February 18, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Legislation of Note Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Key Hearings/Meetings Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Longtime restaurant employee highlights the harm of 'secure scheduling' proposals

Simone Barron, co-founder of the Full Service Workers Alliance, writes in a Seattle Times guest column that legislative "secure scheduling" rules would restrict the freedom and flexibility that she loves about her career. Her column is titled "Save restaurant workers from restrictive scheduling practices." Barron also was part of a recent AWB News report on restrictive scheduling bills.

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GOP leaders speak at Lobby Lunch

Republican leaders from the House and Senate spoke at AWB's third Lobby Lunch of the year. They applauded the salon owners and independent stylists who have taken Olympia by storm this session, saying their energy in fighting independent contractor and regulation bills is an example of citizens in action. This week, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal speaks at Lobby Lunch.

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Amazon announces it will not build HQ2 in New York, but the jobs won't come to Seattle

Big news broke last week as Amazon announced it has canceled its plans for a second headquarters in New York. During that same announcement, the company said it would curtail its Seattle expansion in the coming years.

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Economic update: Record number of open jobs mixed with signs of economic uncertainty raise concerns

The U.S. Department of Labor last week sent out a word of warning as the number of available jobs in America exceeded American workers in 2018. That news comes just as Opportunity Washington highlights the disappointing holiday sales and uptick in unemployment rate, which they conclude should be a warning flag for Washington state lawmakers to save for a rainy day and take caution in dampening job creation and investment.

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Bill introduced to ban head taxes

After Seattle decided to put a tax on jobs, then reversed course, there is an effort in Olympia to put a statewide ban on employee head taxes. The measure, sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville, would help prevent the message that Washington is not a good place to do business.

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Legislation of Note

SB 5717 and HB 1491: Restrictive scheduling

Senate Bill 5717 was heard last Friday in the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. AWB opposes this bill and its House companion, House Bill 1155. These "secure scheduling" bills would be more restrictive than the Seattle ordinance. The bills would require employers to provide schedules two weeks in advance. If they are changed, penalties could be assessed. The bills restrict 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. Contact AWB's Bob Battles to learn more, or read this update from Olympia Business Watch.

HB 1110 and HB 5412: Low-carbon fuel standards

A Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) bill is scheduled for a public hearing Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the House Appropriations Committee after passing out of the House Transportation Committee last week. AWB's Mike Ennis has testified about the impact low-carbon fuel standards are having on fuel prices in California. Those LCFS rules have increased the cost of traditional fuel by 13.3 cents per gallon and have increased diesel fuel costs by 9.5 cents per gallon, according to the California Energy Commission -- and that program is only at 50 percent implementation. The costs are expected to increase as the program ramps up to 100 percent. House Bill 1110 would implement similar standards in Washington. Opportunity Washington has more on the LCFS bill. Contact Ennis to learn more.

SB 5489 and HB 2009: Environmental justice

AWB testified last week against Senate Bill 5489, and House Bill 2009, so-called "environmental justice" bills that would subvert the legislative process. The bills would require state agencies to establish a task force to recommend social justice measures in the state permitting process and then require state agencies to implement those recommendations. This is a far-reaching bill which bypasses the normal legislative review process for new rules. Contact AWB's Mike Ennis or Peter Godlewski to learn more.

SB 5513 and HB 1515: Independent contractors

Senate Bill 5513 and House Bill HB 1515 would substantially change the independent contractor law in Washington. Most individuals who are currently considered independent contractors would no longer be independent contractors. A proposed substitute bill is expected. The bill would create a task force with equal labor and business representatives as well as legislators from each caucus. If there are no changes to the bills as currently written, AWB will continue to oppose them. Contact Bob Battles to learn more, or watch his Senate testimony on SB 5513 on TVW.

SB 5116, HB 1211 and HB 1226: 100 percent clean energy

All three bills pushing for 100 percent clean energy (Senate Bill 5116 and House bills 1211 and 1226) received fiscal hearings last week at which AWB testified. All three bills are expected to be voted out of the House Finance and Senate Ways & Means committees this week before the Friday policy cutoff. Contact AWB's Peter Godlewski to learn more.

HB 1891 and SB 5803: Career and technical education

AWB was disappointed that House Bill 1891, concerning the use of career and technical education resources, which AWB supports, was not heard last week, even though a hearing was scheduled. The bill would provide dedicated funds for career and technical education. A similar bill, Senate Bill 5803, is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 committee. Contact AWB's Amy Anderson to learn more.

SB 5693: Creating transparency in agricultural supply chains

Senate Bill 5693 aims to eradicate slavery and human trafficking -- worthwhile goals, but the bills would create widespread reporting requirements in supply chains that could have broad effects on retailers, which are far from agricultural production, if any part of the supply chain has a wage dispute. A hearing was held last week in the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. AWB opposes the bill as written. Contact Bob Battles to learn more.

HB 1738: Relieving burdens on small businesses by updating the tax return filing thresholds to reflect inflation

AWB's Clay Hill will testify in support of House Bill 1738 during a House Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday. The bill helps small businesses by updating the tax return filing thresholds to reflect inflation. The current filing threshold hasn't been updated in 30 years. Contact Hill to learn more.

