November 6, 2017
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Top Stories

Time to vote: ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday

The general election is tomorrow and ballots must be turned in to voting offices or have a postmark of Nov. 7 to be counted. Among the most watched races in this election is the 45th District Senate race, which will decide who controls the Senate and whether Washington retains split government or returns to one-party control of all branches of government.

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Proposed Ex-Im Bank head 'gets rough reception' at confirmation hearing

Former Rep. Scott Garrett faced "increasingly frustrated" senators during a confirmation hearing last week to serve as president of the Export-Import Bank. Garrett, who while in office had said the bank should be shut down, pledged to "carry out the president's vision regarding Ex-Im: a fully functioning bank." Meanwhile, the administration has nominated Kimberly Reed to serve as first vice president and vice chair of the Ex-Im Bank.

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Newly formed AWB Rural Jobs Task Force created; Alex McGregor to serve as chair

After last month's sold-out Rural Jobs Summit, interest in solving the issues facing rural Washington remains high. AWB is pushing forward to address the challenges and opportunities by creating a Rural Jobs Task Force. Alex McGregor, president of The McGregor Co., has agreed to serve as chair. In related news, Opportunity Washington is asking for input with a new Rural Jobs Survey.

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One month away: register now for AWB's fourth-annual 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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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

U.S. House releases look at tax reform proposal

The U.S. House Ways & Means chair released the "chairman's mark" of the federal tax reform plan on Thursday. While changes are likely during the legislative process, this is the first tax bill that has been released by a tax-writing committee.

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U.S. House passes Resilient Federal Forests Act, 'but support is minimal'

An "internal congressional battle" is aflame over wildfire management reform, The Columbian reports. While the U.S. House approved the Resilient Federal Forests Act last week, the White House opposes the bill as written. Still, there is widespread agreement that wildfire funding is flawed and needs to be fixed.

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Other News

Seattle looks at $100 per-employee tax to pay for homeless relief, but interim mayor opposes

As Seattle looks for money to combat homelessness, one option being discussed as a per-employee "head tax." Seattle's interim mayor opposes the measure.

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As most U.S. states eliminate the estate tax, Washington's high rate is an outlier

States across the country are eliminating their estate and inheritance taxes. Meanwhile, Washington's 20 percent estate tax remains the highest in the nation.

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Gov. Inslee appoints Susan Birch to lead Health Care Authority

Susan Birch, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Policy and Financing, will take over as head of the Washington Health Care Authority on Jan. 1.

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SBA seeks nominations for Washington's Small Business Person of the Year

Nominations are open for the 2018 Small Business Week awards. The awards are presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration to employers "that have gone above and beyond their responsibilities, shaped the community and driven the economy."

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AWB Events & Resources

Webinar this week: 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 Wednesday's 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, which goes 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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Key Hearings/Meetings

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

Rural Jobs Recap



They Said It

Manufacturing Rocks

"Shout out to our friends at AWB for an awesome #MFGDay17! More than 2,000 miles traveled to highlight manufacturing!" ~ Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, in a Facebook post linking to AWB's Manufacturing Week Bus Tour highlight video.




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Manufacturing Week Tour


Manufacturing is huge in Washington. Let's celebrate -- and invest in it

By Kate Lampson and Kris Johnson

Manufacturing has a long history in Washington and it has a great story to tell: In Benton County, careers in manufacturing pay an average annual wage of $55,701, $50,575 in Walla Walla County and almost $41,000 in Franklin County. Not bad for jobs that often require no more than a trade certificate or a two-year degree. It also has a multiplier of three -- for every one job created in manufacturing, another three jobs are created elsewhere.

That's a good return on investment, but the sector faces some headwinds.

As manufacturing comes on a national resurgence, Washington's sector has lost about 48,000 jobs since 2000 -- the vast majority of which are non-aerospace jobs.

Clearly, more can be done to support good-paying manufacturing jobs here and across the state.

Read the full column in The Tri-City Herald
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