March 11, 2019
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Broad toxics bill would cede legislative control to unelected agency

By a 25-24 vote, a broad bill aimed at controlling chemicals passed the Senate on Thursday. Senate Bill 5135 now moves to the House. AWB is opposing this bill, which would cede legislative oversight and authority to the Department of Ecology to regulate or ban entire classes of chemicals. To learn more, including how you can help, contact Peter Godlewski.

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Senate Transportation Committee approves $15 billion package with carbon fee but no low-carbon fuel standard

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, says the $15 billion transportation package that his panel approved last week remains a "work in progress." The bill would create a state carbon tax and raise the state gas tax. Hobbs will answer AWB member questions about the bill this Thursday at Lobby Lunch in Olympia. Space is still available.

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Labor & Industries announces emergency change to prevailing wage for landscapers

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries filed an emergency ruling, effective today, changing the prevailing wage for some landscape workers.

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Boeing announces biofuel in the tank to fly new airplanes home; Alaska Airlines will be first customer

Boeing announced Friday that it would begin offering biofuel for airlines to fly their newly purchased airplanes home. Alaska Airlines will be the first customer to participate in the program. The two companies made the announcement Friday in Seattle at the Washington Sustainable Aviation Fuels Summit.

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Nominations still open for AWB's board of directors

AWB is looking for dynamic business leaders from employers of all sizes and regions of the state to serve on the AWB Board of Directors. We're accepting nominations for board membership until March 22. Nominations should be sent to Bonnie Millikan at bonniem@awb.org.

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Workforce Summit
Inspiring Action


Hair stylists embody democracy in action

By AWB President Kris Johnson

It was an impressive display of grassroots organizing. Arranged solely through a quick online effort, the state Senate Labor and Commerce Committee hearing was jam-packed with hair stylists, salon owners and cosmetologists on Jan. 28.

Thousands of people signed in to testify and a line of professionals stretched from the Senate hearing room outside to the domed building on the Capitol campus nearly a football field away.

Those small-business owners and independent contractors converged on Olympia on short notice from every part of the state to testify against bills that would severely restrict who can and cannot be classified as an "independent contractor" in Washington state.

It was a powerful sight and an inspiring illustration of democracy in action.

That bill, and others like it introduced this session, would severely hamper those entrepreneurs' ability to continue to operate as their own boss...

Read the full column in South Sound Business
Carbon Costs


Time to stall climate bills that would raise gas prices

By Yakima Herald-Republic Editorial Board

Recycling is all well and good, but not when it comes to the Legislature's latest attempt to combat climate change by proposing solutions that result in higher gas prices, thus putting the pocketbook hurt on all Washingtonians, especially those in the Yakima Valley.

Didn't voters just reject a plan, Initiative 1631, that would place a fee on carbon polluters (that's you, large, multi-national oil companies) while virtually assuring that residents would see a significant price rise at the pump and higher electricity bills?

... Washington's regressive tax system already disproportionately affects those with the least wiggle room in their household budgets. Lower-income residents seemingly are just as concerned with combating climate change as those of more means, but they will be unfairly called upon to bear the bulk of the burden.

Read the full editorial in The Yakima Herald-Republic
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