September 24, 2018
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Policy, people and place headline AWB's annual Policy Summit

AWB's premiere event at Suncadia Resort highlighted education, what the state can and should do to make Washington more competitive and what measures can be taken to support the quality of place residents enjoy. The event's keynote speakers shared insights on the state of today's politics and a data-driven look at the mid-term elections.

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Presidents of UW and WSU highlight cooperation, value of investments in higher education

Washington's top education leaders discussed future challenges and opportunities with the state's employer community at AWB's 2018 Policy Summit. Their messages: Strong state economies need great research universities, UW and WSU are working together and we need a new plan for workforce education.

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A tale of two leaves: I-1433 Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave programs explained at Policy Summit

Business leaders and owners heard from the state Department of Labor and Industries, the state Employment Security Department and two business leaders on the differences and obligations for employers under the voter-approved I-1433 Paid Sick Leave law and the new Paid Family and Medical Leave program approved by the Legislature.

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AWB completes its final round of candidate endorsements

After meeting personally with nearly 100 candidates, AWB has completed its third and final round of legislative endorsements. AWB is endorsing a diverse mix of incumbents and challengers, Democrats and Republicans, who share a common commitment to helping make Washington a better place to do business.

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New AWB Board Chair Tim Schauer shares his vision for the association

AWB Board Chair Michael Senske handed over the gavel to incoming Board Chair Tim Schauer during Thursday's AWB Board meeting. Both chairs spoke about the unique, important role of AWB as a statewide problem-solver and convener.

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One week away - Manufacturing Week tour set to roll Oct. 4-12

Anticipation is growing for AWB's second-annual Manufacturing Week bus tour. 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. Watch one participant explain why he's looking forward to welcoming the AWB Manufacturing Week tour to his Poulsbo furniture company.

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Other News

Questions arise on how I-1631's carbon 'fee' dollars would be spent, who would pay it

One of the key issues AWB and other groups, and now the press, has raised with regard to Initiative 1631's carbon "fee" is: Families would bear the brunt of the new fee -- totaling $2.3 billion over five years -- through higher fuel and energy prices. Another issue coming to the forefront of the debate on the initiative is who has the final say on how the money is spent.

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L&I proposes cut to 2019 workers' comp rates, but not as deep as possible

The Department of Labor & Industries has announced its intention to cut to workers' compensation insurance premiums in 2019. While that's a move in the right direction, AWB notes that the rates could have been cut even further while still maintaining the state's reserve fund at a break-even point.

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New Shelton sawmill is producing lumber, creating jobs

Investments by Sierra Pacific Industries are paying off. A new state-of-the-art sawmill now employs 267 people, with openings to spare.

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AWB's Grow Here campaign earns honorable mention in national contest

The public affairs campaign promoting the contributions of Washington employers to the overall health of Washington state earned an honorable mention at the 2018 PR News Platinum Awards.

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State government is not ready for a recession in the next budget cycle, Washington Research Council says

Washington's state budget could weather a quick, moderate recession, but the 2019-21 budget faces greater risk, analysts say.

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Manufacturing Industrial Council of the South Sound to hold kick-off event Sept. 26

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and other community leaders will launch the Manufacturing Industrial Council of the South Sound.


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Olympia to receive national designation in support of military spouses

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program will hold a press conference in the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday, formally designating Olympia as a "Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone."

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AWB Events & Resources

Newly announced event: OSHA 10 Training, Oct. 22-23

AWB will offer a two-day OSHA training program at its headquarters in Olympia in October. It's designed for construction workers, foremen, job supervisors and anyone involved in the construction industry.

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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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Tweet of the Week

Policy Summit Appreciation



They Said It

No Income Tax

"We offer businesses some competitive advantages found in few other states. This includes no personal or corporate income tax." ~ The Washington Department of Commerce in its "Choose Washington" campaign. The issue was a topic of discussion last week during the tax panel at AWB's Policy Summit.




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The Voice of Manufacturing
I-1631: A New Regressive Tax


Billions in new taxes and no guarantee of carbon reductions

By Former Attorney General Rob McKenna and Council of Laborers District Political Director Billy Wallace Jr.

If you were asked to raise your own taxes indefinitely for something in return, wouldn't you expect some assurances about what's actually supposed to happen?

That's the flawed premise behind Initiative 1631, the carbon tax proposal: Approve a perpetually increasing tax on the promise of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with no guarantee of meeting that goal, and no public accountability for how billions in taxes would be spent to achieve it.

Initiative 1631 is many things, but it is not the climate solution proponents make it out to be...

I-1631 is virtually an entire book of blank checks for political appointees to spend as they choose...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Trade Works


Trump's disruptive tariffs are political, not economic

By Edmund O. Schweitzer III

Protectionism is pandemic. More of it makes things worse, not better. On trade, the United States can be the "shining city upon a hill" that President Ronald Reagan often referred to, setting the example of a nation that respects the right of individual Americans to trade with other individuals across international borders. We need to teach it, but first we need to practice it here at home.

Why? Because trade is inherently good. The voluntary, mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services promotes prosperity and well-being across the board. Expansion of global trade over the past 50 years has helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It has made America and the world richer. The trade war now being unleashed threatens that prosperity.

The rising tide of trade lifts all boats. But the waves of disruption caused by tariffs are going to swamp millions.

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
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