April 22, 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

Poll shows 81 percent in Washington oppose new or higher taxes

Most Washington voters say taxes should remain the same or be lowered. In a new poll, a full 81 percent would like taxes to stay where they are or be lowered, with government services staying the same or being reduced. The poll, commissioned by AWB, shows a clear difference between the public and lawmakers who continue to push for a slate of tax increases. Read more on Olympia Business Watch.

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Tax increases still on the table as Legislature hits its final week

With the legislative session scheduled to end Sunday, lawmakers continue negotiations on a new two-year state budget. A number of tax bills are still on the table, including higher B&O taxes on service-sector businesses, a capital gains income tax, a graduated real-estate excise tax, and more. Click here to send an Action Alert to your legislators, telling them to tap the brakes on unsustainable spending.

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AWB annual report now available online; print version in the mail next week

AWB's 2018 annual report, "A Unifying Voice," is now available online. It chronicles AWB's work to bring together all corners of our state for economic prosperity. The full report is available to read online. A print copy will be mailed next week along with the spring edition of Washington Business magazine.

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More speakers added to Spring Meeting, featuring dinner keynote Nikki Haley

AWB's Spring Meeting in Spokane May 8-9 will feature a keynote address from Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2017-19. Prior to serving as America's 29th permanent representative to the U.N., Haley was elected twice to serve as governor of South Carolina. Her keynote address, sponsored by Boeing, will wrap up a full agenda at AWB's Spring Meeting at the Davenport Grand Hotel. Register today!

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Legislation of Note

HB 1059: Governor signs bill extending B&O tax return filing due date for annual filers

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1059 on Friday. This AWB-supported bill extends the business and occupation filing date for annual filers. Contact Clay Hill, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy, to learn more.

HB 1403: Governor to sign local B&O tax apportionment bill on Tuesday

AWB members will be on hand Tuesday when Gov. Jay Inslee signs an AWB-supported bill on local business and occupation tax apportionment. House Bill 1403 will simplify the administration of municipal B&O tax. AWB members worked with other stakeholders to collaborate on crafting this bill through the work of the Local B&O Apportionment Task Force. The solutions in the bill are supported by both AWB and the Association of Washington Cities. Contact Clay Hill, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy, to learn more.

SB 5526 / HB 1523: 'Public option' health insurance bill is now in conference

The "public option" health insurance bill continues to be contentious. House Bill 1523 passed the House 57-41 but did not reach the Senate for a vote. Senate Bill 5526 passed the Senate 35-13 and the House 54-38. However, the Senate did not concur, and the bill is now in conference. Senators appointed to the conference committee include Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver; Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, and Sen. Steve O'Ban, R-University Place. The amended version of the bill provides reimbursement rates at 150% of Medicare rates, the ability for the state's plans to continue to offer non-standardized plans, and a B&O tax exemption for health care providers. AWB's health care committee voted to oppose this bill at the beginning of session and continues to oppose the bill because of concerns that premiums for employer-provided health care would increase while access to health care would not be expanded. Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for health care, to learn more.

SB 5135: Amendments address some AWB concerns with toxics bill

SB 5135, aiming to ban chemicals deemed by the Department of Ecology (DOE) to be toxic, passed the House last week 60-37 with amendments that address some of AWB's concerns about the bill. One of these, by Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia, incorporates some of AWB's concerns and adds some additional protections for business. Another amendment by Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, states that any listing of a priority chemical in a consumer product is a significant legislative rule under RCW 34.05.328. Two amendments by Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, were attached, one which requires the publication of the sources of information DOE uses to issue a ruling on a priority chemical and another which exempts shipping pallets. The bill now heads to the Senate for concurrence. Contact Peter Godlewski, AWB government affairs director for environmental policy, to learn more.

SB 5397: Management of plastic packaging bill passes House

Senate Bill 5397, which AWB supports, passed the House 75-23 on Tuesday. The bill creates a work group to examine ways to reduce plastic packaging. AWB worked with sponsor Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, and other stakeholders while the bill was in the Senate to amend the proposal to its current form. There were some additional amendments made in the House, so the bill now returns to the Senate for concurrence. Contact Peter Godlewski, AWB government affairs director for environmental issues, to learn more.

HB 1344: House concurs with Senate amendments on child care access bill

The House voted 75-19 last week to concur on the amended version of House Bill 1344 that had passed out of the Senate. This child care access bill, supported by AWB, would continue the Child Care Collaborative Task Force and study the industry, providing necessary data and information to develop a well-thought-out and strategic plan for addressing child care access and cost in Washington. Significant changes have been made to the legislation since it was first proposed, specifically in the number of official task force members, which was reduced from 40 to 23. Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for education and workforce policy, to learn more.

HB 1599: Multiple pathways bill passed Senate unanimously

A revised version of House Bill 1599 passed the Senate by a 48-0 vote last week, after originally passing the House 91-4. The bill provides a multiple pathway approach to high school graduation that requires students to complete a High School and Beyond Plan, earn required credits towards graduation (24 unless an Individual Education Plan (IEP) has been put into place), and successfully complete one or more pathways in order to earn a high school diploma. The amended bill is now on the House concurrence calendar. AWB continues to support the bill. Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for education and workforce policy, to learn more.

