August 27, 2018
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Top Stories

Education leaders, CEOs and others to share timely insights at AWB's Policy Summit Sept. 18-20

AWB's annual Policy Summit at Suncadia Resort is shaping up to be an event full of insights -- from the state's premier four-year institutions, invaluable community and technical colleges, discussions on growth management and housing, and straight talk from some of the state's leading CEOs. The event rounds out with networking and, of course, a dynamic keynote speaker.

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Primary election results certified, AWB candidate interviews for general election endorsements underway

The results of the Aug. 7 primary election have been certified by the Secretary of State's office. To gear up for fall elections, AWB is holding another round of candidate interviews that began last week in Olympia and Bellevue and will continue at locations across the state over the coming weeks. The interview process is part of the detailed work AWB does each election cycle to endorse candidates.

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Washington Roundtable releases new Chair's Report with economic, education goals for upcoming year

The new annual report from Washington Roundtable outlines goals for economic growth and student preparation for college and career. The report highlights progress the state has made in those efforts and what the state can do to bolster its commitment to a better future.

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As new teacher salary dollars reach school districts, several local contract talks hit snags

With the Legislature's nearly $1 billion investment for teacher salaries this year, school districts across the state are bargaining collectively for pay and benefits. In some cases, the negotiations have led to major pay increases, leading to concerns about whether 20-plus percent pay raises are sustainable. In places like Longview, educators, unable to reach an agreement, voted to go on strike last Thursday.

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I-1631 carbon 'fee' measure to hit consumers with rising prices, truckers' group says

Nearly everything consumers purchase has been on a truck. In light of that, the Washington Trucking Association last week said Initiative 1631, which would place a "fee" on carbon emissions if approved by voters in November, would raise the cost of products transported by vehicle, or virtually everything. AWB opposes the initiative because of its punitive impact on low- and fixed-income residents that will see the cost of energy, fuel and goods rise under the measure and create a new unelected bureaucracy that could spend the billions in new dollars without legislative oversight.

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Federal Issues

U.S. reaches trade deal with Mexico, still negotiating with Canada

Months of NAFTA negotiations have resulted in a two-way deal on key trade issues with Mexico, the president announced this morning. He said Canada would need to sign on within days or risk being excluded from the deal, which he said will no longer be called NAFTA, a term he said had "a bad connotation" for the United States.

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Ex-Im Bank president nomination passes key Senate committee

The U.S. Export-Import Bank has been without a quorum or a president for months. But, in an expected move last week, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee approved Kimberly Reed's nomination to lead the bank. What remains to be seen is if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) brings Reed's nomination to the Senate floor for a final vote.

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Other News

U.S. Chamber to host 'Military Spouse Empowerment Zones' events in Olympia, Spokane

Olympia and Spokane will host 'Hiring Our Heroes' events this fall. The events highlight the value that the spouses of military service members bring to businesses.

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Washington's Aerospace Futures Alliance and Space Coalition join forces

The high-tech aerospace advocates have merged. The Washington State Space Coalition, which was launched by the state Department of Commerce in 2014, will retain elements of its brand under the umbrella of the Aerospace Futures Alliance.

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Spokane's new renewable energy mandate sparks concerns about energy costs, fiscal impact

The Spokane City Council adopted an "aspirational strategic goal" last week to use only renewable energy by 2030. Mayor David Condon and many employer advocates opposed the ordinance, citing concerns over its uncertain costs and unelected environmental review panel.

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Kitsap County will be home to first Catalyst Public School

A new public charter school will be opening in Kitsap County. Catalyst Public Schools announced it will open a K-8 school, probably in Bremerton, in the fall of 2020.

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ProPoint to offer class on compliance with posting of benefit notices Sept. 14 in Lynnwood, SeaTac

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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AWB Events & Resources

Get ready for Manufacturing Day and AWB's Manufacturing Week bus tour Oct. 4-12

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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Celebrate Washington's extraordinary employers at AWB's Evening of Excellence Nov. 28

AWB will roll out the red carpet again this year for its third-annual Evening of Excellence awards gala at Benaroya Hall in Seattle on Nov. 28. It's AWB's chance to celebrate innovation, environmental stewardship and the overall community spirit of Washington's diverse employer community.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Transportation Committee to meet Aug. 28 at 8:30 a.m.

The AWB Transportation Committee will meet on Aug. 28 at 8:30 a.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia. State Department of Ecology officials will provide an update on the VW settlement funds and the group will discuss updating AWB's Transportation Legislative Objectives for the 2019 session. The current objectives can be viewed here. Attendees are asked to review the current Legislative Objectives and provide suggestions for the committee to consider for 2019. To take part via the secure call-in option, contact Connie Carlson at 360-943-1600.

AWB Land Use Committee to meet Aug. 28 at 10 a.m.

The AWB Land Use Committee will meet Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia. The group will discuss the 2019 session regarding land use policies and work on updating the legislative objectives. To view the current Land Use Legislative Objectives can be viewed here. Attendees are asked to review the current objectives and provide suggestions for the committee to consider for 2019. To take part via the secure call-in option, contact Connie Carlson at 360-943-1600.

Best of the Blog

Employers Connect with Congress

AWB's first stand-alone Federal Affairs Summit Aug. 14 cut through the noise and created new connections between Washington's congressional delegation and employers. The broad-based discussion covered the many big challenges facing our state, including rising trade tensions, the need for infrastructure investments, the U.S. Supreme Court, immigration and more. Read the full blog post here.



Tweet of the Week

Connecting with Congress



They Said It

Patriotism From a Statesman

"In prison, I fell in love with my country... It wasn't until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her." ~ U.S. Sen. John McCain, describing his five years as a Vietnamese prisoner of war, in his memoir "Faith of My Fathers." McCain died on Saturday at age 81.




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HealthChoice Works
Class Size Matters


Don't divert funding for K-12 reforms to increased teacher salaries

By Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia

...Unlike much of the funding that goes out to districts for various programs but allows districts some flexibility on how it is spent, beginning in the 2019-20 school year money for K-3 class size reduction actually needs to be used the way the Legislature intended. This is especially important in districts where bargaining teams renegotiating local employment contracts are seeking all unappropriated money to increase teacher pay.

There are three distinctly different, but equally important reasons districts should not agree to spend program-specific funding on additional compensation.

First and foremost, research shows lower class sizes in early grades improve student achievement. This is especially true for students from low-income and minority families, where early success is critically important toward closing Washington's persistent opportunity gap. Diverting that funding would harm all students where class-size targets are not met and disproportionately affect children who already are at a higher risk of not graduating.

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
A Fair Deal


Safeco Field belongs to the public, which must invest in its upkeep

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Safeco Field is a tremendously successful investment by the people of King County.

To ensure this Seattle landmark remains one of the nation's best publicly owned sports and entertainment venues, the county must invest in its maintenance. A proposal by County Executive Dow Constantine to spend less than a quarter of lodging-tax proceeds on ballpark maintenance is eminently reasonable and should be approved by the Metropolitan King County Council...

Safeco Field is a public investment in the economy and livability, not a tool for wealth redistribution.

As the ballpark landlord, the public should be grateful to have a financially responsible tenant, willing to pay more and make a long-term commitment to Seattle.

With the new lease, the team agreed to more than double rent payments and share revenue with the public. That's better than the current lease's unpredictable profit-sharing arrangement...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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