December 22, 2014
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Key Hearings/Meetings Other News AWB Events & Resources They Said It
Top Stories

Governor Inslee lays out his 2015 budget proposal

In a four-day rollout beginning last Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee outlined his education spending plan, transportation revenue package proposal, environment and climate ideas and overall 2015 state operating budget for legislative consideration. AWB has serious concerns about the governor's plan, which relies heavily on new taxes.

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It was a good year: AWB's 2014 Year in Review

From a new president to renewed connections with the state's local chambers of commerce, it has been a busy and productive year for AWB.

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Washington Climate Collaborative launches to protect the state's environment, economy

A coalition of businesses, farmers, unions and other groups have joined the debate over how to protect the state's environment and economy. The Washington Climate Collaborative notes that Washington is already among the cleanest, greenest states in the nation.

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Manhattan Project National Historic park -- with Washington's B Reactor -- now approved

Washington has another national park after final approval last week of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park. The park includes places in several states -- including the B Reactor in the Tri-Cities, home of the first large nuclear reactor ever built -- that helped create the atomic bomb and win World War II.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

Attorney General office to meet with AWB on proposed legislation

The office of the attorney general will meet with AWB members on Jan. 7 to discuss the agency's proposed 2015 laws regarding consumer data theft notifications, responsible bidding and so-called patent trolls. Contact Bob Battles to learn more and RSVP for the meeting.

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Aviation Task Force to meet Jan. 8

The AWB Aviation Task Force will meet at 10 a.m. Jan. 8 at the AWB office. The group will discuss the how the legislative session is likely to affect general aviation issues, including a bill dedicating aircraft excise taxes to the aeronautics account. Contact Mike Ennis for information or Connie Grande for call-in options.

Sen. John Braun will speak at Jan. 13 Water Resources Committee meeting

The Water Resources Committee will meet at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 13 at AWB. Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, will attend and present about the proposed $3 billion water funding bill. Contact Mike Ennis for information or Connie Grande for call-in options.

Save the date: Jay Timmons to give "State of Manufacturing" talk in Spokane Feb. 10

AWB is partnering with Greater Spokane Incorporated to bring Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, to present "The State of Manufacturing" at a luncheon event in Spokane on Feb.10. The location is to be determined. For more information, contact Amy Anderson at 360.943.1600.

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Other News

Amy Anderson joins AWB government affairs team

Amy K. Anderson will join the AWB government affairs department on Jan. 1, bringing the employer perspective to Capitol Hill on education and workforce development issues.

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Report: Ex-Im Bank returned $7 billion to Treasury over past 20 years

The Export-Import Bank supports American jobs and protects American taxpayers, and the institution's annual report highlights how this small agency has a big impact on the nation's economy and customers around the world eager to buy American-made goods.

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Port work slowdown means $19 million in apples wasted each week

The longshore work slowdown and labor dispute at West Coast ports continues to hurt industries and workers. One bitter example: $19 million of apples rotting each week as container shipments continue at a snail's pace.

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New report details economic impact of PNNL

For the first time, the economic impact from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has been calculated, and the numbers are impressive. PNNL supported more than $1.3 billion in economic activity and 6,800 direct and indirect jobs.

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Merry Christmas! Fast Facts will return Jan. 5

This newsletter will take a Christmas break on Dec. 29. We'll see you again Jan. 5 as we prepare for the start of the 2015 legislative session Jan. 12.

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB Legislative Summit: Jan. 27 at the Olympia Red Lion

Mark your calendar for the 2015 AWB Legislative Summit, to be held Jan. 27 at the Red Lion hotel in Olympia. Register today!

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They Said It

Two years later

"I would veto anything that heads the wrong direction and the wrong direction is new taxes in the state of Washington." ~ Gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee, Oct. 11, 2012. Last week -- two years after that famous campaign promise -- Inslee proposed $1.5 billion in new taxes and a budget that increases state spending by 15 percent.

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In Our View: Inslee must respect voters

By The Columbian editorial board

With lawmakers facing a difficult budget-writing session in the new year, Gov. Jay Inslee sounds much different from candidate Jay Inslee.

A little more than two years ago, while running for governor, Inslee said, "I would veto anything that heads the wrong direction, and the wrong direction is new taxes in the state of Washington." But on Thursday, Inslee is expected to unveil a proposed state budget that will include at least $1 billion in new revenue. And in government-speak, "new revenue" means taxes.

Certainly, the needs of state government can change over time. The economic landscape continually evolves, and state revenue forecasts can be fluid. But, given the status of the economy, Inslee's change of heart is all the more curious. For the coming biennium, budget writers are expected to have $3 billion more than in the current biennium, thanks to an improving economy. True, they have been handed a multi-billion-dollar bill to adequately fund K-12 public education -- but that invoice was handed down in early 2012 and comes as no surprise. In other words, little has changed to trigger Inslee's flip-flop. But government's insatiable desire to perpetuate itself through the contributions of taxpayers has remained inviolate. This, despite repeated messages from voters that should be easy to interpret.

READ MORE: Click here for the full editorial by The Columbian

Governor Inslee's misplaced budget priorities

Written by Keep Washington Competitive

Members of the Keep Washington Competitive (KWC) coalition, including representatives from business, labor, agriculture and trade sectors, expressed concern this week that Gov. Jay Inslee's proposed cap-and-trade scheme will have a negative impact on the Legislature's ability to pass a long-overdue transportation package -- which would include much-needed investment in freight-mobility projects.

While initial reaction to the governor's budget priorities has been mixed, one area that has elicited immediate and widespread concern is the governor's continued advancing of his environmental agenda to the detriment of other state priorities.

"We are concerned about the effect of the governor's proposal on trade and dedicated funding for freight mobility projects," said Gordon Baxter, Puget Sound Maritime Trades Council and KWC Advisory Board member. "Washington's trade-based economy relies on our ability to move goods through and out of the state expeditiously to keep our competitive standing as a global trade leader and the jobs trade brings."

READ MORE: Click here to read the entire press release from Keep Washington Competitive
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