January 12, 2015
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Key Hearings/Meetings Other News AWB Events & Resources They Said It
Top Stories

Legislative session begins with differing views on taxes and the 'deficit myth'

The 105-day legislative session began today and already there are disagreements about whether to raise taxes and whether the state -- which will collect an extra $3 billion dollars this budget cycle -- has a revenue problem or a priority problem. Read more »

AWB plans second D.C. fly-in to continue push for long-term Ex-Im Bank reauthorization

Following up on last year's successful trip to Washington D.C., AWB is looking for more business leaders to return to the nation's capital and explain the need for long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Read more »

Federal mediator steps into port dispute

In a bit of rare good news in the ongoing West Coast port dispute, both sides agreed last week to call in a federal mediator. Businesses whose exports and imports have been disrupted cautiously welcomed the news. Read more »

Judge gives OK to Snake River dredging

The farthest inland port in the Northwest will remain open to freight traffic after a judge last week upheld a plan to dredge the lower Snake River near Clarkston.

Read more »

Small businesses snub SHOP exchanges while association health plans flourish

Association health plans, like AWB's HealthChoice program, serve the needs of businesses of all sizes. In contrast, employers are "underwhelmed" with the SHOP exchanges, created under the Affordable Care Act, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

Rescheduled: Sen. John Braun will speak with Water Resources Committee on Thursday

This week's Water Resources Committee meeting with Sen. John Braun has been rescheduled to this Thursday, Jan.15, rather than Tuesday. The committee will meet at 11 a.m. at AWB. 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.

Health Care Committee meets this Thursday

The AWB Health Care Committee will meet every third Thursday of the month during the legislative session, starting this Thursday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m. The meeting will be at AWB. Contact Sheri Nelson for details or Connie Grande for call-in information.

Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee to meet Jan. 21

AWB's Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee will meet from 9:30 a.m.-noon at AWB on Wednesday, Jan. 21. Discussion topics will include a preview of tax proposals for the 2015 session, including the proposed capital gains tax, and tax appeals reform. Contact Amber Carter for more information or Connie Grande for call-in options.

Lobby Lunch series begins Jan. 22 with visit from governor's office

Olympia's power lunch begins next week as AWB's annual series of Lobby Lunch talks kicks off with a visit from the governor's office.
Read more »

Other News

Department of Revenue director leaving state government to lead KeyBank's regional office

Carol K. Nelson, director of the Washington Department of Revenue, is resigning to serve as president of KeyBank's Seattle market president and sales executive for the bank's western region. Read more »

Inslee appoints Carol Gregory to fill open Federal Way-area House seat

Former Washington Education Association president Carol Gregory will fill the Federal Way-area House seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Roger Freeman last fall. Read more »

Passages: William Boeing Jr., son of company founder, dies at 92

Real estate developer and Museum of Flight advocate William Boeing Jr. died last week. Although he didn't work for the firm his father founded, he was a lifelong advocate for the company and aeronautics.

Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Save the date: Jay Timmons 'State of Manufacturing' talk in Spokane

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.

Read more »

Don't miss the AWB Legislative Summit on Jan. 27 at the Olympia Red Lion

Only two weeks left to register! Be sure to attend the 2015 AWB Legislative Summit, to be held Jan. 27 at the Red Lion hotel in Olympia.

Read more »

Webinar: What does President Obama's executive action on immigration mean for employers?

Lane Powell attorneys Diane Butler and Andrew Stevenson will host a webinar Jan. 22 to explore what last November's executive orders on immigration will mean for employers.
Read more »

They Said It

No, the Legislature isn't 'Game of Thrones'

"If we were only in this for the web traffic, you'd see a lot more articles on the Wire like '15 Cats React to Jay Inslee's Budget Proposal,' or 'Which 'Game of Thrones' Character Is House Speaker Frank Chopp?" ~ Peter Jensen, reporter for Washington State Wire, listing the top 42 Twitter accounts to follow for insight into the 2015 legislative session. AWB's Twitter handle, @awbolympia, made the list.

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This Ingenious Machine Turns Feces Into Drinking Water

By Bill Gates

I watched the piles of feces go up the conveyer belt and drop into a large bin. They made their way through the machine, getting boiled and treated. A few minutes later I took a long taste of the end result: a glass of delicious drinking water...

The goal of the project I toured is to reinvent the sewage treatment plant. The project is called the Omniprocessor, and it was designed and built by Janicki Bioenergy, an engineering firm based north of Seattle.
Click here for the full story about this AWB member in the Gates Notes blog

Opinion: 'Scoring' Legislation for Growth

By Edward P. Lazear in The Wall Street Journal

The House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a rule that will change Washington and lawmaking for the better. When legislation is proposed, the Congressional Budget Office is tasked with estimating its fiscal consequences. In most cases, the CBO assumes there is no effect on economic growth, positive or negative. In the future, the House will instruct the CBO to take macroeconomic effects into account when estimating the cost of legislation.

Every piece of legislation has economic consequences. Most are small, but some are significant. When the CBO ignores them, it disregards the detrimental effects on economic growth of bad legislation as well as the positive effects on growth of good legislation...
Click here for the full column in the Wall Street Journal
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