August 26, 2019
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Top Stories

AWB's Federal Affairs Summit bridges divide, connects Congress and employers large and small

AWB's third Federal Affairs Summit brought together lawmakers from both parties and a diverse blend of Washington employers to discuss challenges and solutions last week in the Tri-Cities. Highlights include remarks on bipartisanship, international trade and tariffs, and a keynote address from the under secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

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New energy storage project coming to PNNL, with millions in federal investment

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to host a new national grid energy research facility, which could lead to millions in new federal investment. The new facility, which will require funding from Congress, would help modernize the country's utility grid to make it more resilient and secure.

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Inslee exits race for president, announces run for governor

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ended his presidential bid last week. He quickly announced another run for governor, which immediately had a ripple effect in Washington politics, as several Democrats were eyeing the governor's mansion in case Inslee chose not to run again.

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Policy Summit features great content, renowned speakers

Policy Summit is back! One of our most popular events, this one often sells out. Don't miss a point counter-point with two former White House chiefs of staff, and dozens of other compelling speakers. Register today!

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Employers have until Sept. 6 to comment on new overtime rule

Washington employers are encouraged to speak up now about big changes coming to Washington's overtime rules. The deadline to submit written comments is Sept. 6. Read more »

Federal Issues

Pence to Congress: Let's pass the USMCA

Vice President Mike Pence visited New Mexico and Utah last week in an effort to persuade Congress to pass enabling legislation for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

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Cantwell promotes more affordable housing tax incentives in Spokane visit

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., visited Spokane last week to encourage support for a new bill that aims to spur creation of nearly 10,000 affordable housing units in Washington.

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Other News

State Sen. Barbara Bailey to retire in September

State Sen. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, has announced her retirement effective Sept. 30. Party officials will nominate replacements, and county commissioners will choose her successor.

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Washington wheat harvest underway, and producers face low prices

The Washington wheat harvest is underway, and producers report average to above average yields, The Spokesman-Review reports. But even with a good crop, many are faced with the prospect of selling their crops for about what it cost to produce.

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Emily Wittman named CEO of Aerospace Futures Alliance

Emily Wittman, who has focused her career on economic opportunities, has been named the new CEO of the Aerospace Futures Alliance. She begins on Aug. 29.

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One week to go: Deadline approaching to report Paid Family and Medical Leave premiums

Paid Family and Medical Leave reporting and remitting is underway. Employers and employer agents have until Aug. 31 to file reports and remit payments for the first two quarters of 2019.

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Access quality employee benefits through Colonial Life

A new suite of employee benefit programs through Colonial Life can help employers give workers access to quality insurance options.

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Local fire departments urged to apply to be part of the Holiday Kids' Tree Project

Applications are being accepted now for the annual Holiday Kids' Tree Project. AWB members have donated more than $420,000 over the past 30 years to help families in need during the holiday season. Fire departments help us distribute that money in the form of toys and gifts. Now is the time for rural fire districts to apply to be part of this year's program. Employers with contacts in the firefighting community are being asked to spread the word.

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB Employment Law Committee Meets Thursday, Aug. 29

AWB's Employment Law Committee will meet Thursday, Aug. 29 at 1:30 p.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia. Discussion items include AWB's written response to the draft EAP overtime rules, among other topics. Please contact Government Affairs Director for Employment Law Bob Battles for more information at BobB@awb.org.

Committee members who wish to participate by phone must make arrangements in advance. Please contact Tommy Gill at TommyG@awb.org or 360.943.1600 for details.



AWB Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee Meets Sept. 6

AWB's Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee will meet Friday, Sept. 6 from 10 -11:30 a.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia. Please contact Government Affairs Director for Tax and Fiscal Policy Clay Hill at ClayH@awb.org for agenda details. To participate by phone, please contact Tommy Gill at TommyG@awb.org or 360.943.1600.



Join us at the beautiful Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum for policy discussions and networking

Policy Summit is back! One of our most popular events, this one often sells out. Make connections and engage in high-level, statewide policy discussions. Learn about the current outlook on issues that impact your business and the communities where we live and work. Save your spot! #AWBsummit19

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Tweet of the Week

Working Together for Washington



They Said It

Take Notice

"'Powerful federal lawmakers are in Tri-Cities this week' -- They never put that in when it's just me." ~ U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., finding humor in Tri-City Herald headline about AWB's Federal Affairs Summit, which drew five members of Washington's Congressional delegation to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for a daylong summit with business leaders.




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Deadline for written comments on draft overtime rule Sept. 6
Support for Ex-Im Bank Grows


In Our View: Congress must reauthorize Ex-Im Bank now

By The Columbian Editorial Board

For 85 years, the federal Export-Import Bank has helped American corporations compete in the global marketplace. Now it is in need of reauthorization from Congress.

In recent years in Clark County, the bank has supported companies such as Conquest Consulting Group, Northwest Natural Products and Neil Jones Food Company. Across Washington, it has supported companies large and small in every region. About 90 percent of businesses that use Ex-Im Bank services are small businesses that provide local jobs and contribute to the local tax base.

The Ex-Im Bank, which provides and guarantees loans to help foreign entities make purchases from U.S. companies, is particularly important in our state, where an estimated 40 percent of all jobs are tied in some fashion to international trade...

Read the full editorial in The Columbian