October 28, 2019
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Top Stories

I-976 watch: With voting underway, Washington cities prepare for cuts in transportation funding, just in case

Some city leaders across Washington are preparing for a worst-case scenario in case voters approve Initiative 976, which would lower vehicle fees and car tab taxes. The initiative would cost about $4 billion in state and local funding over six years. That's why it's crucial that employers vote No on I-976. If you haven't voted yet, make sure to fill out your ballot and return it before Nov. 5.

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Report: Childcare problems cost parents, employers billions and missed opportunities

Lack of affordable, quality childcare is having a major negative impact on the state's economy, a new report from the Washington State Child Care Collaborative Task Force shows. Employers lost $2 billion from employee turnover in 2017, and another $3.7 billion was lost due to missed opportunities, including production cuts.

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New study shows Washington employers pay half of all state and local taxes

A new report from the Council on State Taxation shows that Washington employers pay 49.6% of all state and local taxes, which is significantly higher than the national average. Meanwhile, state revenues continue to rise.

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Four Washington counties consider their own local low-carbon fuel standard

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is now accepting comments on a draft version of a low-carbon fuel standard, Crosscut reports. The rule, which could be voted on early next year, would impact King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.

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Sign up now to attend the AWB 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. Rep. Derek Kilmer travels to Arkansas as part of bipartisan exchange

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., recently toured a Republican colleague's congressional district in Arkansas as part of a bipartisan exchange program. The goal of the American Congressional Exchange is to promote bipartisanship and break down barriers in Congress.

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Other News

Washington wine industry reaches 1,000 wineries

State officials have recently issued the 1,000th active winery license to Uva Furem, a winery to be located in Maple Valley. It's a major milestone for an industry that had just 20 wineries in the 1980s.

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Washington's next commercial airport to be discussed by new commission

A public commission that will identify the location of Washington's next commercial airport will hold its first organizational meeting on Oct. 30 in Olympia. The Commercial Aviation Coordinating Committee was created by the Legislature to help Washington meet future demands on commercial aviation.

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Access employee benefits at competitive rates

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

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB offers proactive tax and investment planning for employers

Surprise tax bills and investment downturns can sideline any business. Learn more about how to manage both more proactively with two upcoming workshops.

On Nov. 14 in Kirkland and Nov. 15 in Benton City, Kristofer Gray, CFP, will deliver workshops covering year-end tax and investment planning for employers. Gray will describe how to develop a thoughtful process to address the main issues surrounding year-end tax and investment planning.

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Holiday Kids' Tree campaign now underway

The holidays are approaching and AWB is getting ready for this year's Holiday Kids' Tree Project. AWB members have donated more than $420,000 since 1989 to help rural families in need.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

Federal policymakers to host childcare workshop in Seattle Nov. 4

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families is hosting a roundtable event to gather dialogue about barriers to quality childcare, and discuss "practical solutions that meet the needs of working families," the agency reports.


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AWB Rural Jobs Task Force meets Nov. 12 in the Tri-Cities

AWB's Rural Jobs Task Force will meet Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the Tri-Cities. The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick, WA, 99336. For more information please contact Mike Ennis at MikeE@awb.org.



Best of the Blog

National gaze turns to Colville and growing CLT industry

National Public Radio last week highlighted the eco-friendly logging and high-tech lumber manufacturing embodied by cross-laminated timber. AWB visited one of the leaders of the CLT movement, Vaagen Timbers, during this month's Manufacturing Week tour. Read more on Olympia Business Watch.



Tweet of the Week

No on I-976



They Said It

A Fine Time for Wine

"We still have so much room to grow, both on the winery and vineyard side. Washington is the new epicenter of wine -- and truly, still just getting started." ~ Steve Warner, president of Washington State Wine, after the state's 1000th winery was issued a license




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Holiday Kids' Tree is Coming
Vote No


Addressing the confusion I-976 created

By The Seattle Times editorial board

The baited trap of Initiative 976 awaits voters on the Nov. 5 ballot. Its beguiling promise of cheap car registrations carries destructive consequences statewide. Voters should reject it.

Serial initiative promoter Tim Eyman crafted this proposal to eviscerate transportation solutions chosen by gridlocked communities across our state.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
A trade deal that works for Washington


#NoRestRecess Pushes USMCA Forward

By Kelly Rosenblatt, associate manager for digital and editorial content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Representative Kim Schrier during congressional recess. Photo courtesy of Brian Mittge, Communications Specialist at the Association of Washington Business.

During the recent two-week October work period, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was out in full force across the country pushing for #USMCAnow. Across 13 states, the U.S. Chamber, alongside local businesses and chambers of commerce, held nearly 60 USMCA events. Our team met with 36 members of Congress, including 30 Democrats who are critical to final passage of the deal.

Check out the photos below to see the progress Congress members made on USMCA while meeting with constituents in their districts. To learn more about the opportunities USMCA will provide for farmers, manufacturers, small businesses and American workers, visit here.

Read the full blog post here