December 16, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Major change to overtime rule as state approves $80,000+ minimum for salaried employees

Washington state is on track to a new $83,400 "super minimum wage" after a rule was approved last week by the Department of Labor & Industries. The new Executive, Administrative and Professional (EAP) overtime salary rule impacts every employer in the state, but especially small businesses and nonprofit organizations. At the same time, employers need to be aware of new federal overtime rules that take effect on Jan. 1. With so many changes to employment law, AWB's upcoming HR & Employment Law webinar series is a good opportunity to get up to speed.

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USMCA trade agreement moves forward

House Democrats and the White House announced a deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement last week. It was a notable moment of good news in the nation's capital.

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AWB joins White House summit on child care, paid leave and working families

AWB was back in Washington, D.C., for the second week in a row for a series of national meetings on child care and early childhood education, including a forum at the White House. AWB's Amy Anderson was joined by entrepreneur Nicole Sohn and state Rep. Kristine Reeves. The meetings follow the recent publication of a major study on child care.

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Prepare for upcoming legislative session with AWB's latest Legislative Review

AWB's annual Legislative Review examines the 2019 session in depth, with a wide-ranging look at all the proposed and final bills that affected employers and Washington's competitiveness during the legislative session. The edition also includes the popular Vote Record, which ranks Washington's legislators based on their support of policies that help employers in all of Washington succeed.

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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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Federal Issues

U.S. and China announce "Phase One" trade agreement

America and China announced a limited "Phase One" trade deal last week. It will put a pause on some new tariffs, but it's only a first step in ending the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

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Other News

AWB welcomes Tommy Gantz as government affairs director

Just in time for the legislative session beginning next month, AWB's Government Affairs team is gaining a new member. Tommy Gantz, an experienced analyst in the aerospace industry, will be AWB's point person on tax and fiscal policy in the Legislature.

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Rep. Reeves resigning from the Legislature

State Rep. Kristine Reeves, D-Federal Way, announced this morning that she is stepping down from the Legislature. There is speculation that she could be running for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-WA.

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Car-tab debate coming to 2020 legislative session

Gov. Jay Inslee says he won't ask legislators to OK $30 car-tabs in the upcoming legislative session. But state Sen. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, says the Legislature should respect the will of the voters.

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Tacoma LNG project cleared for construction

A major liquefied natural gas project at the Port of Tacoma has received its final construction permit from the Puget Sound Clear Air Agency. Opponents vowed to keep fighting the project, sought by Puget Sound Energy.

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AWB to present check to Children's Hospital during radiothon Tuesday

Attendees at AWB's Evening of Excellence voted this year to make a donation to Seattle Children's Hospital. Members of AWB's staff will present a $2,500 check to the hospital on Tuesday, with a fun and rewarding twist: the first callers who phone in after 10 a.m. will see their donations matched, up to AWB's $2,500, which could double the donations to $5,000.

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No Fast Facts next week, but watch for Year in Review this Friday

Watch your email this Friday for a year-in-review email highlighting AWB's activities from 2019. Fast Facts will not be published the week of Christmas; it will resume Dec. 30. To all of you and yours, Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

AWB Events & Resources

SAVE THE DATE: Legislative preview webinar on Jan. 10

Mark your calendars for Jan. 10. AWB's Government Affairs team will discuss the upcoming legislative session on a free members-only webinar from 8-9:30 a.m. More information to come soon.

Spokane Lunch and Learn: Mounting Costs of Child Care 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 child care 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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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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Tweet of the Week

AWB Returns to D.C.

They Said It

A New Super Minimum Wage

"This is a huge increase over the current rule, and one that is likely to carry unintended consequences, especially for small businesses and nonprofit organizations." ~ AWB President Kris Johnson, in response to a Department of Labor & Industries rule that will set the new "super minimum wage" of $83,400 for salaried employees.

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Spreading Christmas Joy
Holiday Kids Tree

Sharing the Spirit of the Season Across Our State

By AWB President Kris Johnson

As the state's business and manufacturing association, AWB is proud to lead a number of statewide efforts. Perhaps the most heartwarming is our job each December to coordinate the decorations and lighting of the state's holiday tree. Those decorations are always bundled up after the new year and donated to a local children's hospital.

Washington employers have donated a total of $438,000 to the Holiday Kids' Tree project over the last three decades. Just before the annual tree-lighting ceremony, we give bags of toys and checks to representatives from rural fire districts who distribute the food and toys to families in need. This year we were able to spread holiday cheer to families across the state, from Camano Island to Chelan and Walla Walla.

And speaking of trees, your state Capitol this year was filled with the greenery of a 34-foot noble fir, donated by Weyerhaeuser from its Vail Tree Farm near Rainier.

The tree was harvested from a small area that is being cleared to make room for a series of wind turbines at the new Skookumchuck Wind Farm. This 38-turbine project, a partnership between Puget Sound Energy, Weyerhaeuser, TransAlta and RES, will generate 137 megawatts of power -- enough to power 48,000 homes. That will be a gift for generations to come...

Read the full guest column in The (Centralia) Chronicle