May 20, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Other News « All Categories

Washington ranked No. 1 in Best States Rankings

High marks in healthcare, education and the economy helped Washington earn the top spot in this year's U.S. News & World Report Best State Rankings.

Read more »

Washington drought covers 70% of state, more than half of population

Dry conditions cover a large swath of Washington as the state heads into the 2019 fire season. The state has lower than normal snowpack, especially in the northern Cascades.

Read more »

State officials say Washington added 13,500 jobs in April

Washington has seen an increase of 83,100 jobs over the past year, with 13,500 added last month.

Read more »

Rep. Pellicciotti announces run for state treasurer

State Rep. Mike Pellicciotti, D-Federal Way, has announced that he will challenge incumbent state Treasurer Duane Davidson, a Benton County Republican serving his first term in office. Pellicciotti is the first announced challenger in the race.

Read more »

Amazon donates $3 million to Seattle University's science and innovation center

Amazon is supporting the future STEM workforce with a $3 million donation to Seattle University's new Center for Science and Innovation, which will expand computer science and engineering education.

Read more »

MOD Pizza creates new design, experience at Pioneer Square store

MOD Pizza, one of the employers featured in AWB's Grow Here campaign, has created a dramatically different design for a new store in Seattle's Pioneer Square, with a game day television, two ovens and most importantly more room for training.

Read more »

Attorney General's Office reminds employers of 'ban the box' requirements

Since last year, Washington employers have been prohibited from automatically excluding job applicants with a criminal record from consideration. The Attorney General's Office has a new one-page flyer explaining the requirements of the Fair Chance Act.

Read more »

Oregon Senate approves major education, tax measures

Businesses in Oregon will face new taxes after Democrats there passed a major education package out of the Oregon state senate last week. The bill is funded by a new commercial activity tax on Oregon businesses that will raise about $1.6 billion over the next two years for education.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

AWB's HealthChoice plan includes access to meQuilibrium, a personalized resilience-building program

The AWB HealthChoice plan provides access to high-quality medical benefits -- and much more. One of the programs included in HealthChoice is a personalized and confidential resilience-building program called meQuilibrium.

Read more »

If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please contact

Housing Forum
Moving Backward

Gov. Inslee is wrong to flip-flop on liquefied natural-gas facility in Tacoma

By The Seatte Times Editorial Board

Gov. Jay Inslee is doing an outstanding job staying on message in his presidential campaign, making climate change his signature issue and a focus of the primaries.

But Inslee went too far last week when he pulled support for a project in Tacoma that will cut emissions and create jobs.

Early in his governorship, Inslee championed the Tacoma liquefied natural-gas (LNG) facility. That pragmatic, nuanced approach provided certainty for local companies to commit more than $500 million to a project that will substantially reduce emissions from ships sailing between Puget Sound and Alaska.

That stance no longer jibes with the current mantra of his far-left environmental base, which now advocates for halting additional fossil-fuel consumption. It also had put Inslee in conflict with one of the state's wealthiest tribes, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, which opposed the project.

Moving goal posts late in the game may discourage companies from innovating and investing in cleaner ways of doing business, at least in Washington....

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
A New Challenge for Border Towns

Lawmakers changed the sales tax exemption. Will Oregon residents still want to shop Tri-Cities?

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

Of all the new, last-minute tax measures approved by the Legislature two weeks ago, one in particular likely will cause headaches for Mid-Columbia retailers in coming months.

Oregon residents will no longer get a sales tax exemption right away at a Tri-Cities checkout counter.

Thanks to ESSB 5997, out-of-state shoppers will have to pay the sales tax upfront, save their receipts and file for a one-time, yearly reimbursement from the state of Washington.

They will qualify only if the amount they are requesting exceeds $25.

Clay Hill, government affairs director for the Association of Washington Business, said approval of ESSB 5997 was "especially disheartening" because there was a unified voice of opposition by business and retail organizations.

Democratic lawmakers are betting they will raise $53 million for a two-year budget from out-of-state shoppers who don't turn in their paperwork or who don't meet the $25 minimum threshold.

But it is the border communities that will pay the biggest price for the tax grab, and it isn't right to put the burden primarily on the edges of the state.

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Upcoming Events