October 12, 2015
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Top Stories Key Hearings/Meetings Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Governor directs state DOE to craft new, more cumbersome water quality rule

After failing to adopt a state water quality rule earlier this year, Gov. Jay Inslee last week directed the state Department of Ecology to take another run at crafting a rule that will be onerous and costly to reach compliance. This move puts the state up against a tight deadline with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which wants the state's final rule by next summer. Read more »

Opportunity Index shows Washington doing OK, but plenty of room for improvement

A "C" is a passing grade, but it leaves a lot of room for improvement. That's the takeaway from the first-ever quarterly Opportunity Index developed and released last week by Opportunity Washington, a coalition of employer groups working to bring prosperity to all of Washington.
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Manufacturing Summit: The future of Washington state is manufacturing

AWB and AWB Institute are again hosting the 2015 Manufacturing Summit. This year's theme will focus on the growth and diversification of Washington's manufacturing sector -- from hard cider to drones -- and will feature this year's Manufacturing Excellence Award winners at the luncheon. The event is sponsored by McGladrey and will take place Nov. 12 at the Crowne Plaza in SeaTac. Registration is now open.
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More changes ahead in state Legislature as lawmakers announce bids for new offices

Legislative races are shaping up across the state, and many well-known Olympia names are announcing bids for statewide offices.

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Video rewind: highlights from Policy Summit breakout sessions

Did you miss any of the Policy Summit breakout sessions? We now have highlight videos from each of the six afternoon policy discussions. From tax and education policy to cybersecurity and new technology, experts and legislators discuss the issues that matter to Washington employers.
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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Health Care Committee to meet Oct. 20 in Tacoma

The AWB Health Care Committee will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Coordinated Care offices (1145 Broadway, Suite 300) in Tacoma. Contact Connie Grande for more information and Sheri Nelson for the agenda.

Other News

Bipartisan push succeeds in forcing House vote on Ex-Im Bank

A bipartisan coalition of House members last week pushed through a rare procedural move that will force a vote on the Export-Import Bank, despite opposition from House leadership. Read more »

U.S. Court of Appeals orders temporary stay of EPA 'Waters of the U.S.' rule

Unsure as to whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is outside of its authority to craft a sweeping water oversight rule, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio issued a temporary stay until a final determination can be made. Read more »

Obama signs health insurance bill protecting small employers

President Barack Obama last week signed the "Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act," a bipartisan bill which will prevent health insurance premiums from increasing for 3 million people next year.
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Second group plans carbon-reduction initiative; this would raise billions for state spending

Voters could see two competing carbon-pricing initiatives on the 2016 ballot. A new plan put forward by environmentalists, labor and other groups would impose fees on carbon emissions. Details weren't immediately available, but unlike the previously announced Initiative 732, which is revenue neutral, the new proposal would put in place a cap-and-trade energy tax to raise money for new government spending.
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Inslee asks feds for wildfire and windstorm disaster aid

Gov. Jay Inslee last week formally asked the Obama administration for two major disaster declarations -- one for the summer's massive wildfires and another for a late August windstorm. Read more »

Employers will receive new Job Safety and Health Poster in the mail from L&I

Employers will soon need to make a big change in what they report to the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) about certain worker injuries. To prepare for the change, all employers will soon receive a new required Job Safety and Health poster in the mail from L&I.
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As workers prepare to restart on Seattle Tunnel project, repair setback may add $78 million to project

The two-year delay of the Highway 99 tunnel boring project has cost the state $3.25 million already, with costs expected to climb by another $75 million from the delay.
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Long-time policy expert Eric Lohnes joins AWB's government affairs team

Eric Lohnes joined AWB's government affairs team last week and will be the point person on tax and fiscal policy issues. He comes to the association with a long background in public policy and legislative affairs.
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Seahawks, American Express team up to highlight small business this Friday

The Seattle Seahawks will launch the team's partnership with American Express this Friday, Oct. 16, 1-3 p.m., at Pier 66 aboard the new Hawks Island, a 200-foot floating fan barge. The event will feature small-business owners from the city, including former Seahawks player Marcus Trufant, and serve to highlight the unique relationship between small businesses, the Seahawks and the community. AWB members wishing to attend must RSVP in advance at SeattleSmallBiz@mbooth.com.
Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Sponsorship opportunities available for Nov. 12 Manufacturing Summit in SeaTac

Registration is open for the 2015 Manufacturing Summit and there are chances to sponsor the event as well. This year's celebration of "Made in Washington" innovation will be held from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Crowne Plaza in SeaTac. Read more »

Tuesday, Oct. 20: The Rights and Responsibilities of Being an Employer: Avoid Wage and Hour Claims, Create an Employment Handbook that Works for You and Build Loyalty within Your Team

Mona McPhee, director of litigation at Desh International and Business Law, will present a two-hour seminar Tuesday, Oct. 20, geared toward helping business leaders, payroll personnel and human resource managers watch the bottom line while building a culture of teamwork. Registration is now open!

Read more »

Tuesday, Nov. 3: Employment At-Will in Washington -- Dead or Alive?

What is the true definition of Employment At-Will in Washington state and, more importantly, what are its many exceptions? Learn what best practices your company should implement in order to minimize the chance of a discrimination claim. Register today! Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Teaching Young Entrepreneurs

They Said It

Washington's Recession Recovery

"For the first time, Washington moved onto the list of states where tax revenue has recovered from the recession." ~ The takeaway from a recently released Pew analysis of Washington state's tax collections as reported in The News Tribune.

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Washington's Economy Depends on Trade

Pacific trade pact deserves hearing from Democrats

By The News Tribune editorial board

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a 30-chapter Rubik's cube that had to be reworked until it made 11 governments happy. After five years of negotiation, it was finally inked Monday -- setting the stage for a tough battle in America.

The broad outlines of the deal suggest that it is indeed the "gold standard" for international commerce, as Hillary Clinton said. But that another Clinton in another day, when she championed the TPP as secretary of state. Now she's seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, and she repudiated the "gold standard" on Wednesday.

Clinton's switch reflects the broad, dangerous rise of protectionism in the Democratic Party, the very party that gave the world a U.S.-led system of free trade after World War II.

Click here to read the full the full editorial in The News Tribune.
EPA May Be Overstepping

The EPA's Water Rule is Plugged

By The Wall Street Journal

Chief Justice John Roberts may have salvaged ObamaCare, but lower courts are proving to be more skeptical of executive overreach. On Friday the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals stopped the Environmental Protection Agency's new Clean Water Rule on grounds that it probably exceeds the agency's legal authority.

The EPA rule, issued in May, extends federal jurisdiction over tens of millions of acres of private land that had been regulated by the states. In August a federal judge in North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction in 13 of the 31 states that have sued to block the rule, and the Sixth Circuit has now echoed that legal reasoning by enjoining the rule nationwide.

Click here to read the full column in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
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