May 28, 2019
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Top Stories

Gov. Inslee signs $52.4 bill budget, with $1.1 billion in new or higher taxes

The governor signed a "record state budget (and) new taxes to pay for it," as The Spokesman-Review reported after the last major day of gubernatorial bill signings last week. The $52.4 billion budget increases funding for education, mental health treatment, child care, affordable housing and more.

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Border-town employers worry about impacts as Gov. Inslee signs end to out-of-state sales tax exemption

Despite bipartisan calls for a line-item veto, Gov. Jay Inslee approved the Legislature's end to Washington's longtime sales tax exemption for out-of-state shoppers. Border town employers are worried about the impacts on their customers, who might stop visiting Washington to shop.

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Governor signs new long-term care benefit into law

Washington is now the first state in the nation to provide a long-term care benefit to help pay for nursing care for the old and infirm. The Long-Term Care Trust Act will provide up to $36,500 per person. Employees pay 0.58 percent of their wages into the trust fund to pay for future benefits if and when needed.

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AWB News and Amplified videos win national award

AWB's news and issue videos have earned the Communications Excellence award from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives in this year's national competition. The new video outreach was used through the legislative session to great effect.

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Housing Forum announced for July 8, with focus on affordable workforce housing solutions

In an unprecedented collaboration, AWB and nine other diverse business and statewide advocacy groups are joining forces to host a forum on housing availability and affordability July 8 in Bellevue. The forum will bring together problem-solvers from across the state and political spectrum to make headway on ensuring affordable housing for workforce and families in all the state's communities. Register today!

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Other News

State Sen. Guy Palumbo resigns, takes new job with Amazon

State Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby, resigned from the Washington State Senate Friday morning. He's taking a new job leading local advocacy work for Amazon.

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As summer work season approaches, L&I urges employers to talk with teens about workplace safety

Younger workers are injured more often than others, and state officials encourage employers to focus on safety this summer.

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Construction of $968 million arrivals gate at SeaTac is moving forward

The Puget Sound Business Journal offers a peek inside the construction of a new 450,000-square-foot arrivals terminal at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The new terminal will replace a facility built in the 1970s. It should be open to the public by the fall of 2020.

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Exclusive AWB offer still available: 5,000 bonus miles from Alaska Airline's EasyBiz program

Alaska Airlines is offering 5,000 bonus miles for AWB members that sign up with its new EasyBiz loyalty program. The deadline to sign up and book a qualifying flight is June 7.

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K&L Gates webinar: How to Manage Supply Chain Risks in a Globalized Food Industry

K&L Gates is offering a free webinar on June 11 of interest to agri-business employers. It will include food and insurance topics, including a 'how-to' for addressing a food processing/supply chain recall event.

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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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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.

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AWB Events & Resources

Employment law basics for your business with AWB's popular webinar series

AWB's popular Human Resources and Employment Law Webinar Series continues on Wednesday, June 12, with a talk on non-competes, confidentiality agreements, non-solicitations and intellectual property protection with Amy Mensik and William Symmes, Witherspoon Kelley. The series concludes July 10 with a talk on accident prevention and accident investigation plans.

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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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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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Best of the Blog

Employers urged to engage with government, prepare for future at AWB Spring Meeting

Ambassador Nikki Haley delivered a strong message about the power of employers to lift communities, urging a sold-out audience at AWB's annual Spring Meeting to embrace the power of free enterprise. A new blog post at Olympia Business Watch wraps up one of AWB's biggest-ever events. Read the full blog post here.



Tweet of the Week

Rail Makes Sense



They Said It

Improving Lives

"It needs to be said over and over again: Capitalism is the greatest force for ending poverty and lifting up human beings in the history of the world." ~ Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and America's ambassador to the United Nations, during her dinner keynote address at the AWB Spring Meeting.




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Spring Meeting Review
Water Quality Rules


Washington officials reject their own standards

By the Capital Press editorial board

We can't be the only ones left scratching our heads last week after Washington state officials criticized the Environmental Protection Agency for adopting water quality standards developed and endorsed by the state's Department of Ecology.

The EPA now faces a potential lawsuit for ruling in favor of the state's own water standard proposal...

The EPA says it has the right to reverse its own decisions and that it was returning Ecology to its role as the primary regulator of water quality in Washington.

How dare the EPA...

Read the full editorial in the Capital Press
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