November 13, 2017
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Top Stories

Dhingra wins in 45th District; Democrats prepare to take over Senate

With Manka Dhingra's victory in the 45th District Senate special election, Democrats now control all levers of power in Olympia. "The Democratic policy wish list is long," The Seattle Times writes, and includes policies on taxes, carbon, health care and much more.

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Newly elected Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan seen as 'best hope in years' of helping Seattle's business climate

Jenny Durkan won last week's election for mayor of Seattle. The editorial board of The Seattle Times said Durkan's election "offers the best hope in years of improving the city's business climate, which cannot be taken for granted and needs tending."

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AWB joins Gov. Inslee for trip to Switzerland to learn about career-connected education

AWB President Kris Johnson, Gov. Jay Inslee and dozens of other state leaders spent last week in Switzerland. The trip focused on workforce education, apprenticeships and ways to expand career-connected learning opportunities.

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Finalists announced for AWB's Evening of Excellence awards, winners will be announced Nov. 29 at black-tie event in Seattle

The winners are a tightly kept secret, but the finalists have been announced for this year's Evening of Excellence awards. From every corner of Washington, these top employers are certainly worthy of awards. Be the first to find out who wins by reserving your seat at the second-annual AWB Evening of Excellence, a black-tie gala at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle on Nov. 29. Online registration for the event is now open.

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Registration now open for 2018 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

Reserve your space now at one of AWB's most popular events, the Legislative Day and Hill Climb. Hear directly from top lawmakers in both parties and business and agency leaders during a day of policy talks and networking, then join our well-organized Hill Climb and meet with your legislators in person. The event will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Olympia.

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Federal Issues

U.S. Senate releases its version of tax reform bill

Both chambers of Congress have now released their plans for federal tax overhaul. While there are many similarities, including a drive to lower the corporate tax rate to encourage growth, there are some major differences.

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Other News

Spokane voters reject initiative that would have imposed fines on coal- and oil-carrying rail cars

Spokane voters have decisively rejected a proposal to fine rail cars carrying energy products like coal and oil. Proposition 2 was failing on election night with only 41 percent voting in support of the measure, which had been criticized as illegal and damaging to the economy.

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Sen. Kirk Pearson resigns from state Senate after presidential appointment to USDA post

Monroe Republican Sen. Kirk Pearson has been appointed by the Trump administration to serve in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pearson has served as chair of the Senate Natural Resources & Parks Committee. Read more »

Reports laud Boeing for LGBTQ workplace inclusion and for support of veterans

Two new reports applaud The Boeing Company for its policies. lists Boeing in its roundup of the 10 best companies for veterans. And the Human Rights Campaign Foundation gave the company a perfect score for its policies of inclusion and quality for LGBTQ employees.

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Boeing seeking thousands of applicants for open manufacturing jobs

Workers with experience in construction, auto mechanics, electrical work, precision machining and welding have the skills that Boeing is looking for. The company will be holding five job fairs as it looks to hire thousands of people for assembly, electrical and aviation maintenance positions.

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Senate begins work sessions on education, transportation, other issues

The 2018 legislative session is six weeks away, but a number of Senate committees began meeting today for work sessions and other discussions of issues likely to play a prominent role in legislative debate come January.

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AWB Institute

Happy National Apprenticeship Week! Is apprenticeship right for you?

It's National Apprenticeship Week. This third-annual event by the U.S. Department of Labor will be marked with the first meeting of the Apprenticeship Expansion Task Force. With events for the week planned around the country, six will be held in Washington highlight the value of apprenticeships for both employers and employees.

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AWB Events & Resources

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 under I-1433, 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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Coming next month: 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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Tweet of the Week

A Sign of the Times

They Said It

Changes in Olympia

"Democrats may control the Legislature, but moderates will set the agenda." ~ A Seattle Times editorial headline, saying that even with full Democratic control of the Legislature, moderates will still be unlikely to take a major leftward vote on taxes for carbon or capital gains.

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Rural Jobs Summit

Why Rural Economic Development Is Top of Mind in Washington State and Elsewhere

By Joshua Wright

Rural economic development is a thorny, multi-layered topic with many challenges and few obvious answers. But the summit -- hosted in Moses Lake by the Association of Washington Businesses -- was encouraging, not just because it focused on solutions for small towns and regions but also because so many people attended the event.

Sweeney himself said it speaks well for Washington that 250 decision-makers from every part of the state came together to talk rural jobs and economies.

"We put our focus on where the need is, and the need is the biggest in rural communities," said Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington Department of Commerce.

Read the full essay at
Quality Health Insurance

Association Health Plans offer model for the nation

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Since they were created, Association Health Plans (AHP) have grown in popularity, insuring as many as 400,000 people at their peak. Many of those people were not previously insured. For AWB's plan, approximately 40 percent of employers did not have prior coverage. It's clear that AHPs expand health care access and choices for small employers, their employees and families.

What's more, employers that start with an AHP tend to renew. Historically, as many as 90 percent renew coverage year after year...

Washington's AHPs offer high-quality health insurance plans with consumer protections like guaranteed issue (nobody can be denied coverage) and renewal built in. They are fully insured and comply with all state and federal mandates, including those contained in the Affordable Care Act such as dependent coverage up to age 26, lab and X-ray, preventative care and mental health services.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
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