October 22, 2018
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Top Stories

As election nears, I-1631's energy tax and control of the Legislature loom large

With ballots arriving to voters, it's election time. Much of the focus is on Initiative 1631, which would create the nation's first carbon tax (although it's called a "fee" on the ballot). AWB opposes I-1631, as do many of the state's leading newspapers. The initiative would increase the cost of energy and travel while creating a major new bureaucracy to spend billions in new tax dollars. The Seattle Times joined others this weekend in urging a "no" vote on I-1631, calling it a "dubious approach" to climate change. AWB also has endorsed a bipartisan slate of candidates who will support Washington's competitiveness.

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Governor calls for increased taxes, saying booming economy and increasing state revenue aren't enough to balance budget

State revenues are growing, but Gov. Jay Inslee said costs are also rising. He suggested to The Herald that new taxes will need to be created or existing taxes increased to fill what he describes as a $1.5 billion budget gap.

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AWB speaks up for farmers, dams and orcas during killer whale task force meeting

With calls to breach four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River growing louder, AWB spoke up last week during an orca whale task for meeting about the important role of the dams in supporting communities, farmers and employers. The dams are operated in a way that supports salmon populations, energy production and barge traffic, AWB's Gary Chandler told a diverse group of stakeholders at last week's Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force meeting.

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Passages: Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder and civic benefactor

From Microsoft to the Museum of Pop Culture and the Seahawks to the Trail Blazers to brain research and saving the oceans, Paul Allen was remembered last week as a visionary businessman, technological entrepreneur and supporter of a rich civic life. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, died of cancer last Monday at age 65.

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Two weeks until AWB's 2018 Rural Jobs Summit on Nov. 8-9

From broadband and natural resources to workforce development and cryptocurrency, the 2018 AWB Rural Jobs Summit will be full of relevant content and dynamic discussions. Join community leaders from across the state Nov 8-9 at Lower Columbia College in Longview. Reserve your spot today!

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Federal Issues

McConnell: Senate will not vote on new North America trade agreement in 2018

The leader of the U.S. Senate majority said the chamber will not vote this year on revisions to the new deal once known as the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Other News

Washington's minimum wage increases to $12 an hour on Jan. 1

The minimum wage in Washington will increase to $12 on Jan. 1, as directed by the voter-approved Initiative 1433. The wage will also increase in future years.

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Sen. Lynda Wilson announces breast cancer diagnosis, good prognosis for treatment

State Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, announced last week that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and is beginning treatment. The prognosis is excellent, she said, and announced that her family will be showing support for breast cancer patients and survivors with #OnWednesdaysWeWearPink.

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Washington's financial health rated No. 30 in the country, new report shows

Washington came in below average in state rankings of overall financial health, a new report shows. The report from George Mason University analyzed cash solvency, the budget, long-term liabilities and other measures.

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Governor gives final approval to build solar power project outside Ellensburg

A solar project in Kittitas County has the green light to move forward thanks to approval by Gov. Jay Inslee. The project will generate about 25 megawatts of power over 200 acres of solar panels near Ellensburg.

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'Supply Chain Disaster Simulation' event scheduled for Nov. 14 in Tacoma

Business, nonprofit and government professionals will gather in Tacoma on Nov. 14 to simulate what happens in a disaster. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals is hosting a group exercise that will simulate the work to deliver critical supplies to the community after a major event like a wildfire or earthquake.

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Boeing sites compete to cut energy use; North Boeing Field comes in first as company cut overall power use by 1.6 percent

A friendly competition between Boeing sites has saved enough electricity to run 4,000 homes for a year. In the inaugural "Battle of the Buildings" competition, North Boeing Field in Seattle took top honors among 47 sites in six different nations. The company's Everett site was also a winner, earning a bronze award for saving energy.

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New innovations to be on display at SciTech Northwest 2018 Technology Expo in Seattle

Employers are encouraged to attend the Pacific Northwest's premier technology expo on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Seattle. The event features 50 new innovations, including tools for first responders, innovations in energy storage and grid management and many new developments in cybersecurity. Employers can learn how to collaborate on research, invest in new technologies and license intellectual property.

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Suzanne Dale Estey to lead Washington Economic Development Association

Suzanne Dale Estey has been named executive director of the Washington Economic Development Association. Estey is the former CEO of the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County.

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WorkSource website created to link job seekers with manufacturing opportunities

In honor of the governor declaring October as "Careers in Manufacturing Month," WorkSource launched a new website in partnership with the state Employment Security Department and AWB to help connect workers looking for jobs in the manufacturing sector with employers.

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AWB Events & Resources

Nov. 14 webinar covers 12 most common mistakes to avoid in selling a business

Expert panelists Kristofer Gray CFP, Robert Hild, and Gregory Russell will walk through many of the common challenges affecting business owners on the subjects of selling a business and succession planning during a Nov. 14 webinar. Registration for the webinar is now open.

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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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Best of the Blog

Manufacturing careers in the spotlight throughout October

October is all about manufacturing. The month began with the governor proclaiming it "Careers in Manufacturing Month" and the launch of a website -- created jointly by WorkSource, the state Employment Security Department and AWB -- aimed at connecting skilled workers with the manufacturing sector.

Tweet of the Week

Pullman Proud

They Said It

The Cost of I-1631

"The estimate is we are going to lose 9,000 jobs." ~ Lee Newgent, Iron Workers Local 86, describing the economic cost if voters approve the carbon tax/fee under Initiative 1631.

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A Good HealthChoice
A 'Dubious Approach'

The Seattle Times Recommends: Vote 'No' on Initiative 1631

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Climate change is a crisis needing an aggressive, coordinated response, not expensive and unaccountable spending measures like Initiative 1631.

Voters concerned about the environment, the cost of living and the sustainability of Washington's economy should reject this dubious approach.

Instead, Washington should coordinate its response with other states, to prevent cross-border job losses. It should also seek a national carbon tax. I-1631 could set that back, because it's so porous, lacking accountability and larded with special-interest payouts.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Economic Growith, Healthier Environment

Manufacturers Are Keeping Their Promise

By Jay Timmons, president, National Association of Manufacturers

In 2017, manufacturers advocated -- and our leaders in Washington delivered -- much-needed regulatory relief. Despite what the critics said, we promised that strong economic growth and responsible environmental stewardship can go hand in hand.

There's no doubt 2017 was a banner year for economic growth and job creation. But now we have proof that it was a good year for environmental stewardship as well: greenhouse gas emissions in the United States declined nearly 3 percent.

This is great news for the country. Of course, manufacturers have a track record of improving our efficiency and sustainability while growing the economy. Over the past decade, manufacturers have decreased our greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent while increasing our share of the economy by 19 percent...

Read the full post at the NAM Shopfloor blog
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