March 9, 2020
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Top Stories

AWB to host coronavirus conference call with Inslee, state officials on Tuesday

AWB members and all Washington employers are invited to join Gov. Jay Inslee and other state leaders during a conference call hosted by AWB on Tuesday with the latest information and tips to prepare for the current COVID-19 outbreak. Please join us for the call Tuesday from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. The call is free, but please register here.

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Employers respond to COVID-19 and Vice President Pence meets with Gov. Inslee

Washington employers are adjusting schedules, policies and strategies as the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds. Microsoft, Amazon and the University of Washington are having many employees work remotely. Smaller firms have reported significant drops in business. AWB has created an employer resource page with practical guidance from trusted sources to help employers weather the situation. Read more »

UPDATE: AWB's Workforce Summit will go virtual

In response to growing concerns around the coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak, AWB is moving forward with the 2020 Workforce Summit as a virtual event. The event will still be held on March 19 and will run on a slightly altered timeline. We invite you to participate from the comfort of your home or office, for a lineup of speakers and panels covering key issues for employers across the state. Full details and registration for the virtual event is available online.

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Final week of session will focus on the budget

With the legislative session scheduled to adjourn Thursday, lawmakers will be working this week to finalize the two budgets prepared by the House and Senate. The differences between the two spending proposals are relatively minor, and an on-time adjournment is expected.

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Other News

PNNL receives three honors for innovative technology transfers

The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer has given three awards to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for bringing its high-tech innovations to the marketplace. The awards honored innovations in energy use sensors, fish and wildlife tracking devices, and a streamlined technology licensing agreement.

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AAA to unveil ride-sharing app in Seattle this spring

A new car-sharing option will be coming to the Seattle area in April in May. AAA Washington plans to deploy hybrid cars for 40 cents per minute or $15 per hour.

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State Rep. Beth Doglio joins crowded race for 10th District congressional seat

The retirement of U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., has led to a flurry of candidates for the rare open congressional seat. The latest is state Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia. She is the ninth candidate and the fifth Democrat to enter the race.

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Sen. Randi Becker announces retirement from Legislature

With the legislative session scheduled to end this week, lawmakers are beginning to announce their plans for this year's election. Among those who will not be running again: state Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville.

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Applications open for Jennifer Dunn-Thompson Scholarship

Women college students are invited to apply for a $15,000 scholarship in memory of former U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn-Thompson. The Washington Policy Center is accepting applications until April 15.

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Nominations sought for AWB's Board of Directors

As a member-driven association, AWB's diverse and robust Board of Directors is an important source of strength. Nominations are now open for business leaders from across the state, and from employers of all sizes, to serve on the AWB Board. The nomination deadline is March 15.

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AWB Events & Resources

Bipartisan Spring Meeting keynotes: Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp

We are excited to welcome a slate of dynamic keynote speakers to Spring Meeting, including former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and political analyst Amy Walter. This annual event is where Washington employers come for insights into the economic and policy issues that impact their business. The meeting will also feature updates on how the 2020 legislative session will affect Washington employers. We hope to see you in Spokane May 13-14. Registration is now open!

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Economic development professionals to convene at statewide 2020 Economic Symposium in Pasco April 14

AWB is partnering with the Washington Employment Security Department to bring you the 2020 Economic Symposium, Connecting the Dots: Metrics that Matter. This event convenes economic and workforce development leaders to address key issues that affect all of us. Register here.

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Tweet of the Week

The New Handshake



They Said It

COVID-19 Vaccine Testing in Seattle

"When the selection of the site occurred, we didn't have any idea that this infection would be in the United States or in Seattle. Experiencing the transmission of this infection force provides that local view of the importance." ~ Dr. Lisa Jackson, senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, about the nation's first human clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine, which will begin within the next few weeks at Kaiser Permanente's vaccine and treatment evaluation unit in Seattle.




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Decision 2020


What you need to know about Washington's March 10 presidential primary

By Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton

Our fiercely independent voters historically do not like picking a party and this year is no different. That's why the Secretary of State's Office has been advocating since 2015 for the Legislature to reinstate an option for voters to not affiliate and still have their vote counted. Since ballots began to arrive in late February, the phones at our respective offices have been ringing off the hook and our email inboxes are full of messages from voters frustrated that they have to declare a party affiliation in order for their vote to count. As much as voters dislike marking the oath on the return envelope, we ask that you take a moment to consider participating.

Both political parties will use the results to allocate their delegates to their national conventions. This means every voter in Washington has the opportunity to participate in nominating the presidential candidate for both major political parties. Party caucuses will still be held to select the actual delegates who will attend the national conventions. The delegates will be bound by the presidential primary results in the first round.

The primary is early, so Washington really counts...

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review