September 9, 2019
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AWB speaks in support of aerospace tax incentives as commission examines auditor's report

Since enacting an aerospace tax incentive in 2003, the industry has grown in Washington, with 38% more employees and a vibrant ecosystem of thriving companies, AWB and other business advocates told a tax oversight panel last week.

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Debbie Sterling joins speaker lineup for Policy Summit Sept. 17-19

Registration for AWB's 2019 Policy Summit will soon be sold out! Don't miss your chance to join us at the beautiful Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum Sept 17-19. Hear from GoldieBlox Founder and CEO Debbie Sterling, and dozens of other compelling speakers. Build connections with fellow business leaders from across the state. Gain insights on tax policy, the state of the economy, entrepreneurship, and much more. Register now!

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Seattle considers ban on natural gas in new construction

A Seattle city council member is proposing a ban on natural gas in new homes and construction. In a sign that there might be problems with banning a popular, energy-efficient, low-carbon fuel source, the bill's sponsor is considering exempting restaurants, because "some of the construction experts we've talked to say there aren't great alternatives at the moment for commercial-scale cooking without gas." Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat also notes that regional clean air officials still promote natural gas as a cleaner, greener alternative to wood stoves.

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Supporting Exports
Questionable Vetoes

Gov. Jay Inslee gets slapped with a lawsuit, and democracy is better for it

By The News Tribune Editorial Board

Lawmakers are suing Inslee for a series of one-sentence vetoes in the state's nearly $10 billion transportation budget...

In a moment of institutional solidarity, Democrats and Republicans on the House Executive Rules Committee and the Senate Facilities & Operations Committee voted unanimously to sue.

Yes, lawmakers could have convened for a vote and overridden Inslee's vetoes with a two-thirds majority of both chambers. But both parties wisely considered the importance of precedent...

Meanwhile, legislators are still smarting from another bit of sleight of hand from Inslee, which he also used to manipulate the transportation budget to his liking.

The governor snatched $175 million in leftover funds that lawmakers had appropriated for transportation projects. He redirected the money toward removing road culverts that block fish passage, a mammoth undertaking that will take several years and cost billions of dollars...

We hope Inslee, who's seeking a third term as governor after withdrawing from the Democratic presidential field, has learned a little something about executive power.

Objectionable sentences can't just disappear, and legislatively designated funds can't just float to your preferred projects. It's a pen, sir, not a magic wand.

Read the full editorial in The News Tribune
Rural Broadband

High-speed internet is basic infrastructure for the 21st-century economy

By U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Tom Gurr, executive director of the Pacific Technology Alliance

As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our businesses, health care, and education systems, it's more important than ever to ensure that all Americans, especially those in rural areas, have access to a high-speed internet connection.

In visiting communities around our state, meeting with people on the ground, and listening to what they have to say, we're reminded that there is a significant portion of residents who don't have access to this critical technology...

High-speed broadband networks are as important as any other type of infrastructure in the 21st century. We all recognize the logistical and financial constraints of bringing broadband networks to remote or sparsely populated areas. But this technology is critical to daily life, and rural residents deserve access to the same opportunities for education, health care and economic development as people living in larger cities like Spokane. It's up to us to work together to make that happen.

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review