July 20, 2015
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Key Hearings/Meetings Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Passages: Tom Fritz, incoming AWB board chair, dies unexpectedly at age 63

Spokane and Washington lost a visionary leader last week with the unexpected passing of Tom Fritz. Recently retired as CEO of Inland Northwest Health Services, Fritz was vice chair of the AWB board and a leader in helping chart the future strategic direction of the association.

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'A Great Day for Washington': Gov. Inslee signs transportation package

Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law Washington's first comprehensive, statewide transportation investment and reform package in a decade after years of bipartisan negotiation. The package is an investment in our collective future that will pay dividends for decades to come.

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Tacoma to have confusing $12 and $15 minimum wage measures on the ballot

Voters in the City of Destiny will have two minimum wage options on the ballot this fall -- an immediate increase to $15 an hour and a more moderate City Council proposal that would ramp up to $12 an hour by 2018. The measures will be complicated due to another question on the ballot as to whether either proposal should even be considered.

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State Supreme Court to weigh in on K-12 funding; questions remain about fourth special session

After three special sessions -- 176 days -- the 2015-17 state operating budget included another $1.3 billion in K-12 education spending, nearly enough to comply with the first phase of the state Supreme Court McCleary ruling. But as lawmakers prepare their report to the court this week, onlookers are wondering if this year's investment will be enough, or if the court will bring lawmakers back for a fourth special session this year to address the outstanding issue of levy reform.

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Path emerges in Congress to renew Export-Import Bank

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would allow reauthorization of America's export credit guarantee agency to be included in a highway funding bill. The Export-Import Bank, which helps businesses of all sizes export American-made products, returns a profit to the U.S. Treasury -- $675 million last year alone

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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.
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Other News

Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, other top employers launch 100,000 Opportunities Initiative

Leading American companies have announced a joint initiative to create the nation's largest employer-led coalition to hire or train 100,000 youth who face systematic barriers to jobs and education.

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Inslee signs bills delaying I-1351, biology test requirements

Gov. Jay Inslee last week signed two bills that helped end the legislative session. First, the bill that delays parts of the Initiative 1351 education employment measure, as well as a bill that gives high school seniors a two-year reprieve on the biology assessment.

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Event rewind: Succession planning fundamentals workshop

An overflow crowd attended this month's workshop on the fundamentals of succession planning. With so much interest, AWB and presenter Kristofer Gray plan to offer the program again with a webinar option so more can participate.

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Nominations now open: Corporations for Communities Award from Secretary of State's office

The Washington Secretary of State's office is now accepting nominations for its annual Corporations for Communities Award. Last year AWB members were well represented among the list of the state's most generous and community-minded employers.

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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.
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Tweet of the Week

Investing in a Better Transportation System

They Said It

Ex-Im for Jobs

"There is no doubt the Export-Import Bank has the votes to pass this House and the Senate, and yet we fiddle while jobs are being burned." - U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., about the need to renew the nation's export credit agency, the Ex-Im Bank.

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The Washington Way

Transportation package: a rare moment of compromise in the U.S.

By Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, and Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island

Last week, the Legislature defied conventional wisdom and approved a historic investment in our state's transportation system that will benefit our region for decades. ...

There is a dangerous belief that is seeping into our modern political culture: "Compromise" is a dirty word in many circles. To some it means "weakness" or "unprincipled." To us it means progress and building a better Washington that works for everyone.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Investing in Prosperity

We're all in on much-needed statewide transportation package

By Maud Daudon (Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce), Kris Johnson (AWB) and Steve Mullin (Washington Roundtable)

As representatives of the state's business community, along with local chambers of commerce around the state, for years we've stood beside leaders from labor, environmental and transit organizations, as well as local governments, advocating for a comprehensive statewide investment such as this. We did it because a safe, efficient, multimodal transportation system is vital to keeping Washington a vibrant center of commerce and protecting our quality of life. .. .

Gov. Inslee and state legislators deserve congratulations all around for their leadership. The bipartisan collaboration we saw throughout four legislative sessions illustrates the adage: Transportation is not a partisan issue. When it comes to our public infrastructure, we're all in it together.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
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