October 26, 2015
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Top Stories

Lawmakers, unions, employers highlights vital role of Washington's ports far beyond our state's borders

Washington, Wyoming and Montana lawmakers from both parties and leaders from business and labor visited the Millennium Bulk Terminals site in Longview and the working Seattle waterfront last week to push for an issue that united people from all corners of America and every side of the political spectrum: high-paying jobs from a modern export infrastructure.
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Members of local chamber Grassroots Alliance meet with AWB in Richland

The new collaboration between AWB and the state's local and ethnic chambers of commerce is thriving. More than 30 local chamber heads met with AWB policy and communications staff last week in the Tri-Cities to review the Grassroots Alliance and plan for its expansion.
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Study: Loss of blue-collar middle class jobs is hurting Seattle

While Seattle's high-tech boom is well-known, it comes at a cost. The city is losing global competitiveness because of its loss of blue-collar jobs, according to a new study commissioned by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
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Two weeks away: Reserve your spot for the Nov. 12 Manufacturing Summit; sponsorship opportunities close this Friday

The AWB and AWB Institute's Manufacturing Summit takes place Nov. 12 at the Crowne Plaza in SeaTac. This year's event will highlight the high-tech and new manufacturing fields, including drones, and will feature Schilling Cider's story of taking their business from the garage to a global operation. Registration is now open, but sponsorship opportunities close at week's end.
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Election update: Schools chief Dorn won't run for reelection; further legislative races announced

Randy Dorn announced last week that won't run for a third term as the state's superintendent of public instruction, although he didn't rule out future political races. Meanwhile, new lawmakers were appointed in the 19th Legislative District and other races are developing around the state. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

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 Tax and Fiscal Policy Council to meet Oct. 28 at Perkins Coie in Seattle

The Department of Revenue will provide an update to the AWB Tax and Fiscal Policy Council during the group's next meeting, Oct. 28, 9:30 a.m.-noon, at Perkins Coie (1201 Third Ave., Suite 4900, Seattle). The council will also discuss tax appeals reform legislation and review actions taken by the Citizen Commission on Tax Preferences. Contact Eric Lohnes to learn more.

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. To ensure adequate space, please RSVP directly to Mike Ennis.



Other News

U.S. Chamber, NAM file lawsuit challenging EPA's greenhouse gas emissions regulations

More than a dozen business groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The U.S. Chamber calls the rule costly, unlawful, a bad deal for America and "an unprecedented takeover of the electricity sector." A group of 24 states have also filed suit against the rule.
Read more »

Business leaders form new group, Challenge Seattle, to encourage improvements

The Seattle Times calls it the region's new "Legion of Boom." Challenge Seattle is a new collaboration of chief executives from Microsoft, Boeing Commercial Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Weyerhaeuser, Amazon, Costco, Puget Sound Energy and other top regional employers working to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the greater Seattle area.
Read more »

Board of Industrial Appeals looking for chair

AWB and the Washington State Labor Council are seeking applications for those interested in appointment as chair of the Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA). This important position is a six-year term overseeing the BIIA, a quasi-judicial agency overseeing workers' compensation disputes and other issues. Applicants must be members of the bar, and applications for this full-time position are due by this Friday. Read more »

Governor appoints Roger Bairstow of Broetje Orchards to Washington State Health Insurance Pool board

Roger Bairstow has been appointed to serve on the board of the Washington State Health Insurance Pool. Bairstow is director of human resources and corporate responsibility at Broetje Orchards.
Read more »

Obama administration approves part of wildfire disaster declaration

The federal government will pay for some, but perhaps not all, local governments and tribes for part of their costs from this summer's record wildfire season.
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Airline to offer round-trip daily flights from Sea-Tac to Moses Lake and Port Angeles

SeaPort, a small Portland-based airline, will begin offering daily flights from Sea-Tac to Port Angeles and Moses Lake starting March 1.
Read more »

Symposium on Oct. 29 will talk about state of Washington's labor market and occupational projections

Learn about how Washington's workforce is projected to match with employer demand and labor market supply at a free symposium being held Oct. 29 by the Employment Security Department.
Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

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

#TranspoNow: The Future Has Arrived



They Said It

The Costs of $15 Now


"I can't spend any of the money I can spend on food on bureaucracy. I just won't."
~ Helen McGovern-Pilant, executive director of the Lakewood-based Emergency Food Network, saying her employees will no longer deliver food bank supplies to Tacoma if voters pass an immediate $15 per hour minimum wage. Like many other nonprofit managers, she said the city's $15 per hour minimum wage proposal would hurt her ability to serve and employ those most in need -- the very people a higher minimum wage is intended to help.




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House Democrats Opposed Carbon Tax

Opposing Inslee's climate proposals is a bipartisan affair

By Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch

A couple of weeks ago, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new carbon-emissions reduction plan and declared any lawmaker who opposes it a "fear monger." He said opponents are joining ranks with "the climate deniers." And he blamed Republicans in the Legislature this year for failing to act on his big plan to restrict and tax carbon.

Well, I don't think the governor is giving his own party enough credit. It wasn't the Republicans who killed his grandiose cap-and-trade proposal. Democrats killed it before the Republicans even had a chance. ...

People in both parties recognize there are big problems with these overweening schemes to remake our economy and our society. Democrats are as leery as anyone. It's just that most of us don't like to go public with our misgivings.

The latest development is that the governor is ordering the Department of Ecology to impose another poorly thought-out carbon program -- that's one way to avoid a vote of the Legislature. I'm not sure he will get away with it, but it's no wonder he's trying.

Even if we could change the world climate with an immediate reduction in carbon emissions, Washington simply doesn't produce enough to make a difference -- just two-tenths of one percent of global output annually. At best the governor's proposals would reduce a small fraction of that, and any reductions in this state will instantly be offset by increases on the other side of the globe.

Click here to read the full op-ed in Crosscut
Washington Benefits From the Ex-Im Bank

It's past time for Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

By The Yakima Herald-Republic's editorial board

Congressional representatives get paid to govern, not grandstand. It appears that enough House members recognize that reality, and now a key piece of legislation stands a legitimate chance of passing -- with great benefit to the Yakima Valley and Washington state.

The issue involves the Export-Import Bank, which Congress created in 1934 and has reauthorized 16 times in the ensuing decades. But a small minority in Congress this year held up reauthorization on the argument that it amounts to corporate welfare.

It is not so much welfare as it is a tool that enables companies, especially American companies, to conduct business across international borders.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Yakima Herald-Republic
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