October 19, 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

Lawmakers from Wyoming, Montana visit Washington ports

Keep Washington Competitive, the coaliation of employers, organized labor and other export-minded groups, is hosting top lawmakers from Montana and Wyoming this week for tours of ports in Longview and Seattle.The tours come days after the Department of Ecology announced another delay, until at least 2016, of an environmental review process that has already lasted for two years. Read more »

Wildfire summit set for Nov. 9 in Wenatchee

After the worst wildfire season in Washington state's history, a group of local leaders and government representatives will come together Nov. 9 to talk about developing a regional approach for reducing the risks of wildfire loss at the first-ever Wildfires and Us Summit in Wenatchee.
Read more »

AWB Government Affairs Council talks education, charter schools, carbon, politics at annual retreat

AWB's Government Affairs Council, met last week at the Alderbrook Resort for two days of discussion and policy presentations. They met with top state climate and weather experts, heard from gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant and from Sen. John Braun, and heard about key issues heading into the 2016 election year. Read more »

Washington's tax collections continue upward trend, come in greater than forecasted

The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council issued its monthy tax collection update last Wednesday and the news was better than expected. The state general fund collected 2.2 percent more tax revenue, or nearly $28 million, than forecasted last month. Read more »

Gov. Jay Inslee to attend United Nations climate-change summit in Paris later this year

On the heels of the governor's announcement that he will direct the state Department of Ecology to draft a carbon reduction rule and voters may be faced with two dueling initaitives to put in place a carbon tax, Gov. Jay Inslee last week said he plans to attend the United Nations climate-change summit in Paris Nov. 30-Dec. 11. It is unclear whether taxpayers will pick up the tab for the trip. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Health Care Committee to meet Tuesday, 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.

AWB Water Quality Committee will meet Tuesday, Oct. 27 at AWB

The AWB Water Quality Committee will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 9 a.m. in AWB's large conference room. Contact Connie Grande for call-in options and Brandon Houskeeper for more information and the final agenda.

AWB Water Resources Committee will meet in Yakima, Tuesday, Nov. 10

The AWB Water Resources Committee will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 1:30 p.m. at the Yakima Chamber of Commerce located at 10 N. 9th Street. Sens. Jim Honeyford and John Braun will discuss water storage issues and Dave Christensen (state Department of Ecology Water Resources Division) will discuss the implications of the Foster decision. Contact Connie Grande for possible alternate attendance options and Mike Ennis for more information and the final agenda.

Other News

Seattle voters to face complex, untested local candidate contribution Initiative 122

Next month, Seattle voters will be faced with a complex and untested ballot initiative -- Initiative 122. I-122 was put forward by supporters as a way to add transparency to the local election candidate contribution process, but could instead set up a an "ineffective and convoluted system to fund campaigns," according to The Seattle Times editorial board.
Read more »

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport seeks to attract small, local and minority/women-owned businesses to set up shop

Over the next three years, the Port of Seattle will be leasing over 60 retail and restaurant spaces at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and is employing a number of outreach and educational efforts to better inform business owners of the upcoming opportunities.
Read more »

New president announced at UW: Ana Mari Cauce

Interim University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce was elected by the Board of Regents last week to serve as the permanent president of the university where she has worked since 1986. She pledges to continue the university's commercialization efforts with a stronger focus toward research.
Read more »

Secretary of State's office launches 'Vote in Honor of a Veteran' program

Hoping to increase the number of voters and help preserve the stories of Washington's veterans, Secretary of State Kim Wyman last week announced the 'Vote in Honor of a Vet' program that allows voters to dedicate their 2015 vote to an active-duty service member or veteran.
Read more »

Alisha Benson new interim CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated

Steve Stevens announced last week that he is stepping down as president of Greater Spokane Incorporated, saying a visit back home Kentucky drove home that he was needed there by his family. Alisha Benson has been named interim CEO while a new leader is selected.
Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Sponsorship opportunities available for Nov. 12 Manufacturing Summit in SeaTac

Registration is now 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

Ex-Im Supports Jobs in Washington State

They Said It

Millenium Bulk Terminals Important

"When you're supporting a family, there's nothing more important than coming home on Friday night and throwing that paycheck on the counter. You're supporting your family. That's what I'm doing here." ~ Montana state Sen. Duane Ankney, speaking Monday at a press conference in support of the Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview.

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Export-Import Bank Critical to Washington's Economy

Ex-Im Bank Is an Easy Yes

By Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers

ProGauge Technologies, Inc., a manufacturing company based in Bakersfield, California, is bidding on a project that could lead to 30 new jobs, but only five are staying here in the United States. The rest will be created abroad.

It didn't have to be that way. ProGauge is one of countless manufacturers in the United States, large and small, losing out on foreign sales and international deals because of Congress' failure to stand up for American jobs. "It's pretty sad not to be able to keep the jobs here," said ProGauge president Don Nelson.

Earlier this year, Congress allowed the Export-Import Bank's charter to expire and has not yet acted to reauthorize it. The Ex-Im Bank has served for more than 80 years as the U.S. export credit agency, ensuring access to competitive export financing for manufacturers in the United States that private banks are unable to offer. Countries around the world have similar credit agencies, and without ours, it is harder for U.S.-based companies to sell their products, made by American workers, overseas.

Click here to read the full column in U.S. News & World Report
Ag Worth Billions to State

Needed: More Water for Everyone in Yakima Valley

By The News Tribune editorial board

Some of America's richest farmland lies just over the Cascade Mountains in the Yakima River Valley. It provides most of the nation's apples and hops, and pulls billions of dollars into the state economy.

It's also fragile, as this year's unprecedented drought demonstrated. The valley's reservoir system is roughly a century old; even in the best of years, it doesn't deliver enough water to go around. U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has introduced a measure that would bring the system into the 21st century; the Senate should pass it.

Her bill would put the U.S. government behind the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, a combination of irrigation, reservoir and habitat improvements. The legislation is backed by an improbably broad coalition that includes farmers, environmentalists, the Yakama Indians, fishermen, Republican and Democratic leaders.

A lot of those people are normally in the habit of squabbling with each other. Their unanimity in this case reflects the fact that the Integrated Plan pretty much makes everyone happy.

Click here to read the full editorial in The News Tribune
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