February 5, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Legislation of Note Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Momentum building for B&O manufacturing tax relief

Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate to offer manufacturers business and occupation (B&O) tax relief that would provide a needed boost to an important part of Washington's economy. Last week, AWB launched an "action alert" on this important manufacturing issue as a follow-up to our ongoing social media video campaign.

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Senate committee passes carbon tax; energy and fuel costs would increase

The Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee passed a carbon tax and regulation bill last week. The bill would establish a lower price per ton of carbon than had been proposed by Gov. Jay Inslee, but would still increase costs for energy and fuel used by consumers and many employers, as well as middle- and low-income families.

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Governor's advisors kick off Lobby Lunch series; Republican and Democratic leaders coming next

Advisors to Gov. Jay Inslee spoke last week to a full house in AWB's remodeled conference room, kicking off this year's Lobby Lunch series. Olympia's "power lunch" continues this Thursday as AWB hosts top GOP legislators. The series will conclude with updates from Democratic legislative leaders next week.

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AWB Government Affairs team to provide mid-session update this Thursday -- register now

Tuesday is the last day for bills to pass out of committee in their houses of origin. This major cutoff will clarify what bills are still in play as the legislative session hits the halfway mark. AWB's Government Affairs team will update members this Thursday in a live webinar to take stock of what's happening. Can't make the live webinar? A recording of the discussion will be available later as a podcast. Registration for the webinar is open.

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Jeff Bezos, with help from Amazon's Alexa, opens 'remarkable' Spheres

Amazon's newly-opened geodesic domes in Seattle highlight the retail giant's Seattle campus, and make a statement. The glass bubbles are designed as an urban oasis in the heart of Amazon's home town.

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Winter edition of Washington Business magazine is hot off the press

The new issue of Washington Business magazine takes a closer look at the urban-rural divide. Stories also highlight innovations in education, sustainability, electrical smart grids, and more. Copies of the magazine will be arriving by mail this week. The full magazine is also available online.

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Legislation of Note

SB 5140: Pay equity

AWB is working to include key amendments into an important pay equity bill.

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HB 2338: Low-carbon fuel standards

AWB testified against proposed low-carbon fuel standards this afternoon during a hearing in the House Transportation Committee. Opposition came both on environmental and infrastructure grounds.

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HB 2177: Rural job creation and education

House Bill 2177, an AWB-supported bill to support targeted education in high-demand rural job fields, had a hearing last week in the House Appropriations Committee.

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Other News

Reminder: New state tax portal launches March 19

The Washington Department of Revenue reminds businesses and tax professionals about a new system for filing taxes that is scheduled to go live next month. Training webinars on the new system will take place before the March 19 launch.

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Seattle Metropolitan Chamber hires former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland as new CEO

Seattle's leading business organization has picked the experienced business and political leader Marilyn Strickland as the new president and chief executive officer.

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Inslee Promotes Youth Apprenticeships During Career and Technical Education Month

Gov. Jay Inslee spoke about the importance of career-connected learning and apprenticeships last week during the 2018 Governor's Youth Apprenticeship Summit. The event was timed to fall within Career and Technical Education Month.

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PNNL and Huskies join forces to create new science and technology institute

A new partnership will both promote materials science research and nurture a new generation of leading scientists.

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Costco co-founder Sinegal bids goodbye at shareholder gathering

The man who co-founded Costco in 1976 is leaving the board but looks forward to a busy retirement.

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Application period open for Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship

Female college students can receive up to $15,000 in financial aid from the Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship, awarded each year to support young women interested in public policy.

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TrueBlue receives Governance Award from Seattle Business magazine

The Tacoma-based staffing firm TrueBlue was honored for the 'outstanding diverse composition, governance and oversight' of its Board of Directors last week.

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Passages: Fred Stabbert, chair of Forterra board and former AWB board chair

Fred Stabbert, a longtime friend, leader and supporter of AWB, has died at age 74 after a long battle with cancer. Stabbert had a long, successful career in the paper industry, and was influential in guiding AWB growth over the decades.

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB's 2018 employment law webinar series begins in February; still time to sign up for full package

AWB's popular employment law webinar series is back for the third year. Top legal experts will again look at the many facets of increasingly complex labor laws, offering up-to-date information to keep your workplace in compliance with the latest legal changes. Sign up for all the classes now to receive a complete kit of all presentations.

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Hear from apprenticeship advocate at AWB Institute Workforce Summit March 21 in Bellevue

Back by popular demand, the AWB Institute Workforce Summit will be held this year at the Hilton Bellevue on Wednesday, March 21. Matt Poischbeg, vice president and general manager at Sea-Lect Plastics, will give the keynote, offering an enthusiastic and experienced take on apprenticeships and workforce development. Registration is now open!

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A new home for Spring Meeting -- the Davenport Grand hotel

Reserve your room May 15 and 16 in the AWB room block now for the 2018 Spring Meeting, to be held in the new Davenport Grand hotel in downtown Spokane. AWB's annual meeting in Spokane is only going to be bigger and better as it moves to this deluxe new hotel near the city's Riverside Park.

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AWB HealthChoice members can get access to medical care anytime, anywhere

AWB members enrolled in the HealthChoice Trust Premera plans have access to Teladoc, which offers 24/7 access to U.S. board-certified doctors via phone or video consults. Teladoc doctors can diagnose, treat, and send prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice, all from the comfort of your own home. Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Work It!

They Said It

Inside the Spheres

"The plants look happy." ~ Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as he opened and toured The Spheres, his company's new plant-filled glass domes in downtown Seattle.

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STEM education with PNNL
Manufacturing Bedrock

Work to ensure Boeing builds its next jet in the Puget Sound region

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Glowing praise of the Puget Sound region by Boeing's chief executive is reassuring as the state of Washington seeks to land production of the company's next jetliner.

"Puget Sound is part of Boeing for the future in a very strong way," Dennis Muilenburg said in an interview with Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates.

But the region and state must continue working hard to convince the company that its hometown remains the best place in the world to manufacture its next plane, informally dubbed the 797.

A task force convened by Gov. Jay Inslee last year is making progress and preparing to submit a bid if there's a formal request for site proposals later this year. Regional groups in areas such as Snohomish County and Spokane also are making their case. This is a critical effort to retain and grow an industry that's a cornerstone of the state's economy.

While Muilenburg didn't tip his hand on the 797, which Boeing hasn't yet committed to build, he did drop hints about where Washington can improve its competitiveness.

One is the cost of living and doing business in Seattle, which are "higher than most of our other sites," he said...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Hard Work Remains

Competitiveness Redbook highlights Washington's successes, opportunities

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington's economy is the envy of many states across the country. Job growth in our urban areas is booming and cranes pepper the Seattle and Bellevue skylines.

All that points to a robust statewide economy today and into the future. Or, does it?

Each year, the Association of Washington Business (AWB) digs deeper into the state's economy and competitiveness, going beyond the headlines and accolades from outside groups, to determine where Washington can improve and harness opportunities for growth.

AWB's 2018 Competitiveness Redbook, released last month, is a data-driven guide to Washington state's economic health that uses comparisons -- 59 tables in all -- with other states to benchmark performance in key indicators.

One important indicator is job growth. The latest numbers show job growth remains a strength, with nearly 80,000 new jobs added over the past year. Looking deeper, however, that's actually 21,000 fewer jobs than the previous year, dropping our state down one spot to sixth in the nation...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
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