June 1, 2015
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Top Stories

With no budget deal after first special session, Legislature goes into double overtime

The first legislative special session ended Thursday with no budget deal or transportation investment package. The governor immediately called the Legislature back into a second special session on Friday as warnings about potential layoffs were sent out to state workers and contractors.
Read more »

Tacoma minimum wage committee begins meeting as $15 Now initiative struggling with invalid signatures

Tacoma's new minimum wage task force held its first meeting last week in an effort to craft a compromise measure to responsibly raise the city's minimum wage. Meanwhile, the activists of $15 Now are seeing many of their initiative signatures rejected because signatories aren't registered to vote.
Read more »

Governor pushes for transportation package in visits to Puyallup, Kent

Washington needs to improve its transportation system, Gov. Jay Inslee said during visits to key sites last week. Whether it's obsolete bridges or commuters stuck on unfinished highway corridors, the need for investment is real and growing, the governor said. AWB President Kris Johnson emphasized the point in a letter sent to legislators this morning. Read more »

New edition of Washington Business magazine arriving in mailboxes, inboxes

The spring edition of Washington Business is out. From international trade to turning sewage into clean drinking water, the newest edition of AWB's quarterly magazine highlights the latest in the state's innovations and entrepreneurship. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

All three 9th District candidates will attend June 18 AWB candidate interviews in Pasco

AWB will interview the three candidates for the open House seat in the 9th Legislative District during a June 18 meeting at the Pasco Chamber of Commerce. All AWB members from the district are invited to attend.
Read more »

Other News

AWB files motion to preserve health insurance for small business

Last week, AWB filed a motion in Spokane County Superior Court to enforce a 2007 judge's ruling that preserved affordable, quality health insurance for thousands of small businesses and their employees through association health plans.
Read more »

Port slowdown impact continues: $100 million in Washington apples dumped to rot in fields

Goods are now moving in and out of West Coast ports, but that's hollow comfort for Washington's apple growers. An estimated $100 million in apples have been dumped in fields to rot and compost because they could not be shipped during the five-month port slowdown.
Read more »

Former Gov. Mike Lowry impressed with environmental responsibility of Millennium bulk export facility

Add former Democratic Gov. Mike Lowry to the list of public officials impressed with the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals' export facility in Longview. The "avowedly strong liberal" former governor toured the location last week and said it is being built in an environmentally responsible way, and that exports of American coal will reduce international dependence on scarce oil reserves. Read more »

Supreme Court rules against expanding list of conditions for unemployment benefits

AWB filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case of Darkenwald v. Department of Employment Security. The case involved a dental hygienist who claimed unemployment benefits after quitting her job when asked to increase her part-time work schedule to three days a week. Read more »

AWB hires head of Lacey South Sound Chamber to direct events and member relations

Stephanie Hemphill has been hired as the new AWB director of member relations/events. Hemphill is currently the executive director at the Lacey South Sound Chamber, where she has helped build membership and event revenue. Her first day at AWB will be June 16.
Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

AWB forklift safety and training seminar set for June 8

Don't let forklifts become a hazard in your workplace. AWB's forklift safety seminar June 8 will help keep your employees and workplace safe.

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

NOT SO SPECIAL



They Said It

$3.2 BILLION MORE IS ENOUGH

"It is time to tell the taxpayers of this state we recognize $3.2 billion of increased revenue is enough." ~ Sen. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, in a blog post about "tax-increase obsession" in some parts of the Legislature. With a 9.2 percent increase in state revenue over the next two years from existing taxes, Angel said, Olympia is "absolutely awash in money" compared to most budget years.




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ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE

Every business can play a part in protecting Washington's natural beauty


By Kris Johnson, AWB President

Sometimes protecting the natural beauty of our state is as simple as providing showers and changing rooms for bicycle commuters.

Other times it's as complicated -- and expensive -- as installing a Regenerative Thermal Oxidation system. Those are just two of the ways the winners of this year's AWB Environmental Excellence

Awards program are helping to build on Washington's laudable reputation for protecting the environment.
Click here to read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
OUR STATE THRIVES ON TRADE

Global trade issues vital to Washington state economy

By The Spokesman-Review Editorial Board

Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the union, so it's fitting that our two senators played key roles last week to keep two crucial issues alive: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. ...

Our exporters need broad access to foreign markets. That's what the TPP and the Ex-Im Bank would help provide. Our congressional delegation should be united in support of global trade.
Click here to read the full editorial in The Spokesman-Review
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