January 6, 2020
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Top Stories

Legislature to focus on transportation, climate, technology and more

The Washington Legislature will meet for a 60-day session on Jan. 13. Last year's session produced a two-year operating budget, but there's still lots to cover. Transportation, technology, housing and climate-related issues have appeared in the news in recent weeks, signaling a busy session.

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Washington employers face flurry of new regulations in 2020

The new year began with several new rules for Washington employers: Paid Family and Medical Leave, a ban on most noncompete agreements and a higher minimum wage. Connect with AWB's HR and Employment Law webinar series to get the latest updates.

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No consensus on removal of Snake River Dams

There are benefits and liabilities with the four hydroelectric dams on the Snake River, a new report commissioned by the Legislature says. But there's no consensus on whether they should be removed or retained.

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Join the "Capitol Conversations" at AWB's Legislative Day & Hill Climb Jan. 28

The annual AWB 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 AWB, register today! If it's not, click here to learn more about the benefits of joining.

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AWB's latest Legislative Review, Fast Facts Year in Review helps employers prepare for 2020

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 a popular Vote Record. And be sure to check out our 2019 Fast Facts Year in Review, which hit the high points of our work here and across the world.

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Federal Issues

Herrera Beutler sponsors new child tax credit bill

U.S. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, R-WA, is among several sponsors of bill aimed at helping new parents. The measure would provide families a tax credit up to $5,000 after the birth or adoption of a new child.

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Pelosi says House agenda includes infrastructure package

The Wall Street Journal highlighted the possibility of a federal infrastructure package in 2020. However, concerns about how to pay for it remain.

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Strickland, Reeves announce run for Congress

Marilyn Strickland, former mayor of Tacoma and current head of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, has announced her campaign for the 10th Congressional District seat. She'll face competition from former State Rep. Kristine Reeves, who announced her run today.

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Other News

Alex Ramel chosen as new state representative for 40th Legislative District

Officials from Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties chose Alex Ramel as the new state representative for the 40th Legislative District on Monday afternoon. Ramel replaces State Rep. Jeff Morris, who's retiring after 22 years.

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AWB Lobby Lunch begins Jan. 23 with officials from the governor's office

Olympia's "power lunch" returns Jan. 23 as AWB welcomes the governor's office for the first in the 2020 series of Lobby Lunches.

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Port of Kalama sues state over review of methanol plant

The Port of Kalama has sued the Washington State Department of Ecology over its review of a major methanol project proposed for Southwest Washington.

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U.S. population growth smallest in decades

The United States population is growing, but very slowly. Fewer births, a decline in new immigrants and an aging population have contributed to the decline. Washington, however, is experiencing much faster growth than the nation overall.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Transportation Committee Meets Wednesday, Jan. 8

AWB's Transportation Committee will meet this Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 9 a.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia. The offices are located at 1414 Cherry Street S.E., Olympia, 98501. To participate by phone, please contact Liv Johnson at 360.943.1600 or livj@awb.org.

For more information please contact Mike Ennis at MikeE@awb.org.



AWB Employment Law Committee Meets Thursday, Jan. 9

AWB's Employment Law Committee will meet this Thursday, Jan. 9 from 1-3 p.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia. The offices are located at 1414 Cherry Street S.E., Olympia, 98501.

Please note, call-in information for members participating by phone has changed. Please contact Thomas Gill at TommyG@awb.org or 360.943.1600 for details.

For more information contact Bob Battles at BobB@awb.org.



AWB Events & Resources

NEW DATE: Legislative preview webinar on Jan. 13

AWB's 2020 legislative session preview has been moved to Monday, Jan. 13. AWB's Government Affairs team will discuss the upcoming legislative session on a free members-only webinar from 8-9:30 a.m. Learn more here, or reserve a spot by contacting Jacob Sodeman, AWB events coordinator, at JacobS@awb.org or 360.943.1600.



LAST DAY to save $50: Register now for AWB's HR & Employment Law webinar series

There are some big changes coming in 2020, including overtime exemption rules, the implementation of the Paid Family Medical Leave benefit, and more. Are you up-to-date on employment law? Sharpen your skills from the convenience of your home, office or on the go with AWB webinars. Register by today and save $50!

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Tweet of the Week

More Workforce Investments



They Said It

A Central Washington Surge

''What's going on here is a big deal." ~ Theo Jones, a contractor who does flight simulator work for Mitsubishi, about an aerospace boom in Moses Lake, as workers flock to Grant County from across the United States, Canada and Asia.




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Tell Your Story
Forward into Space Investment

Federal space push is an opportunity for Washington

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

The new federal Space Force received just $40 million in the $738 billion defense budget that Congress recently approved.

That amount is as comical as the name Space Force, which sounds like something from a low-budget sci-fi movie.

But that belies serious effort and spending the federal government is now devoting to space activities. Snickering aside, this should renew Washington state efforts to be sure its universities, workers and growing cluster of space companies play substantial roles in these national investments.

As the nation increases space investment, legislators and Gov. Jay Inslee should nurture and grow space research, development and manufacturing in Washington, building on its historical leadership in aerospace and software.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times