June 18, 2018
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Top Stories

A dizzying week as Seattle City Council reverses head tax, but lawsuit over process prompts repeal referendum to move forward

The Seattle City Council made an abrupt about-face last Tuesday, voting 7-2 to repeal the tax on jobs that its members had unanimously approved less than a month before. Opponents of the tax still are submitting their overwhelming number of repeal referendum signatures, however, since a lawsuit over the council's open meetings process leaves the issue a bit cloudy.

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Alaffia honored for 'breaking the mold,' co-founder and CEO chosen to fill key trade committee appointment

It was a big week for Alaffia, the Tumwater-based fair-trade manufacturer of skin- and body-care products. The company's co-founder and CEO, Olowo-n'djo Tchala, was honored with an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award Friday, an award he dedicated to his mother. Earlier in the week, it was announced that Tchala was appointed by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to serve a four-year term as a member of the U.S. Trade Advisory Committee on Africa.

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Washington opens new Center of Excellence in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems

Washington's 11th Center of Excellence has opened, with this one focusing on Unmanned and Autonomous Systems. It's another workforce and economic development link between the state's community and technical college system and Washington's employers.

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Push is on to transform schools and workforce development

Two new reports and a call from the state Superintendent of Public Instruction are highlighting the need -- and opportunities -- for workforce development. Effective, targeted and industry-connected training will best serve employers, young people and their communities, the reports find.

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Just two weeks left to apply for AWB's Manufacturing Excellence and Evening of Excellence Awards

The deadline is approaching quickly. Take a few minutes now to nominate your company, or a business you admire, for AWB's annual Evening of Excellence and Manufacturing Excellence Awards. Learn more here, and be sure to nominate by June 30.

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Federal Issues

U.S. and China impose new tariffs as trade tensions rise; business and ports leaders advocate for 'balanced solution'

The presidential administration announced a 25 percent tariff Friday on $50 billion in Chinese imports over "very unfair" trade practices. China quickly responded that it would impose trade barriers of the "same scale and same strength."

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Courts rule EPA was wrong not to enforce Clean Air Act

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must enforce regulations to restrict states from emitting smog pollution that blows over state lines, according to two separate court rulings last week.

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Other News

AWB members invited to take part in upcoming local legislative candidate interviews

AWB will host candidate interviews over the coming weeks throughout the state. The interviews allow AWB and its members to learn more about each candidate's positions on policies that impact employers of all sizes and all sectors. All AWB members are invited and encouraged to attend their local interviews and meet the candidates.

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Gov. Inslee visits Eastern Washington in push for rural broadband

Last year's AWB Rural Jobs Summits identified rural broadband development as one of the most important ways to help bring economic prosperity to Washington's rural areas. Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee hit some of the same points as he visited rural communities across the state.

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Washington has the nation's 10th highest rate of state and local excise tax collections per capita

The Tax Foundation reports that Washington state and local governments collect $720 in excise taxes per capita, which makes the Evergreen State the 10th highest rate in the country.

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Port of Moses Lake considers a bid for Boeing's next jetliner

The Port of Moses Lake is considering a proposal to be the place where Boeing builds its next jet, the New Midsize Airplane. Boeing already tests airplanes at the Grant County International Airport, and there's room to expand.

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Analysis: 'Culvert case' likely to have wide-ranging impact on regulatory and permit issues

The U.S. Supreme Court, with a spilt 4-4 decision on the so-called "culvert case," missed an opportunity to clarify import issues regarding salmon passage and tribal treaty rights, K&L Gates writes in a new analysis of last week's ruling in "United States v. Washington."

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Seattle harbor deepening gets green light

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved a $60 million proposal to improve the Seattle harbor. The project now needs congressional approval.

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Nominations open for workplace heroism awards

Many people spend nearly as much time at work as they do at home, so when a life-threatening emergency happens, it's often other workers who must provide critical, immediate aid. That quick action can be the difference between life or death. The Department of Labor and Industries is accepting nominations for the 2018 Governor's Lifesaving Awards, honoring on-the-job heroes. The deadline is June 30.

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB's 2018 employment law webinar series will conclude with session on accident prevention and investigation

The final installment in AWB's popular employment law webinar series will be July 11, with Tim O'Connell and Karin Jones of Stoel Rives presenting on "Accident Prevention and Accident Investigation Plans."

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Connect with Congress at AWB's second-annual Federal Affairs Summit

Sign up today and take advantage of a unique opportunity to connect with Washington's congressional delegation without making a trip to D.C. This is your chance to ask questions and learn more about important issues like international trade, immigration, taxes, defense spending and more.


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Tweet of the Week

Halting Development in Longview



They Said It

Sudden Reversal

"OFF WITH THE HEAD TAX." ~ tweet from KUOW radio personality John Ryan, after the Seattle City Council voted Tuesday to repeal the unpopular tax on employment it had unanimously approved just the month before.




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Time for a Real Plan


Lots of blame for Seattle's head-tax debacle. Except where it belongs.

By Danny Westneat, columnist for The Seattle Times

The City Council implicitly acknowledged its head-tax plan was a loser when members voted to repeal it. But they couldn't admit it, instead blaming about everyone else in Seattle for the fail. Including you...

Council members alarmingly showered one another with praise Tuesday, saying the head tax was their best effort and it would be hard to top.

For starters, I would humbly suggest turning what you just did upside down. Come up with a detailed plan to help the homeless. Get buy-in on that, and then ask for money. That formula has a strong track record with voters in this city.

Read the full column in The Seattle Times
Over the Line


Supreme Court must clarify culvert ruling

By The Seattle Times editorial board

Attorney General Bob Ferguson was right to challenge a far-reaching federal ruling that forces Washington state to spend nearly $2 billion replacing culverts. Much more than culverts is at stake.

The state should not waste a fortune replacing culverts on streams that don't support fish, because they are blocked by other obstructions.

More important is the legal precedent that will be set if the ruling stands. It would establish new tribal authority: If tribes can demand culvert removal on nontribal land, they could follow up with lawsuits demanding the removal of dams or cessation of farming and development activities...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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