June 29, 2015
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Top Stories

Lawmakers announce tentative budget deal struck this weekend, but details, vote still to come

Now into their third special session, lawmakers announced this weekend that they reached bipartisan agreement on a 2015-17 state operating budget in time to avert a partial government shutdown on Wednesday. It reportedly provides $1.3 billion in new funding for K-12 education, cuts college tuition and funds raises for teachers and state employees -- without a major tax increase. But details about the agreement were not announced and lawmakers still need to approve it. A vote could come later today. Read more »

Inslee won't block transportation package over fuel standard provision, clearing path for approval

Shortly after Gov. Jay Inslee announced a breakthrough in budget negotiations, the governor issued a statement this weekend saying he would not block a transportation package even if it includes language he opposes regarding low-carbon fuel standards. The announcement appears to clear the way for agreement on the first statewide transportation reform and revenue package in a decade. Read more »

Boeing COO and President Dennis Muilenburg named to CEO position

The Boeing Co. has named Dennis Muilenburg as the company's CEO. Muilenburg is the current president and COO of Boeing. He has risen through the ranks at the company, beginning as an intern and engineer. Read more »

Congress approves TPA, but uncertainty on Ex-Im Bank as authorization nears its end

The Senate passed fast-track trade promotion authority last week, which will allow the president to finish negotiating a 12-country Asia-Pacific trade deal. Still undone is congressional reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
Read more »

U.S. Supreme Court upholds key element of Affordable Care Act

In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld the nationwide tax subsidies that are a pillar of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The majority ruling noted that the ACA was passed "to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them."
Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

Join us at AWB regional meetings Aug. 3-6

Meet with AWB's leadership and government affairs teams during our annual regional meetings the first week of August. It's a chance to share your perspective on Washington's business climate and hear updates from your business's advocates in Olympia.
Read more »

Other News

Wildfire in Wenatchee area prompts evacuations; 28 homes and 3,000 acres destroyed

The intense wildfire burning in the Wenatchee area is difficult to control at this point, according to local leaders and emergency crews on the scene. As of this morning, 28 homes were destroyed and 3,000 acres in the north central region of the state has been burned. Read more »

Attorney general releases guidelines for minimum wage surcharges

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced this week that businesses can add surcharges to cover the costs of a higher minimum wage. However, the attorney general added limits and requirements on how those surcharges should be disclosed and how they can be spent.
Read more »

Washington schools perform well in national rankings, with an important exception

Washington generally received good grades in a new state-by-state report card on K-12 educational effectiveness, but one bad grade is especially relevant to employers. The state's educational system earned a disappointing "D" in preparing students for the workforce training and college or postsecondary education.
Read more »

Panel: Bulk terminal would help Whatcom County economy

Workers, farmers, employers and professors met last week and discussed the benefits for the Whatcom County economy of the proposed bulk export terminal at Cherry Point. At the same time, concerns are increasing about developments at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after the Lummi Nation asked the corps to halt its environmental review of the Gateway Pacific Terminal.
Read more »

DSHS asking for employer feedback on proposed requirement for electronic transfer of child support withholdings

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services wants feedback about possible legislation requiring employers who withhold child support from their employees to send those funds to the state by electronic means only.
Read more »

Average Washington wage sees biggest increase since 2007, now at $54,829

The average Washington worker earned $54,829 last year, up 4.2 percent from 2013. It's the biggest one-year increase since before the Great Recession. The higher wage will be used to update calculations of the rate charged to employers for unemployment insurance and workers' compensation.
Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford and Boeing Commercial Airplanes, to give Policy Summit keynote

Register now for this year's Policy Summit to hear from Alan Mulally, the former CEO of Ford Motor Co. and Boeing Commercial Airplanes. He will give the keynote address at the year's biggest business policy gathering, Sept. 15-17 at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. Read more »

Succession planning fundamentals seminar July 9: how to transition ownership of your company

When transitioning your company to the next generation, your family can't afford to make any mistakes. Learn how to maximize the value of your business, minimize the tax burden of the transition, and create the legacy you want during a July 9 seminar in Bellevue. Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Workers Benefit From the Ex-Im Bank



They Said It

Keeping a Healthy Insurance Market


"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."
~ Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Supreme Court majority opinion in upholding key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.




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PROGRESS ON IMPORTANT TRADE LEGISLATION

Good result on fast track; more work is still ahead

By the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board

Fast-track approval is a giant step in the right direction, but we're not at our trade destination yet. Still to be approved is renewal of the nation's Export-Import Bank, which Congress created in 1934 and has been reauthorized 16 times since then.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Yakima Herald-Republic
CONGRESS NEEDS TO FIX THIS

Port's labor negotiation process needs reform

By Matt Harris, Washington Potato Commission

The aftermath of the West Coast port slowdown is massive, and some Washington family farms will never recover. In just one example of this impact, the port slowdown in Tacoma and Seattle cost state potato businesses and farms over $50 million in lost sales that cannot be recaptured, demoralizing rural families.

Family farms, local businesses and large Washington companies employing hundreds of thousands continue to live with the game of "contract chicken" played by the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union until Congress helps with smart legislation to correct a decades-old problem. ...

Click here to read the full op-ed in the Spokesman-Review
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