Federal Issues

New white paper shows impact of USMCA on the American automotive sector

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement will support an additional 76,000 in automotive jobs, according to an analysis by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

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Other News

PACCAR names Preston Feight new CEO

Bellevue-based PACCAR has named Preston Feight as the truck manufacturing company's new CEO. Feight will succeed Ron Armstrong, who retires June 30.

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Microsoft and Chelan PUD join forces on clean power, rural broadband

Microsoft and the Chelan County Public Utility District are working together to bring more broadband to rural Washington and send hydroelectric power to the world's leading software company.

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AWB communications team wins awards for writing, video

Stories about Cascade Designs, AWB Policy Summit and Manufacturing Tour earn Hermes Creative Awards.

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Applications open for Don C. Brunell Scholarships

There is still time for the children or grandchildren of AWB members to apply for the 2019 Don C. Brunell Scholarship for Future Leaders. The scholarship, in honor of AWB's longtime former president, can fund up to $2,000 for students attending undergraduate, graduate or career/vocational programs.

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Employers welcomed to participate in beta rollout of Paid Family & Medical Leave program

The Washington Employment Security Department is inviting employers to be part of the beta test program for implementation of the state's new Paid Family & Medical Leave program. The first part of the beta program begins April 30. Slots are still available to be part of this and later trials.

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Passages: Margarita Prentice and Senate Secretary Hunter Goodman

Two familiar and well-respected former fixtures of the state Senate have died, and both were honored last week for their positive impact on the state. Margarita Prentice, who served in the Legislature from 1988 to 2013 after a long career in nursing, is remembered as a strong advocate for farmworkers. Former Secretary of the Senate Hunter Goodman, who died last week, was remembered by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as a servant-leader.

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AWB Events & Resources

Protect your business by learning more about cybersecurity at special event June 19

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AWB are sponsoring a special event in Seattle on June 19 that will focus on how you can protect your business or nonprofit from increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.

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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 this Wednesday, April 10, with a talk on wage and hour law with Priya B. Vivian from Lane Powell, PC. The series continues through the summer with other relevant topics, such as performance evaluations, non-compete agreements, accident prevention efforts and more.

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Webinar: Anti-Harassment Training in the #MeToo Era

Whether this is your first or 21st anti-harassment training, this webinar will provide you with key take-aways for conducting workplace investigations and preventing and responding to harassment. The webinar will be held Wednesday, June 26. Learn more and register online.

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Webinar: Marijuana and Opioids in the Workplace: Employment Law Guidance on Addressing Substance Abuse

Despite striving to maintain drug-free workplaces, many employers are increasingly facing substance abuse issues in their workforces. This May 22 webinar will focus on strategies to prevent and address substance abuse impacting the workplace. Learn more and register here.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Employment & Labor Committee conference call set for 8 a.m. Friday

AWB's Employment & Labor Committee will hold a conference call this Friday at 8 a.m. Contact Bob Battles to learn more or Tommy Gill at 360.943.1600 for call-in information.

Tweet of the Week

Skagit Valley Tulips

They Said It

Learning on the Job

"You go to school for three to four years, you make money, you learn a trade and you have no debt." ~ Tyler Hodgin, 31, a third-year electrical apprentice who took part in last week's Washington Apprenticeship Vocational Education program.

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

Spring Meeting
Celebrating Employers

Kennewick company stars in statewide campaign

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington employers are entrepreneurs who build their companies for more than the product they make and the services they provide; they build them to fulfill their values of community, compassion and conscience.

That's the message behind Grow Here, the multi-media employer image ad campaign from the Association of Washington Business.

In its third year, Grow Here's goal is two-fold: to highlight the "why" that motivates Washington companies and share the employee experience within those businesses. And, to remind people that Washington state's competitiveness -- its ability to attract and retain employers -- is critical to an economy that works for all residents.

Read the full guest column in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
Road to Prosperity

Sparking Inspiration for Future Success -- Career Connect Washington Initiative Creates STEM Career Pathways

By Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington and Washington STEM board member

Our communities depend on STEM-related fields. Ensuring a consistent pipeline of students interested in pursuing STEM jobs is critical. We believe that early exposure to STEM is impactful for school-aged children. At a time when our state needs more than 94,000 health care professionals over the next three years, we need more students to pursue health care related careers. We need a sustainable plan to inspire and excite young people. And, we must ensure an equitable pathway into these high-demand, high-impact jobs.

Currently, thousands of Washington students are on track to graduate high school unprepared for these jobs and are often unaware STEM jobs even exist. In the next five years, an estimated 225,465 jobs that earn a family-sustaining wage will require credentials that many of our Washingtonian students are not on track to earn...

Nothing is more meaningful than careers born of out of a youthful spark of inspiration. When we engage more students from our diverse communities and share the deep impact of science and medical jobs, we support their future and ensure sustainability within the communities we serve.

Read the full commentary at the Washington STEM website
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