January 19, 2015
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Priority Legislation Key Hearings/Meetings Other News AWB Events & Resources They Said It
Top Stories

Session begins with $3 billion in new revenue -- and calls for increased taxes

The 105-day legislative session began last week with a great deal of debate --  and $3 billion more to spend thanks to regular growth in state tax collections. Still, there are many calls to increase taxes for further spending, and many employers feel like they're wearing a bulls-eye. Read more »

Port dispute costing employers and workers millions; state tax revenues will likely also suffer

A half dozen AWB members testified last week about the impacts of the ongoing export-import slowdown at West Coast ports, saying they've lost business, customers, and face the grim reality of layoffs.
Read more »

Push for cap-and-trade, carbon tax system would mean higher prices for energy and fuel

As Gov. Jay Inslee and his allies unveil a carbon regulating cap-and-trade program in the Legislature, a parallel effort seeks to bring the issue to voters in 2016. Businesses are working for a more balanced approach that doesn't increase costs for food, gasoline, electricity and manufactured goods.
Read more »

Governor releases draft fish consumption, water quality rules

Gov. Jay Inslee released the official draft of his proposed fish consumption and water quality rules on the first day of the Legislative session. It is paired with a toxics reduction rule. Public hearings will be held in March on the proposal. Read more »

President Obama's State of the Union address will propose higher taxes

President Barack Obama will give his State of the Union address Tuesday with proposals for higher taxes on inheritances and the wealthy. With Republicans controlling Congress, higher taxes are likely to face a skeptical audience. Read more »

Priority Legislation

SB 5064: Moving quarterly revenue forecast ahead to February

One reason budget-year legislative sessions often go into special sessions is because serious budget negotiations don't begin until after the release of quarterly budget figures in March. Senate Bill 5064 would change that.

Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee to meet Wednesday

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

Workers' Compensation Committee to meet Jan. 28

The AWB Workers' Compensation Committee will meet from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 28 at AWB. Contact Bob Battles to learn more.

Minimum Wage Committee to meet Jan. 30

The Minimum Wage Committee will meet Jan. 30 from 10:30 a.m.-noon at AWB. Contact Bob Battles to learn more.

Gov. Inslee's executive policy director to speak at this week's Lobby Lunch

Olympia's power lunch series begins this week with a visit from Matt Steuerwalt, executive director of policy for Gov. Jay Inslee. Sign up now for AWB's Lobby Lunch.

Read more »

Other News

New NAM report outlines the cost of delaying pro-growth tax reform

Tax reform that emphasizes growth would add more than 6.5 million jobs and $12 trillion to the GDP, according to a new report from the National Association of Manufacturers. Now is the time to overcome political gridlock, ensure certainty for business growth, and reform the nation's tax system.

Read more »

Carbon wings built in Everett are a key to Boeing's future -- and the region

The Herald Business Journal details the regional economic impact of the high-tech composite wing that will help the Boeing 777X be the most efficient twin-engine jet in the world. Read more »

Washington Research Council hires new president

Lew Moore succeeds Richard Davis at the Washington Research Council, bringing decades of public policy experience at the state and federal level.

Read more »

Idaho official tapped to lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The deputy director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game will take over the reins at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), leading 1,600 employees and a budget of $376 million. Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Save the date: Jay Timmons' Feb. 10 '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 »

There's still time to register for the Jan. 27 AWB Legislative Summit at the Olympia Red Lion

AWB's Legislative Summit takes place in just over a week, but there's still time to register. Read more »

Workers' compensation best practices seminar: How to spot red flags and when to hire an attorney

Your company can face huge expenses by failing to fight unwarranted workers' compensation claims. AWB's "Best Practices" seminar will teach employers how to spot red flags and when it pays to hire an attorney. Read more »

They Said It

On to the Super Bowl

"Keep believing. I just had no doubt. We had no doubt as a team." ~ Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, moments after his team sealed a stunning come-from-behind NFC championship victory over the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks -- members of AWB -- will play in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please contact members@awb.org.


Lawmakers should avoid 'tax-first' debate on budget

By Kris Johnson and Larry Treleven

Maybe it's just us, but it seems like we're hearing more about obstacles facing the state Legislature this year than the many opportunities that lie ahead.

To be sure, there are some big challenges facing lawmakers in the 105-day session, but we remain optimistic that common ground can be found through reasonable, bipartisan solutions.

Click here for the full op-ed in The News Tribune

How Washington Forests Clean Our Air

By the Washington Climate Collaborative

The U.S. Forest Service ranks Washington state as having the 3rd most carbon storage in its forests. We want to protect that rank. Through smart public policies and science-based forest management practices, we will keep our forests robust. For example, renewable biomass energy is made from slash leftovers of timber harvesting. This biomass is then used to power sawmills and pulp and paper mills...

Click here for the latest blog posts from the Washington Climate Collaborative
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