December 16, 2019
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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 Fast Facts will not be published the week of Christmas; it will resume Dec. 30.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!

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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