September 30, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Federal Issues Other News Key Hearings/Meetings Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

It's time! AWB's Manufacturing Week bus leaves this week on seven-day cross-state tour

The bus is ready. Dozens of stops are set. News media are already taking notice. AWB's third-annual Manufacturing Week bus tour leaves this week for a seven-day, cross-state tour of Washington's diverse manufacturers. The goal: to highlight Washington's innovative and crucial manufacturing sector.

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State's revenue projected to increase by nearly a half billion dollars through 2021

Washington's projected tax collections continue to increase. The latest revenue forecast, released last week, said the state is on track to see a net increase in revenue of nearly $447 million within the next two years. That means total state revenue of $51.4 billion through mid-2021.

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'No on I-976' group launches TV ads; Seattle Times also opposes initiative

The television and digital advertisements (video here and here) are working to inform voters about the risks and damage that would come from Initiative 976, which would gut transportation revenue. The Seattle Times also came out forcefully against the initiative, warning it is "a direct threat to Washington's well-being."

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Mark your calendars for Evening of Excellence on Nov. 20

Please save the date to join us on Wednesday, Nov. 20 as we celebrate our members and the good work they do every day to make Washington a great place to live and work. Tickets are available now!

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Federal Issues

U.S.-Japan Trade agreement good news for Washington farmers

The U.S. and Japan have reached a deal on international trade that will lower agricultural tariffs in Japan and industrial tariffs in the U.S., and create new rules in the digital economy as well. Read more »

Congress moves toward allowing marijuana businesses to access banking products

The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed a law prohibiting federal regulators from penalizing lending institutions that work with marijuana business which are following state laws. The goal is to address safety issues created when marijuana businesses rely solely on cash.

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Other News

Boeing donates $125,000 to grants in Moses Lake

Boeing, which is adding hundreds of jobs in Moses Lake, has also announced major donations to the community: $100,000 to support pilot and aircraft maintenance technician programs at Big Bend Community College, and $25,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Columbia Basin.

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Bonneville lock reopens to barge traffic

A critical barge navigation lock has reopened traffic after nearly a month of closure that left wheat and other goods stuck without passage up or down the Columbia River.

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AWB membership department wins two national awards

Last week at a national gathering of state chambers, AWB was honored with two awards for membership, including the top prize for member retention.

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Microsoft outlines first affordable housing investment of $500 million initiative

Microsoft will make a $60 million loan at below-market rates to the King County Housing Authority to help it buy five residential apartment complexes, ensuring the 1,029 apartments will stay affordable for low- and middle-income residents. It's the first investment of Microsoft's $500 million pledge for affordable housing.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Transportation and Energy committees to meet Oct. 7 with Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's leader

Craig Kenworthy, the executive director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), will address a joint meeting of AWB's Transportation and Energy committees on Monday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia. Kenworthy will present PSCAA's regional low-carbon fuel standard proposal. His agency's draft rule will be published on Oct. 9, triggering a 60-day comment period. To learn more, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Mike Ennis.

Tweet of the Week

Preparing for 2020

They Said It

American Wheat Exports

"This is great. We are excited." ~ Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Wheat Commission, about a U.S.-Japan trade deal signed last week.

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Freeways Aren't Free

The Times recommends: Reject car tabs Initiative 976 and its devastating effects

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

In his latest ballot measure, initiative promoter Tim Eyman is overreaching again. He conjures a fantasy world in which Washington's transportation infrastructure is complete, efficient and everlasting.

The real-life Initiative 976 is a direct threat to Washington's well-being. It would cut repairs to streets and bridges of 62 districts across the state, delay voter-approved mass transit in mid-construction and cost taxpayers more money in the long run. The statewide transportation budget, including highway construction and the State Patrol, would be shorted $4 billion over the next decade.

Little wonder large employers including Amazon, Alaska Airlines and Microsoft, business groups, city and county officials, unions and environmental concerns oppose I-976...

Nothing about I-976 is a good idea, in terms of responsible governance or prudent money management. Eyman asks voters to buy a falsity that there's some miraculous way to fund our state's backlog of bridge, road and transit needs. Because the courts cannot end this toxic nonsense quickly enough, voters must reject I-976 themselves.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times