Federal Issues

White House Office of Public Liaison invites business owners, leaders to take part in USMCA briefing call Feb. 19

The White House Office of Public Liaison will hold briefing call with Ambassador CJ Mahoney of the United States Trade Representative's office to discuss United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, or 10 a.m. Pacific Time. Business owners and leaders are invited to participate.

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New report highlights impact of U.S.-China trade tensions on Washington state

The Washington Council on International Trade last week released its new report on the impacts of the U.S.-China trade dispute on Washington state. The report comes just as the two countries inch toward a new trade agreement.

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Other News

Report highlights economic contributions of Washington's five petroleum refineries

A new report from the Washington Research Council details the economic value of the five major petroleum refineries in Washington. Together, they directly provide 2,171 full-time jobs at an average annual wage of $129,132. Through employment of contract workers and indirect support of other jobs, the petroleum industry in Washington contributes $1.9 billion in personal income, supports 25,366 jobs, and results in $300 million in taxes for state and local governments.

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Bellevue Chamber picks former Sen. Joe Fain as new president and CEO

Former two-term state Sen. Joe Fain has been picked to head the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce as president and CEO.

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Call for nominations: Help bring more great business leaders to AWB's board of directors

It's time again to nominate business leaders to serve on AWB's Board of Directors. Nominations are open until March 22 and should be sent to Bonnie Millikan at bonniem@awb.org.

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AWB Events & Resources

Learn about Opportunity Zone tax incentives at Feb. 27 seminar

What are Opportunity Zones and how can they help you? AWB is hosting a seminar Feb. 27 in SeaTac that will focus on new federal tax incentives in agriculture. The 2017 tax reform package led to the creation of Qualified Opportunity Zones, which offer new tax advantages to investors with capital gains. Mary B. Baker of K&L Gates will lead the presentation. Registration is open!

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Employment law basics for your business with AWB's popular webinar series

AWB's popular Human Resources and Employment Law Webinar Series continues on March 20 with a talk on employee handbooks from Greg Hendershott and Angela Vogel from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. The series continues through the summer with other relevant topics, such as performance evaluations, wage and hour rules, accident prevention efforts and more.

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Register now for 2019 Workforce Summit March 6 at the Hilton Bellevue

Join workplace law experts, human resource professionals and other cutting-edge employment innovators at the 2019 AWB Workforce Summit on Wednesday, March 6, at the Hilton Bellevue. Check back for more details and reserve your space today.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Education & Workforce Training Committee will meet Tuesday

Dave Mastin, the executive director for government relations at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), will speak this Tuesday at a meeting of the AWB Education & Workforce Training Committee. Mastin will discuss the Multiple Pathways proposal OSPI is putting forward. The meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, 10-11 a.m. Contact Amy Anderson to learn more or Tommy Gill at 360.943.1600 for call-in information.

Tune in to the weekly Employment & Labor Law Committee meeting/call

AWB's Bob Battles is hosting a weekly Friday morning call with the latest legislative news on employment and labor law issues. There is also a conference room for those who want to attend in person. The meeting/call is 8-9:15 a.m. Contact Bob Battles to learn more or Tommy Gill at 360.943.1600 for call-in information.

Weekly conference calls will discuss rural jobs, transportation, land use and related issues

Every Friday, AWB's Mike Ennis will hold conference calls to discuss bills coming up for hearings in his Government Affairs issue areas. He has scheduled separate conference calls for transportation, rural jobs and land use. Each call will include discussion of bills, formulation of an AWB position, decision whether to testify, and general sharing of information. Contact Mike Ennis to learn more or Tommy Gill at 360.943.1600 for call-in information.

Tweet of the Week

Hairdressers #FTW

They Said It

Uphill Both Ways

"We don't give up. We just keep going forward." ~ Sen. Dean Takko, D-Longview, who kicked off the Senate Local Government Committee on Feb. 12 at 8:30 a.m., the first committee to convene after the rare closure of the Legislature Feb. 11 due to the snow storm and hazardous road conditions.

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LDHC Wrap-Up
Career-Connected Learning Works

How do you get there from here? Career Connect Washington

By Avista CEO Scott Morris and IBEW Local 77 Assistant Business Manager Mike Brown

It's sometimes hard to remember how hard the "What do you want to be when you grow up?" question is. The follow-up question is even harder: "How are you going to get there?"

We know that young people don't always have the answers, but they are curious and eager to explore their options. They want to learn about different careers and what mix of experience and classroom learning is needed to do those jobs. They are excited about their next steps, but also cautious about challenges like educational debt...

"Career-connected learning" is a broad term for programs that help students explore, prepare and start their careers. It helps kids get out of the classroom and try on different jobs and different industries, so when it's time to make big life decisions, they are better prepared to step up...

Career Connect Washington is a coalition of employers, unions, educators, state agencies and others who are trying to ensure that all students in the state have the chance to do career-connected learning.

Read the full guest column in The Spokesman-Review
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