purchased unless the Legislature enacts a solution to that decision...

Read the full column in The Seattle Times
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