June 25, 2018
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Top Stories

Western State Hospital loses federal certification and $53 million in annual funding

Washington's largest psychiatric hospital failed a key inspection and will lose $53 million a year in federal funding, the state Department of Social and Health Services disclosed today. The state will take on the costs of backfilling the lost federal funding, meaning a new $100 million per biennium hole in the state budget.

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U.S. Supreme Court overturns precedent, rules states can collect sales tax on online purchases

States can require online retailers to charge sales tax on customer purchases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week. The 5-4 decision overturned a high court precedent dating back to 1992, and is seen as a win for states, which said they were losing out on billions of dollars in sales tax collections each year.

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State forecast shows $600 million boost to tax collections over next four years

Washington state's governmental coffers will collect about $300 million more than expected in each of the next two biennial budget cycles, according to numbers released last week. While that's good news, that's still just a tiny sliver of the state's $45.3 billion budget, with a reserve of only $2.9 billion.

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It's the final week to apply for AWB's Manufacturing Excellence and Evening of Excellence awards

Is your business getting the recognition it deserves? Apply now for AWB's annual Evening of Excellence and Manufacturing Excellence awards to help us tell your story. Learn more here, and be sure to send nominations in before this week's deadline of June 30.

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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. The Aug. 14 event will give attendees the chance to ask questions and learn more about important issues like international trade, immigration, taxes, defense spending and more. Learn more and register here.

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Federal Issues

Trade-driven Washington state braces for impacts of escalating global trade tensions

From aerospace to agriculture, from whiskey to watercraft, Washington's economy is supported by exports and international trade. Last week, the voices of employers and policy-makers emphasized the crucial role of global trade to Washington state's prosperity.

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Other News

I-1608 suspends signature gathering work to focus on 2019 ballot effort

It's a hard year for ballot measures, thanks in part to the recent push in Seattle for a referendum on the city's head tax. Because the cost of pursuing signatures is so high, the group supporting Initiative 1608, the measure to increase government transparency, has suspended the campaign and will focus its energies on 2019.

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Usability testing open for Paid Family and Medical Leave website

As the state Employment Security Department prepares to roll out the new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, employers and employees are invited to give the program's new website a trial run. Usability testing is open to help make the website easy to use. Try it out here. In other news, the latest draft of rulemaking in the PFML program is now available online.

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Seattle's plastic straw and utensil ban takes effect July 1

The Emerald City is the first in America to ban plastic straws and utensils. The law that takes effect July 1 is aimed at protecting the environment, from fisheries to oceans, and to reducing the amount of landfill waste.

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'Record optimism': More than 95 percent of manufacturers bullish on future

More than 95 percent of manufacturers have a positive outlook for the future, a new survey shows. An improving economy and more capital to invest after last year's federal tax cuts are some of the reasons why.

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Foster youth gain more access to apprenticeships, college, and other support

Foster youth now have more access to apprenticeships and other support thanks to the newly-created Passport to Careers program. The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, is the first of its kind in the nation.

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Kelly Susewind named new director of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

A longtime manager at the Department of Ecology will take over leadership at the state's wildlife management agency.

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AWB's local legislative candidate interviews conclude with upcoming meetings in Yakima, Wenatchee and Mount Vernon

AWB's candidate interviews conclude July 2 with scheduled stops in Central and Northwest Washington. 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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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."

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Helping Employees



They Said It

Flippy the Robot

"In this market, employees will leave if they have one bad day. If that happens, having this technology in place makes it easier to deal with." ~ Patrick Sugrue, the chief executive of Saladworks, a 95-store chain based in West Conshohocken, Pa., in a Wall Street Journal story about workplace automation, including an aptly named hamburger-making robotic arm called "Flippy."




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Award Applications Due This Week
Lessons to Learn


Five things Seattle leaders should learn from the head tax repeal

By Tim Punke and John Murray

The Seattle City Council's stunning reversal on the $275-per-employee jobs tax was a case study in over-reaching and misreading public sentiment. As Seattle moves forward, there will be a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking and second-guessing, but there are some key lessons in this historic about-face:

* Seattle has tax fatigue

* We need accountability

* We shouldn't take jobs for granted

* Seattle's business community is the envy of the nation

* We need thoughtful regional solutions to homelessness and housing insecurity

Ultimately, it's not just about working together on homelessness, or other pressing issues of the day. It's about our elected leaders leading, seeking common ground, and partnering with both the advocate and business communities...

Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
Voter Insights


TVW providing must-see TV for 2018 election

By Renee Radcliff Sinclair, TVW president

As part of TVW's obligation to provide you with information about your state government, we have a profound commitment to state election coverage. This summer and fall, TVW will be traversing the state to cover statewide candidate and ballot measure campaigns. In addition to airing candidate forums and debates on TVW's cable television station, all programming is archived and available for your use right here. As election season approaches, this site will be updated daily with new events and opportunities for you to gain further insights into candidates and ballot measures.

Part of TVW's media philosophy has always been to enable the public to hear directly from our news sources in something more than just short sound bites. With that commitment as a backdrop, TVW has partnered with Secretary of State Kim Wyman to make available a Video Voters Guide, allowing you to hear directly from the many candidates running for office this August. Here you can access three-minute, unedited candidate statements outlining the policy priorities of each. These candidate vignettes are also airing regularly on TVW's cable television station across the state (check local listings)....

Read the full guest column in The Yakima Herald-Republic
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