February 4, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note « All Categories

HB 1601/SB 5690: Independent contractors and the 'Universal Worker Protections Act'

A bill that purports to go after the underground economy would essentially eliminate most independent contractors in Washington state. AWB's Bob Battles testified in opposition to House Bill 1601 this afternoon during a hearing of the House Labor & Workforce Standards Committee. The bill is one of many that restrain or limit independent contractor arrangements in Washington. Contact Battles to learn more.

HB 1491/SB 5217: Restrictive scheduling

This restrictive scheduling bill (also known as secured scheduling by proponents) would be more restrictive than the Seattle ordinance. This bill would require employers to provide schedules two weeks in advance. If they are changed penalties could be assessed. The bill restricts employers and employees from negotiating changes to schedules with short notice, and restrict the flexibility of employees to change their schedule to accommodate unforeseen circumstances that may arise. AWB has been working with the sponsors to address these and other concerns. The hearing on the House bill will be held in the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Contact AWB's Bob Battles to learn more.

SB 5412: Low-carbon fuel standard

AWB's Mike Ennis testified last week against Senate Bill 5412, which would implement California-style low-carbon fuel standards in Washington. Those rules in California have increased the cost of traditional fuel by 13.3 cents per gallon, and have increased diesel costs by 9.5 cents per gallon, according to the California Energy Commission -- and that's when the program is only at 50 percent implementation. The costs are expected to increase as the program ramps up to 100 percent. Contact Ennis to learn more.

HB 1568: Port district worker development and training programs

AWB will testify in support of House Bill 1568 on Tuesday during a hearing before the House Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee at 10 a.m. The bipartisan bill (and its Senate companion, SB 5570) allows public port districts to promote economic development through job training, occupational education, and other workforce enhancements. Contact Amy Anderson to learn more.

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Bridging the divide between Washington state and D.C.

By AWB President Kris Johnson

On a map, the distance from our Washington to the "other" Washington looks so far away. But, policies being made and debated there hit us here in Washington state.

Take trade policies, for example.

As one of the most trade-driven states in the nation, what happens with trade agreements has a direct impact on Washington state's economy.

A recent report found that Washington farmers and other export-dependent producers saw their foreign sales drop by as much as 28 percent during the six months after the United States began imposing tariffs on trading partners.

That's one reason why the Association of Washington Business and its members have become more engaged than ever on the national front. In fact, AWB staff and 25 business owners and leaders recently returned from the association's fifth D.C. Fly-in...

Read the full guest column in The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
Hydropower Is Crucial

The Snake River dams fill a power gap. Lawmakers need to know that

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

Saying we don't need the four lower Snake River dams because they generate just a small percentage of the region's electricity is a bit like saying the Seattle Mariners don't need relief pitchers who are in the game for only an inning or two.

The dams, like a closing pitcher, are needed for their reliability and to fill in during critical times.

As lawmakers consider Gov. Jay Inslee's proposal to make Washington 100 percent carbon free, we hope they grasp the role hydropower plays in providing clean, renewable, low-cost power to the region

We also hope they come to understand the essential role the Snake River dams play in the power-generating system...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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