February 4, 2019
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Tax relief for small manufacturers gains traction in Legislature

A new measure would bring much-needed tax relief to small and medium-sized manufacturers across Washington. "I think this is a critical vote for Washington state and for rural Washington," said House Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee Chair Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, shortly before his committee voted unanimously to pass the bill. House Bill 1348 now heads to the House Finance Committee for consideration.

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Rural jobs bill would bring new investment to small towns

AWB and Washington employers are working together to bring new dollars and energy to rural communities with an innovative bill, House Bill 1324, which aims to encourage more investment in Washington's small towns. Olympia Business Watch has a full report, with video.

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State Department of Ecology wades into Columbia-Snake river dam debate, proposing more water spill

Though the federal government oversees the Columbia-Snake river hydroelectric dam system, the state Department of Ecology last week issued a proposal to allow more water to spill over the eight dams. The agency will hold two public hearings on the proposal on Feb. 13 in Vancouver and via webinar on Feb. 19. Read more »

Governor's ambitious policy agenda highlights AWB's first 2019 Lobby Lunch

AWB's 2019 Lobby Lunch series kicked off Thursday with updates from two of Gov. Jay Inslee's top advisers. Legislative Affairs Director Drew Shirk and Office of Financial Management Director David Schumacher shared the highlights of the governor's 2019 agenda, and the budget proposal to fund it. This week's Lobby Lunch features Democratic leaders: House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington; Sen. Rebecca Saldana, D-Seattle, and Deputy House Majority Leader Larry Springer, D-Kirkland. Republican leaders speak next week. Read more »

New location and format helps employers 'be heard' at Legislative Day and Hill Climb

The annual AWB Legislative Day and Hill Climb had a new format this year and plenty of energy. More than 60 employers met directly with their lawmakers, and top legislative leaders from both parties came to AWB's headquarters to talk directly with the business community.

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Supporting Manufacturers
Advocating for Employers

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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