August 20, 2018
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Top Stories

Employers connect with Congress at AWB's Federal Affairs Summit

From topical questions to informal conversations, AWB members had a chance to talk directly with some of Washington state's members of Congress at last week's Federal Affairs Summit in Tacoma. There was also a chance to dive into important issues with panel discussions that included employers and federal lawmakers.

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Trade policy is key focus of federal lawmakers from both parties

America needs a trade policy, not just a tariff policy, said one lawmaker at last week's Federal Affairs Summit. Trade was an important theme for every speaker, including a panel discussion with Washington exporters and another with top regional trade representatives from Canada and Mexico.

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Investment in infrastructure, from highways to broadband, emphasized at Federal Affairs Summit

There was bipartisan agreement from Washington's congressional delegation at last week's AWB Federal Affairs Summit that the United States needs to focus on investments in infrastructure. That's more than just highways -- it's also the information superhighway, particularly in rural areas, they said.

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Just one month until Policy Summit; AWB room block nearly full, so reserve space today

AWB's room block at Suncadia Resort is near capacity, so reserve a space now for AWB's Policy Summit in Cle Elum Sept. 18-20. This special event, located at a beautiful resort in the Cascades, offers excellent panels, guest speakers and networking opportunities for AWB's employer community.

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State revenues again coming in above forecast

The expanding national economy continues to pay dividends for Washington state tax collections. The state collected $33 million, or 2 percent, more than expected last month. Cumulatively, the state has collected $75 million more than forecast this year.

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AWB to hold next round of candidate interviews

With the primary elections having narrowed the field to the top two candidates in each legislative race, AWB will hold another round of candidate interviews over the coming weeks. It's part of an exhaustive and detailed process of selecting candidates to endorse. Take a look at AWB's first round of endorsements.

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Other News

AWB's Health Care and Education and Workforce committees to meet this week in Moses Lake, Vancouver and Olympia

Health care, education and workforce development are key topics for AWB members and their employees. Three meetings this week in Moses Lake, Vancouver and Olympia will allow AWB members to take part in crafting thoughtful solutions and setting the 2019 legislative agenda on these issues.

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Judge dismisses youth climate change lawsuit

A group of children who had hoped to persuade a judge to force lawmakers to drastically cut carbon emissions have hit a legal dead end. A Seattle judge said the courts are not the place to address climate issues.

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Washington's jobless rate at lowest point since 2007

Washington's unemployment rate reached 4.6 percent in July, which is the lowest rate since June 2007. More than 12,000 jobs were added last month.

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ProPoint to offer class on compliance with posting of benefit notices

Join ProPoint for an informative talk on how employers can be assured of compliance with requirements for posting notices on benefits. The Sept. 14 class will offer one hour of continuing education credits and will be offered in Lynnwood and Seattle.

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Secretary of State calls for nominations for Washington's Medals of Merit and Valor

Washington's Medals of Merit and Valor committees are now accepting nominations for the state's highest civilian honor.

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Don C. Brunell Scholarship accepting applications for business-minded students

Applications are open for the Don C. Brunell Scholarship. This annual scholarship helps advance the studies of future business leaders. Applications are available online, and are due by Aug. 31.

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AWB Events & Resources

Get ready for Manufacturing Day and AWB's Manufacturing Week tour in October

Mark your calendars for Washington's biggest celebration of manufacturing. As part of national Manufacturing Day celebrations, AWB will again tour the state in a custom-wrapped bus this October. AWB's Manufacturing Week will celebrate and promote the vital role manufacturing plays in supporting Washington's communities and economy.

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Rural Jobs Summit to be held this fall in Longview

AWB's ongoing focus on statewide economic development, which started with two summits last year, will continue with the 2018 Rural Jobs Summit Nov. 8-9 at Lower Columbia College in Longview. Reserve your spot here.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee to meet Sept. 13

The AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee will meet Sept. 13, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Seattle. The discussion will include local business and occupation tax apportionment and an update on negotiations with the Association of Washington Cities on a set of task force recommendations. To learn more, contact Clay Hill, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy, at 360.943.1600.



Best of the Blog

Gorton shares insight, prediction on U.S. Supreme Court

Former U.S. Sen Slade Gorton argued 14 cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Later as a U.S. Senator for 18 years, he took part in the Supreme Court justice confirmation process. Gorton brought this unique perspective on the nation's highest court to AWB's Federal Affairs Summit on Tuesday, sharing insight, recollections and a bold prediction. Read the full blog post here.



Tweet of the Week

Connecting with Congress



They Said It

Thanks for Employers

"As someone who used to work in economic development professionally, I want to say something that I think elected officials need to say more to employers in this room, and that is, thank you." ~ U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer at AWB's Federal Affairs Summit. He added, "thank you for employing people here in this state and thank you for choosing here as a place in which to do business."




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Federal Affairs Summit Wrap-Up
Politics in the Courts


Halting misguided litigation

By Jay Timmons, CEO, National Association of Manufacturers

Today, in courthouses across America, manufacturers are under attack. Politically-minded trial lawyers partnering with headline-seeking politicians are suing manufacturers -- and using climate change as the justification. Similar frivolous lawsuits have failed in the past, but the mere possibility of a big payoff is enough to make trial lawyers keep at it.

The potential costs to manufacturers, workers and our legal system are too great to let this troubling trend continue -- especially since the lawsuits will do nothing to solve the global challenge of climate change in the first place.

Read the full op-ed in The Washington Times
Unreasonable Lawsuits


The writing is on the seawall

By Erin Hawley, associate professor of law, University of Missouri

In a big blow to green activists and cash-strapped cities looking for new revenue sources, a federal district judge recently dismissed a climate change lawsuit filed by New York City. This decision is a win for the rule of law as the recent spate of climate change lawsuits violate separation of powers principles.

Unable to obtain the regulatory regime they want through the legislative process, cities and states across the country have filed suit alleging that five of the largest energy companies should be held liable for the international phenomenon of global warming. These tort lawsuits are wrong-headed for all sorts of legal reasons, but primarily because the democratic branches are in a much better position to balance regulation against the need for economic development...

This is the second time in a few months that the federal courts have told plaintiff-cities (and their contingent-fee-seeking attorneys), that global warming is an issue for the political branches not the courts. It's time for them to start listening.

Read the full op-ed in St. Louis Today
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