July 13, 2015
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Top Stories

At last: Legislature finalizes budget deal, adjourns after six-month session

It took a long time, but the Legislature finally adjourned on Friday. In their final days, legislators voted to give Washington college students lower tuition, to invest in a better transportation system, and to give the K-12 educational system a $1.3 billion spending boost. Read more »

House, Senate pass $16.1 billion transportation package; the first major investment in a decade

Three years of bipartisan work culminated Friday in the passage of Washington's first transportation investment package in 10 years. The $16 billion transportation revenue and reform plan will invest in the roads and highways needed by both employers and commuters in every corner of the state.
Read more »

JBLM to lose 1,250 troops, far fewer than originally feared, as military downsizes

As the U.S. Army cuts back its forces by 40,000 troops over the next two years, Joint Base Lewis-McChord will see cuts of 1,250 active-duty soldiers. That's far fewer than had been feared.
Read more »

Contact Gov. Inslee, urge him to resist EPA pressure and move forward with Washington water quality rule

Newspapers across the state agree that Washington's new draft water quality rule increases protections for Washington residents and waterways. These new, higher standards are balanced and achievable. Contact Gov. Inslee's office and urge him to adopt the new state rules and send them to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval. 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

Legislature's renewal of data center tax incentive points to economic growth in Eastern Washington

The city of Quincy expects two or three new high-tech data centers to locate in the central Washington town, thanks to the Legislature's renewal of a lapsed tax incentive. As the Puget Sound Business Journal put it: "Want a giant data center in your city? It takes more than cheap power. It takes tax incentives." Read more »

Daniel Bernardo named interim president of WSU

Daniel J. Bernardo, the provost and acting president, has been named interim Washington State University president to serve until a permanent replacement can be picked for the late Elson Floyd. Read more »

Clean Energy revolving fund to aid projects by Avista, PSE, PNNL and others

The state has signed contracts with Avista and Puget Sound Energy to field test and deploy new smart grid projects, including multi-megawatt batteries. Pacific Northwest National Laboratories will help analyze the results. Read more »

Frustrated over lengthy permit review, Port of Vancouver asks Inslee to push for firm timeline

It's been 22 months since the state's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Committee began a 12-month review of the proposed Vancouver Energy terminal. After news of a further delay to November, last week the Port of Vancouver asked Gov. Jay Inslee to push the committee to publish and stick to a firm timeline for environmental review. 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 »

Tweet of the Week

Investing in a Better Transportation System

They Said It


"It's great to see a bipartisan package that reforms the system and invests in all parts of the state." - Lori Mattson, president and CEO of the Tri-City Regional Chamber, after the Legislature passed the first transportation package in a decade.

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Export-Import Bank helps employers compete globally

By U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Kris Johnson

With the creation of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank over 80 years ago, many Washington state businesses -- both large and small -- have remarkable success stories to tell about growing their businesses because of exports.

These stories can be found throughout the Washington state in a variety of industries. Take for example, Seattle's Lighthouse for the Blind, a manufacturer of machine parts and molding for aerospace companies. Because of its robust export business supported by the bank, it is able provide more than 400 good-paying jobs for Washingtonians in the deaf-blind community. ...

Congress must act to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank charter. The consequences of doing nothing would be devastating to employers and employees in Washington state and around the nation.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Hill

Our Voice: Lawmakers make right choice supporting gas tax

By the editorial board of the Tri-City Herald

Voting in favor of a significant tax hike is not easy for lawmakers from conservative legislative districts.

So the Mid-Columbia legislators who approved an 11.9-cent gas tax increase should be commended for having the courage to make the right decision. ...

Tax hikes are tough to take, but at least in this case the Tri-City area will get some benefit from the new revenue.

And that is thanks to several Mid-Columbia lawmakers who made the right, but tough, choice...

Click here to read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
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