November 20, 2017
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Supreme Court says lawmakers aren't moving fast enough on McCleary compliance

The state Supreme Court said that lawmakers have now allocated enough money to fully fund basic education -- a major milestone, five years after the original McCleary court ruling. However, justices said that the state's timeline for compliance is a year behind schedule, so the court retained jurisdiction in the case.

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Senate Democrats release committee leadership list after switch of party control

After winning the 45th District Senate seat in a special election, Democrats released their leadership list as they prepare to take control of the state Senate under incoming Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson.

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Judge hears hours of argument on Seattle income tax; ruling expected soon

The legal battle over Seattle's income tax on high earners is moving forward after a judge heard arguments from both sides on Friday. The case could move to the state Supreme Court, which would have to consider nearly a century of case law and legislation that prevents an income tax in Washington.

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One week left until AWB's black-tie Evening of Excellence awards 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 worthy of recognition. 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. There's still time to register here.

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Secretary of State Kim Wyman to host AWB Holiday Kids' Tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1

Secretary of State Kim Wyman will join AWB in hosting the 29th annual lighting of the tree in the state Capitol on Dec. 1. AWB leads 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.

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Federal Issues

U.S. House votes for tax reform; all eyes now on Senate

Republicans in the U.S. House voted for a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul last week, lowering business tax rates and pushing Congress closer to the first federal tax reform in 30 years. What's ahead in the Senate is less certain, however.

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Other News

Millennium shoreline permit denied; process shows excessive regulatory review process, supporters say

A Cowlitz County hearing examiner has denied two key shorelines permits needed by Millennium Bulk Terminals for its $680 million export terminal in Longview. The company said it will appeal, and supporters said the restrictions on industrial development set a worrying precedent.

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Seattle City Council rejects business tax for homeless

By a 5-4 vote, the Seattle City council last week voted down a measure that would add another tax on the city's employers to pay for services and housing to aid the homeless. Several of the council members who voted "no" said they hope to revive a different version of the proposal next year.

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Governor declares Nov. 25 to be Small Business Saturday

Small businesses are the backbone of Washington's economy, the glue that holds communities together, and are deserving of local support as the holiday shopping season begins, Gov. Jay Inslee said in a proclamation that declares Saturday, Nov. 25, to be Small Business Saturday in Washington.

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Some paper-making operations to shut down in Camas

Parts of the Camas paper mill will shut down over the next two years as Georgia-Pacific reduces its production of paper for copiers and printers to match lower demand. The company will continue making tissue paper at the mill. Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, said the decision is a warning to the state that competitiveness matters to preserve crucial manufacturing jobs.

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AWB Events & Resources

Registration is still open for AWB's fourth-annual D.C. Fly-in next month

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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Registration 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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Tweet of the Week

High-Quality Manufacturing



They Said It

Paying for Basic Education

"The legislature's actions as to these components are not perfect, but the legislature has acted within the broad range of its policy discretion in a manner that 'achieves or is reasonably likely to achieve' the constitutional end of amply funding K-12 basic education." ~ Washington State Supreme Court justices in their unanimous ruling last week on the state Legislature's compliance with the court's 2012 McCleary ruling.




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Continue Bipartisan Successes


One-party rule in Olympia should not end bipartisan effort

By Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville

The election this month of Democrat Manka Dhingra to represent the people of the 45th legislative district changes the landscape of the Washington state Senate, resulting in a return to one-party rule in Olympia.

However, it does not have to change the bipartisan way in which the Legislature has operated since a group of Democrats joined with Republicans in 2013 to govern by consensus, ushering in unprecedented achievements.

For the past five years, the bipartisan Majority Coalition Caucus controlled the Senate, while Democrats controlled the House of Representatives and governor's mansion. For measures to pass, members of both chambers had to debate, negotiate and compromise.

This process resulted in the passage of historic legislation, such as the first-ever college-tuition reduction, a $16 billion transportation package and a plan to fully fund basic education with equitable levy reform...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Legal Maneuvers


Be watchful of Seattle's income tax

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

In July, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to impose an income tax on its wealthiest citizens, knowing full well the decision would end up challenged in court.

That apparently was part of the strategy.

By spurring debate, advocates for the Seattle income tax hope to reverse historical precedent and open the door so other communities can follow Seattle's lead.

If that were to happen, it's reasonable to think the next step would be an effort to impose an income tax statewide. That's why we should be watching this issue closely.

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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