December 10, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Federal Issues Other News Key Hearings/Meetings AWB Events & Resources Best of the Blog Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Inslee announces $268 million climate package

Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled a slate of measures today that aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Calling his plan a "clean energy smart deal" during a news conference in Seattle, Inslee said his proposals would cut emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2035. Notably absent from the plan was any form of carbon tax.

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Employers meet with members of Congress and other federal leaders at fifth-annual D.C. Fly-in

Federal advocacy is a growing part of AWB's work on behalf of the employer community. Part of that effort is providing a chance for employers to meet directly with their members of Congress and other leaders. Last week, AWB completed its fifth-annual D.C. Fly-in, with about 25 AWB members connecting directly with their federal representatives.

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Holiday Kids' Tree brightens the season for its 30th year

Friday evening saw some of the brightest moments of the year with the lighting of the 2018 Holiday Kids' Tree in Olympia. Gov. Jay Inslee joined AWB President Kris Johnson in welcoming an Olympia police officer and his family to light the tree. This was the 30th anniversary of the tree-lighting and a program that has raised more than $420,000 to bring Christmas cheer to rural families across Washington.

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Election update: Ericksen, Van Werven hang onto legislative seats after hand recount

Two 42nd District incumbents will be returning to the Legislature after hand recounts were certified last week. Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, and Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden, retained their seats.

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AWB's statewide Transportation Listening Tour begins this week in Everett, Bellevue

AWB is reaching out to employers across the state over the next few weeks to gather input on a possible new transportation package in the 2019 session. Mike Ennis, AWB's government affairs director for transportation issues, will seek input on potential revenue sources and projects from each region of the state, including fish culverts, bridge crossings and more. The first meeting is tomorrow in Everett, with Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, on hand to meet with employers.

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Federal Issues

Administration to take another run at infrastructure investment package

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration is preparing to make another attempt at a major infrastructure package to revamp the nation's road, rail and energy systems.

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Other News

Microsoft expands Airband Initiative to bring internet service to 3 million people by 2022

Microsoft's initial success to bring high-speed internet service to more rural communities has resulted in a major expansion of the company's Airband Initiative.

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Washington regulators deal a blow to Avista merger

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission last week announced it would not approve the sale of Avista to Toronto-based Hydro One. In a joint statement, Avista and Hydro One said they were 'extremely disappointed" in the decision and would review the order before determining their next steps.

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L'Ecole No. 41, Sprague Pest Solutions earn 2018 Family Business Awards

AWB member companies Sprague Pest Solutions and L'Ecole No. 41 have been honored by Seattle Business Magazine's 2018 Family Business Awards.

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Seattle awarded NHL franchise; ground broken on KeyArena renovations

Professional hockey is coming to Seattle. On Tuesday, the National Hockey League awarded an expansion franchise to Seattle. The next day, groundbreaking began on renovations to KeyArena. The as-yet unnamed team will begin playing in 2021.

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Passages: Rep. Lynn Schindler, former 4th District state representative

Former Rep. Ellen "Lynn" Schindler, an active member of conservative politics in Spokane, died last week at age 74. She represented the Spokane Valley area in the Legislature for 10 years. She was remembered for her Christian principles, her energetic political work and for her collegiality.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

Rural Jobs Task Force Meets Jan. 7

AWB's Rural Jobs Task Force will meet Monday, Jan. 7, 10 a.m., at the AWB offices in Olympia. Agenda topics include a discussion of the upcoming legislative session, input from the recent Rural Jobs Summit, and updating the group's Legislative Objectives as appropriate. For those that want to participate by phone, please contact Tommy Gill at 360.943.1600 or

AWB Events & Resources

Webinar - Bill Tracking Webinar: Navigating

Trying to figure out what's happening in the halls of Olympia is sometimes described as trying to take a sip out of a firehose. To help keep track of what's happening the Legislature, AWB is again working with the Legislative Information Center on a webinar to help track bills moving through the lawmaking process. Register now for this Jan. 9 webinar.

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Get ready for Paid Family Leave and Medical Leave with AWB webinar Dec. 18

Washington's Paid Family and Medical Leave program has been in the works for years. Despite sparse media coverage, this law will affect almost every business owner beginning in less than a month. With the first phase of the law, premium collection, set to take effect on Jan. 1, employers need to be prepared to report and answer employee questions. AWB's Dec. 18 webinar will get employers up to speed on Paid Family and Medical Leave.

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AWB's Legislative Day and Hill Climb Jan. 29 features new location; Registration now open

Registration is now open for AWB's 2019 Legislative Day and Hill Climb, a special one-day event that offers new connections between state lawmakers and the thousands of Washington employers that drive the state's economy.

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Best of the Blog

Holiday Kids' Tree arrives with cheers and laughter

The holiday season arrived in Olympia on a bright, clear and cold morning last week, buoyed by the smell of evergreen trees and the cheers of onlookers as the Holiday Kids' Tree was lifted into position. Read more about the arrival of this 29-foot noble fir at Olympia Business Watch.

Tweet of the Week

Supporting Rural Jobs

They Said It

The Christmas Spirit

"What you do for the community is amazing, so thank you." ~ Chief Rocky Eastman of Walla Walla County Fire District No. 4, at Friday night's lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree. He said the $1,000 grant to his fire district, donated by AWB members and other civic-minded donors, will help bring Christmas to six needy families in his area.

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Lighting the Tree
Supporting Rural Washington

Let's work together to prioritize rural economic revitalization

By AWB President Kris Johnson

The mission of the Association of Washington Business is to bring people together throughout the state to promote economic prosperity -- from the urban centers to the most rural corners.

We know that parts of Washington have boomed since the end of the recession, but others areas -- particularly the rural communities that exist in each of our state's 39 counties -- have not realized the same economic opportunities.

Our state's overall success depends on not just talking about the many barriers holding back economic growth in rural regions but finding and implementing solutions discussed at AWB's recent Rural Jobs Summit in the Legislature and at the local level to move every community forward.

Whether urban, rural or somewhere in between, we're all in this together.

Read the full op-ed in The Vancouver Business Journal
These Jobs Matter

Boosting South Sound manufacturing jobs

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Strong advocates are needed to protect industrial lands, where employers provide good paying jobs to people with all sorts of backgrounds and education levels.

Tacoma's waterfront industrial area is facing growth pressures similar to Seattle's, with land-use debates heating up as residential areas move closer to longstanding industry. Advocacy is needed on both sides to ensure there's a strong mix of housing and jobs -- the economic engines in our communities that create opportunity and enable workers to afford homes and join the middle class.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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