November 2, 2015
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Top Stories

U.S. House passes Ex-Im Bank renewal; now on to the Senate

After more than a year of debate, the U.S. House voted by a lopside 313-118 margin last week to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The measure now moved to the Senate, where a wide majority of senators support the bill but leaders are opposed. Manufacturers and exporters are closely watching. Read more »

Lawmakers, attorneys general from both parties call on high court to reconsider charter schools ruling

Ten legislators, five from each party, and a bipartisan slate of attorneys general filed brief last week urging the state Supreme Court to reconsider its first-in-the-nation ruling that finds public charter schools to be unconstitutional. The lawmakers say the ruling undermines the Legislature's ability to govern. The AGs said the ruling puts many other parts of the education system at risk. Read more »

It's election time: ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday

This "off" election year nevertheless has a few important local races, especially a public vote on new employer regulations in Spokane, a minimum wage measure in Tacoma, and public funding of elections in Seattle. There is also I-1366, a statewide taxation initiative with major budgetary implications. Be sure to turn in your ballots by Tuesday to ensure your vote is counted. Read more »

Yes, traffic really is getting worse -- and the economic recovery is part of the reason

It's not your imagination -- commuters really are spending more time in traffic. A report released last week by the state Department of Transportation identifies choke points statewide and paints a picture of increasing congestion.
Read more »

Still time to register: Reserve your spot for the Nov. 12 Manufacturing Summit

The AWB and AWB Institute's Manufacturing Summit takes place next Thursday, 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 still open.
Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

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.

Health Care Committee to meet Tuesday, Nov. 10, in Seattle

The AWB Health Care Committee will meet next Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Washington State Hospital Association's (WSHA) new offices on the 14th floor of the Wells Fargo building, 999 3rd Avenue, Seattle. Speakers will discuss legislative proposals for the upcoming session. Lunch will be provided, so be sure to RSVP with Connie Grande. Contact Sheri Nelson for more on the content of the meeting.

Other News

Washington state will not receive REAL ID deadline extension

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will not extend Washington's exemption from tougher requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency in applying for a driver's license. This means Washington driver's licenses will eventually no longer be valid for boarding commercial aircraft.
Read more »

WSDOT's Aviation Division conducting its aircraft registration process survey

How is the state's aircraft registration program? WSDOT is conducting a survey to take input on what's working and where the process can be improved.
Read more »

Passages: Former Sen. Scott Barr, 99, supported Expo '74 in Spokane

Lifelong Washington rancher and farmer Scott Barr, who spent 17 years in the state House and Senate, died late last month at his Colville home. Barr, who helped lead the agriculture exhibit at Expo '74 in Spokane, was 99.
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

Attorney Generals Support Charter Schools



They Said It

Too High for Some Jobs

"I could understand it if our cooks would get paid that much, but I really shouldn't." ~ Hannah Tillman, a night-shift bartender at Billy B's in Tacoma. A native of New York, where tipped employees get a lower minimum wage, she has worked at Billy B's for two and a half years. Even on a slow night, her tips come in at roughly double her hourly pay, she told The News Tribune. On Tuesday, Tacoma voters will decide whether to approve a minimum wage, and must select either a $12 or $15 minimum wage in the event an increase is approved.




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Two-Part Question

Tacoma's Two-Part Minimum Wage Ballot Is Confusing -- Here's an Explainer

Tacoma voters have an important choice, but the ballot is a little confusing. You'll first answer whether you think the city should increase the minimum wage, then a second question whether the wage should rise to $12 or immediately to $15 if a majority of voters want it to increase.

Here's the important part.

Answer the second question no matter what! It does not mean you're voting for a minimum wage increase.

If you don't pick an option on the second half of the measure, it's like picking the option you don't want.

Click here to watch the full video on the Tacoma-Pierce Chamber's YouTube channel
Millennium Bulk Terminals

Timelines are important

By The Daily News editorial board

When it comes to big projects, timelines are important. Last week we learned the timeline for the Millennium Bulk Terminals' draft environmental impact statement was being pushed back. ...

Why are the goalposts being moved? Because it's a coal project?

Whether you support the Millennium coal project or oppose it, you should be upset with how the State of Washington has treated the timeline for this project.

Cowlitz County needs jobs and the Department of Ecology's poor performance isn't helping.
Click here to read the full editorial in The Daily News
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