December 9, 2019
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Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Other News Key Hearings/Meetings AWB Events & Resources Best of the Blog Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

USMCA deal reportedly reached between the president and House Democrats

President Donald Trump and House Democrats have reportedly reached a tentative agreement with labor leaders over the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. Deals still need to be finalized, but if it comes together the news would be a major victory for employers, employees and families in Washington state, one of the most trade-driven states in the nation.

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D.C. Fly-in strengthens partnerships with lawmakers, trade partners

Record attendance and new connections with crucial trading partners highlighted AWB's D.C. Fly-in last week. Nearly 30 Washington employers met with Washington lawmakers and federal officials to talk about international trade, healthcare and especially infrastructure.

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Lower car-tabs are on hold, but state, city officials plan for transportation cuts

An ongoing court case continues to hold up the implementation of Initiative 976, which means drivers won't see $30 car tabs anytime soon. On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court denied an emergency motion by the state attorney general to allow the initiative to take effect the next day. Meanwhile, state and local governments are still collecting money from car-tab taxes, but they're not counting on it while the case plays out.

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HP considers major plans for Vancouver

HP has big plans for its Vancouver location, including 330,000 square feet of office space in new buildings. The project could expand to 1.5 million feet of research and manufacturing space over the next 15 years.

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Record Holiday Kids' Tree Project donations brighten homes across Washington

AWB awarded $20,500 in grants and presented bags full of toys to representatives from rural fire departments Friday evening at the Capitol. These 19 fire departments will use the funds to pay for gifts and toys for rural families in need, all across the state. The donations came from AWB members and individual donors. The reach of this year's project is the broadest yet.

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U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, Olympia Democrat and strong trade supporter, announces retirement

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., has announced his retirement from Congress. Heck, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, has championed the renewal of the Export-Import Bank and worked with AWB on issues like housing, international trade and more over the years.

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Other News

Montoya-Lewis makes history as first Native American to sit on Washington Supreme Court

Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Raquel Montoya-Lewis to the Washington Supreme Court. She previously served as a Whatcom County Superior Court judge, and professor at Western Washington University.

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Gael Tarleton announces run for Secretary of State against incumbent Kim Wyman

State Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Seattle, will run against two-term Secretary of State Kim Wyman in 2020. She is the second Democrat to announce in the race.

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Tax structure work group meets and plans for 2020

An important group for the future of taxation in Washington is laying out its 2020 plans. The Tax Structure Work Group will look at a variety of tax proposals, including capital gains and value-added taxes, as well as income tax plans dating back nearly 20 years.

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Gates Foundation CEO stepping down

Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellman is stepping down from her role as CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She's served more than five years as the organization's third CEO. Mark Suzman, the president of global policy and advocacy and chief strategy officer, will take over early next year.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

MTCA/PBT Committee meets Dec. 11

AWB's MTCA/PBT Committee will meet this Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia, located at 1414 Cherry Street S.E., Olympia, WA, 98501.

To participate by phone, please contact Thomas Gill at TommyG@awb.org or 360.943.1600. For more information, please contact Peter Godlewski at PeterG@awb.org.



AWB Employment Law Committee meets Dec. 11

AWB's Employment Law Committee will meet Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia, located at 1414 Cherry Street S.E., Olympia, WA, 98501.

To participate by phone, please contact Thomas Gill at TommyG@awb.org or 360.943.1600. For more information please contact Bob Battles at BobB@awb.org.



AWB Events & Resources

Spokane Lunch and Learn: mounting costs of childcare in the workplace

Join AWB in Spokane on Wednesday, Dec. 18, for a lunch and learn session on the timely issue of "the mounting costs of childcare in the workplace." AWB's Amy Anderson will be joined by former Seattle Councilman Tim Burgess and former state Rep. Ruth Kagi for an interactive, solutions-oriented discussion.

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Save the date for AWB's Legislative Day & Hill Climb -- Jan. 28

Join AWB this January for some "Capitol Conversation" in Olympia. The annual Legislative Day & Hill Climb allows AWB members to take their business issues and concerns directly to our elected officials. Non-members can register for the reception, but the hill climb and legislative update are members-only exclusive-access opportunities. If your business is a member of the state chamber of commerce, register today!

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Registration now open for 2020 HR and employment law webinar series

AWB's makes it a little easier to help your business stay up-to-date on the latest changes in employment and human resources law. This popular six-month webinar series kicks off in February and runs through July 1. Register today for the best rate.

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Best of the Blog

Special delivery: Holiday Kids' Tree Project brings help to families in need

Nineteen rural fire districts received $20,500 on Friday, plus bags of toys. How will those change the lives of families across our state? "Being able to do something like this...is huge," said Nick Bacon, who drove 6 1/2 hours from Asotin County to pick up the Holiday Kids' Tree Project check and bag of toys. Read more about delivering joy this Christmas season at Olympia Business Watch.

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Working together to create jobs



They Said It

Representing the people

"John taught us that we don't 'have' power but that we hold it in trust. It has been a privilege to hold this trust through the last many years." ~ U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., referring to advice he received from the longest-severing member of Congress, former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.




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Spreading Christmas Joy
USMCA Now

Vote on U.S., Mexico, Canada trade agreement for the sake of Washington's economic growth

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Washington's Congressional delegation and Gov. Jay Inslee should advocate strongly for prompt approval of the new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The nearly complete agreement is enormously important to Washington's economic growth and job creation. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) also substantially improves environmental and labor protections over NAFTA, the 1994 agreement it will replace...

Inslee's support is important. He was a strong advocate for NAFTA while in Congress in the 1990s.

But campaigning for president last summer, Inslee was skeptical of USMCA, siding with wary unions and environmental groups seeking more aggressive mandates...

With Inslee now seeking another term leading trade-dependent Washington, he should be more publicly supportive of progress USMCA makes and benefits it would bring the entire state.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Speak up

Survey on Snake River dams is online. Help protect the region's economy and fill it out

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

We know December's to-do list is already long, but we've got an important task that must be added to your check-off list: Please fill out the state survey on the Snake River dams.

It can be found at surveymonkey.com/r/lsrdsurvey.

Don't delay.

We have been critical of this state effort since its proposal nearly a year ago, but now that written comments are being taken we encourage people to fill out the survey and let their voices be heard.

Read the full editorial in the Tri-City Herald.