August 10, 2015
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Top Stories

Thank you for record attendance at AWB regional meetings

AWB's regional meetings were packed last week with both new and familiar faces. Employers of all sizes filled our meeting spaces across the state to hear the latest from members of Congress, state lawmakers and AWB's government affairs team.
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Limited sponsorship opportunities still available for Policy Summit

The fall Policy Summit is AWB's biggest annual event, bringing together hundreds of decision-makers and business leaders. There are still a limited number of exclusive sponsorship opportunities available. Contact Stephanie Hemphill for information.
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Ports unanimously approve final creation of Northwest Seaport Alliance

After decades of competition, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma officially voted last week to unify their marine cargo divisions. A new port development authority will manage what will now be the third largest container gateway in North America.
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U.S. senators visit brewery in Ballard to push for renewal of Ex-Im Bank

Hilliard's Beer, which sells 25 percent of its product in Sweden thanks to credit guarantees from the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), is just one of the hundreds of Washington employers that depend on this federal institution. U.S Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray visited this AWB member as part of a push to reauthorize Ex-Im.
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AWB-endorsed candidates leading in key primary races

Ninth District Rep. Mary Dye and 30th District legislative candidate Teri Hickel, who were both endorsed by AWB, are leading in early vote counts after last week's primary. In a state House that narrowly divided, both races are being closely watched.
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Employers discuss difficulties finding skilled workforce

A recent manufacturing roundtable held by the Puget Sound Business Journal offered more evidence for what many employers already know: it's getting ever-more difficult to find workers who can do the job.
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Key Hearings/Meetings

Governor's advisor to discuss carbon cap Thursday at AWB Climate Committee meeting

Keith Philips, a top advisor to Gov. Jay Inslee, will join the AWB Climate Committee at 9 a.m. this Thursday at AWB to discuss Inslee's newly-announced carbon cap regulatory plan. The meeting will also include an update on the Washington Climate Collaborative's activities. Contact Connie Grande for call-in information or Brandon Houskeeper with questions.

Other News

Inslee leading trade mission to Japan, South Korea

Gov. Jay Inslee will lead a nine-day, 60-member trade mission to South Korea and Japan later this month. The "Friendship Delegation" will focus on promoting Washington's agriculture, aerospace, advanced manufacturing and technology sectors.
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Richard Onizuka, CEO of Health Benefit Exchange, to step down

The founding head of Washington's online health insurance marketplace announced last week that he will step down after three years as CEO. During his tenure he led the creation of the online Washington Healthplanfinder.
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Businesses to face harsher penalties for late state tax payments

A new law that took effect Aug. 1 increases the penalty for business taxpayers who file late. In some cases, the penalties nearly double.
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Passages: Former state Sen. Bob Morton

Former Sen. Bob Morton, R-Orient, who received AWB's top legislative award in 2006, died Friday morning. He was 81.
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Learn about value of military bases and how to respond to force drawdowns

"Building Resilient Defense Communities," a two-day forum this month at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, will help employers and other community leaders as they face increasingly urgent concerns about budget cuts, force reductions and possible base closures. Register here for this forum, co-hosed by the Washington Military Alliance and the Washington state Department of Commerce.
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2015 Manufacturing Excellence Awards: Nominate your company today

AWB and the AWB Institute are now accepting nominations for the 2015 Manufacturing Excellence Awards. 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

REGIONAL MEETINGS A SUCCESS



They Said It

NORTHWEST SEAPORT ALLIANCE


"It's the best thing that happened to Washington and this region for many years." ~ Port of Tacoma commissioner Don Johnson after the ports of Seattle and Tacoma took a final merge vote Tuesday creating the Northwest Seaport Alliance.




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Sponsors
WALKING AWAY FROM A SOLUTION

Inslee missteps in ditching clean-water standard


By the Editorial Board of The Spokesman-Review


Last summer, Gov. Jay Inslee released a pragmatic plan to update the state's clean-water standards. Friday, he walked away from the solution that was three years in the making and involved extensive collaboration among municipal, industrial and environmental stakeholders.

He not only scrapped the state's best shot at cleaning up waterways, he gave many people reason to utter "never again" to invitations from government to help solve a problem.
Click here to read the full editorial in The Spokesman-Review
TRADE MATTERS

Support of trade includes coal, too

By John Fluke, chairman of Fluke Capital Management

The Department of Commerce recently released a study listing the Puget Sound area as No. 4 for goods exported in 2014. Exports reached a record $61.9 billion. Houston, New York City and Los Angeles finished ahead of Seattle.

The ranking comes at a time when construction and maritime labor leaders are aligning with business and trade groups -- as well as the agricultural industry -- in decrying the lack of support from our state's current administration to expand export capacity at two key trade terminals in the Northwest.

Clearly, we are at a critical crossroads in determining the future vitality of Washington state as a trade leader. ...

Click here to read the full op-ed in the Puget Sound Business Journal
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