March 2, 2015
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Priority Legislation Key Hearings/Meetings Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Senate passes transportation package: good for the environment, good for drivers, good for consumers

The Senate passed a transportation revenue package today, sending it on to the House for consideration. Meanwhile, according to a new poll, voters list transportation and gridlock reduction as top priorities.
Read more »

AWB leads delegation to Washington, D.C., in support of Export-Import Bank

From mint processors to music stand manufacturers, the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank supports jobs across Washington and America. Last week, AWB led its second-ever D.C. fly-in to push for long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.
Read more »

Port backlog in Puget Sound could be cleared within weeks, but long-term economic impact uncertain

The stacks of containers and traffic jam of ships offshore should be cleared within three weeks at the ports of Tacoma and Seattle. But, Washington agricultural producers and manufacturers are likely to feel impacts of the West Coast port dispute for much longer. Read more »

Leadership Washington visits Seattle R&D, import/export facilities

The AWB Institute's Leadership Washington class visited Microsoft's research division, Starbucks' roastery, the Port of Seattle and many more innovative businesses during the latest stop on their yearlong statewide tour. Read more »

State's chief economist says Washington economy is growing, but he remains cautious

Steve Lerch, executive director of the state's revenue and forecast council, told AWB's Lobby Lunch that that state government's revenue growth is at pace with its historic 4.5 percent annual average.
Read more »

Priority Legislation

House Speaker Chopp announces floor vote on minimum wage, paid sick/safe leave

House Speaker Frank Chopp plans House votes this week on bills to mandate paid sick/safe leave and to increase the statewide minimum wage to $12 an hour. This suggests Chopp believes he has the votes to pass the bills, but their reception in the Senate is less certain.
Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Water Quality Committee to meet March 9

The AWB Water Quality Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. Monday, March 9, at AWB. The meeting will focus on final preparation of comments to the state's update of water quality standards. Contact Brandon Houskeeper to learn more.

Other News

Lawmakers considering sending I-1351 back to voters with funding source attached

By the narrowest of margins, voters approved last year's initiative that promised to dramatically decrease public school class sizes. Initiative 1351, however, did not include a way to pay for the obligations placed on the state in the measure. Now some lawmakers are considering sending the initiative back to voters, this time with taxes attached. Read more »

Former Rep. Renee Radcliff Sinclair chosen to be TVW's president and CEO

TVW has a new leader. Renee Radcliff Sinclair, who served four terms in the state House, will lead Washington's public affairs television channel and website. Read more »

Forty aerospace suppliers descend on Olympia over questions about tax incentive stability

A pair of proposed bills would put after-the-fact conditions on the overwhelmingly approved 2013 tax incentives that ensured creation of the 777X and its high-tech composite wing manufacturing plant in Washington. Last week, representatives of nearly 40 aerospace companies came to Olympia with concerns about the implications.
Read more »

Interfor completes purchase of four Simpson sawmills sites, including two in Washington

AWB member Interfor Corp. has finalized its purchase of Simpson Lumber Co. sites in Tacoma and Longview, as well as sites in Georgia and South Carolina. The purchase increases Interfor's lumber production capacity by 30 percent and reinforces its position as the fastest growing lumber company on the planet. Read more »

College women invited to apply for $5,000 Jennifer Dunn-Thomson scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the fifth annual Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship, which provides $5,000 to women for undergraduate or graduate studies, or to help cover the costs of an internship on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The deadline is April 15. Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Using Workplace Policies to Minimize Employer Liability: Training for Human Resources and Managers

Your company's policy handbook can be a great resource to ensure a well-functioning workplace -- or it can be a legal minefield. Register today for this March 18 seminar, presented by Selena Smith of Davis Grimm Payne & Marra. Read more »

AWB Tax webinar series postponed due to legislative cutoff

Last Friday's webinar on the state budget was postponed due to activity in the Legislature. Those who registered for the webinar will be contacted when the new date is set. Contact Karlee Keith to learn more about the webinars or Amber Carter with policy questions.

Save the date: Session review webinar, March 13

AWB's government affairs staff will give brief updates on their issue areas as the session passes the halfway mark. This webinar will be free for all AWB members. Stay tuned for more details.

Tweet of the Week

Keep Energy Flowing

They Said It

Sluggish Shipments

"It's like a faucet that's been off for a while. You turn it on, and you have to clean out the gunk so it can flow freely. There is still a backlog of vessels anchored out, waiting for their turn."
~ Mark Matsudaira, branch manager of Russell A. Ferrow (U.S.) Inc., a freight forwarder, about the ongoing impacts of the recently resolved West Coast port dispute

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Why the Export-Import Bank is a Main Street, not a Washington, institution

By Edward Gerwin, Jr., senior contributing editor for Republic 3.0

There are, no doubt, scores of government programs that need to be replaced or reformed. But the Ex-Im Bank isn't one of them. Rather, the Ex-Im Bank is an efficient and prudent institution that drives exports and economic growth and supports good American jobs, all while actually making a $2 billion profit for the U.S. Treasury over the past five years.
Click here for the full post at Republic 3.0

Gov. Jay Inslee should remove fuel standards from negotiations

By Richard S. Davis

After three years of negotiations, state Senate transportation leaders recently announced bipartisan agreement on a $15 billion, 16-year funding plan. They say they're ready to get the legislative process moving. ...

Gov. Jay Inslee can help the plan along by removing an impediment of his own creation, his intent to implement a low-carbon fuel standard by executive order. ...

Inslee has a choice to make, now. He can allow the threat of an executive order to linger over the debate, weakening his hand in legislative negotiations and fostering distrust. Or he can position himself as mediator and leader, willing to set aside one of his priorities to ensure final passage of critical legislation.
Click here to read the full column in The Seattle Times
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