November 5, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Election day looms -- ballots must be postmarked or placed in a drop box by tomorrow to count

It's time to decide. Ballots for local and national races, as well as initiatives, must be postmarked or placed in an official election drop box by tomorrow. AWB has collected its recommendations on this elections homepage. AWB has joined most major newspapers in the state in opposing Initiative 1631, which will increase the cost of energy and transportation while creating a major new bureaucracy to spend billions in new tax dollars.

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Rural job creation takes center stage Thursday and Friday in Longview

Dr. Jeff Haney of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine will give the keynote at AWB's third Rural Jobs Summit, which begins Thursday at Lower Columbia College. He'll be joined by dozens of other insightful panelists over the two-day event with a common aim: revitalizing rural communities and bringing opportunity to every corner of Washington state. The summit takes place this Thursday and Friday. Join us!

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AWB's manufacturing retro group receives nearly 30 percent refund on workers' comp premiums

AWB's retrospective rating program for manufacturers received a nearly 30 percent refund for the 2017 plan year. And while that's great news, refunds are only part of what AWB's CompWise program does for members. From safety training to claims management, CompWise helps employers create a safe environment and helps workers get safely back on the job if an injury occurs.

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Finalists named for AWB's Evening of Excellence awards

The finalists have been announced for AWB's third-annual Evening of Excellence awards. This is AWB's chance to celebrate innovation, environmental stewardship and the overall community spirit of Washington's diverse employer community -- and enjoy a red-carpet evening at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The winners will be revealed at the awards gala Nov. 28.

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Tacoma and Tideflats' future take center stage at LNG facility hearing, council meeting

AWB joined a busy public hearing last week to testify in support of Puget Sound Energy's liquified natural gas facility (LNG) that is being built at the Port of Tacoma. The facility will help ships to switch from dirty conventional fuels to clean LNG. It will also improve reliability for natural gas customers on the coldest days of the year and create high-paying family-wage jobs at the port. Submit a letter of support here or send an email to

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Federal Issues

U. S. workers see fastest wage growth in a decade, but inflation takes a toll

Employers in the United States added 250,000 new jobs in October. That keeps the unemployment rate at a 48-year low. It also pushed wages upward at the highest rate in a decade.

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Other News

Spokane executive Robin Toth to lead state's Office of Aerospace

Gov. Jay Inslee has named Spokane executive Robin Toth to lead the governor's Office of Aerospace. As Inslee's chief aerospace adviser, she will work to boost the aerospace industry.

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State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler approves 2019 individual health insurance rates

Washington's insurance commissioner has approved 11 health insurers to sell a total of 74 health plans in the individual insurance market. About 266,000 Washingtonians will be affected.

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Washington voters say our schools don't prepare kids for life

Four out of five Washington voters say the state's high schools and colleges are "failing to teach students real-world skills, or truly prepare them for the workplace," The Seattle Times reports.

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State Sen. Hans Zeiger publishes history book on World War II

State Sen. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, conducted 120 interviews and spent years producing a new book, "Puyallup in World War II." The book will be released today and all proceeds from book sales will go to local veterans groups.

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AWB Events & Resources

New AWB 'Business Builder' series helps entrepreneurs expand

Unlock the true potential of your business by joining AWB and Integrity Financial for two upcoming talks on practical insights for entrepreneurs. The weekly sessions include expert advice on topics such as balance sheets, cash flow, and managing growth in a high-performance business.

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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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Nov. 15 webinar: Preparing for Paid Family Leave & Medical Leave

Businesses must be ready when Washington's new Paid Family and Medical Leave Act takes effect on Jan. 1. Learn the essentials about this important new law in an AWB webinar on Nov. 15. The webinar will be led by workplace law expert Shannon Lawless, an attorney with Ryan Swanson Law. Learn more and register online.

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Tweet of the Week


They Said It

The cost of I-1631

"It's the little people who will bear the brunt of this initiative, paying the billions of dollars in new taxes."

~ Lee Newgent, a retired ironworker who previously served as the executive secretary of the Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council, on the impact Initiative 1631's energy tax will have on family budgets through rising energy, fuel and natural gas costs.

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Rural Jobs Summit
The Wrong Approach

Washington already low-carbon leader, without new I-1631 energy tax

By Mark Riker, executive secretary of the Washington Building Trades Council, and AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington employers, employees and residents share the goal of reducing carbon emissions, as evidenced by state's low carbon footprint.

Despite a 43 percent growth in population since 1990 -- and 260 percent economic growth -- Washington's residents and employers have implemented solutions that have lowered carbon emissions by 18 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This leadership didn't happen by accident. It was built through thoughtful and deliberate collaboration in every business sector and homes across the state that has preserved Washington's beauty and environmental health through the generations.

It's this kind of thoughtful collaboration that is needed to build on the successful efforts, not the new energy tax proposed in Initiative 1631.

Read the full column in The Lens News
Union Opposition to I-1631

I-1631 energy tax would hit workers and small businesses

By Lee Newgent, a retired ironworker and former executive secretary of the Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council

One of the most important measures voters are being asked to decide on is Initiative 1631, a new energy tax.

If you live, work, or have a business in the Puget Sound region, I urge you to look into the facts.

I've carried a union card almost all my adult life and I will tell you this: It's the little people who will bear the brunt of this initiative, paying the billions of dollars in new taxes...

This measure also lacks accountability. I-1631 creates an unelected board of political appointees, with no real accountability to voters or even the Legislature. This board has broad authority to spend billions, with no responsibility for outcomes, no specific plan, and no requirements that the money be spent to reduce greenhouse gases.

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