November 9, 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

Election results: Wins for employers in Spokane, 30th Legislative District

Last week's general election saw Republicans close the gap in the state House, bringing the balance of power to 50-48. Tacoma voters approved a $12 minimum wage -- a compromise level supported by the local chamber. Spokane voters roundly rejected a new slate of regulations on employers. Tuesday's general election saw a number of positive outcomes for the employer community, as well as a few less favorable outcomes. Read more »

It's Time! Join leading manufacturers this Thursday in SeaTac at AWB's 2015 Manufacturing Summit

From drones to 3D printers, high-tech concussion-detecting mouth guards to brewed-in-Washington hard cider, this Thursday's Manufacturing Summit will have something for everyone. There are still seats available for the event, which takes place at the Crowne Plaza in SeaTac. Read more »

Federal long-term highway funding bill approved in U.S. House, includes Ex-Im Bank reauthorization

The U.S. House on Thursday approved a multiyear transportation funding bill that would also renew the Export-Import Bank, increasing the odds that the measure would be signed into law, The Wall Street Journal reports. But, the debate on both federal transportation funding and reauthorizing the bank is far from finished. Read more »

Legislative Review now available online; print version will be in your mailbox shortly

AWB's annual Legislative Review is online and has been mailed to all lawmakers and AWB members. The 52-page magazine looks at bills important to employers and the state's competitiveness. It also includes AWB's annual rankings of lawmakers based on their votes on key business issues.
Read more »

Public charter schools group, lawmakers file motions asking court to reconsider September ruling

Two motions were filed earlier this month -- one from local charter association leaders, the other from 10 state lawmakers -- asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its 6-3 ruling that charter schools are unconstitutional. Four former attorneys general also filed a "friend of the court" brief, lending their support to charter schools. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Water Resources Committee will meet in Yakima this Tuesday

The AWB Water Resources Committee will hold its next meeting 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 with the 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

Weyerhaeuser acquires Plum Creek, making it the largest private landholder in nation

Two timber companies, Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek, announced this week they are joining forces. The $8.4 billion acquisition by Weyerhaeuser will make the company the largest private landowner in the country at more than 13 million acres of timberland.
Read more »

U.S. employers add nearly 300k jobs in October, most since December 2014

In a bit of good economic news, U.S. employers added 271,000 jobs, which is the largest burst of hiring since December 2014. It puts national unemployment at roughly 5 percent, much lower than many counties in Washington state. This development also sets the stage for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates next month.
Read more »

Alcoa closes Washington smelters as global aluminum prices drop from worldwide commodities glut

Washington's once-thriving aluminum smelting sector is now a memory. Last week Alcoa announced that it would shut down the state's last two remaining aluminum smelters as global commodities prices continue to tumble.
Read more »

State restaurant group announces support for statewide minimum wage increase 'done the right way'

In the wake of a patchwork of local minimum wage hikes in Seattle, SeaTac and now Tacoma, the Washington Restaurant Association announced last week it will support an increase to the state's minimum wage, if it's done "the right way."
Read more »

Signing ceremony for new Manhattan Project National Historic Park set for Tuesday in D.C.; Kennewick event will take place Thursday

Federal officials will hold a signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., tomorrow to formally establish the new Manhattan Project National Historic Park, which will include Hanford's historic B Reactor and Manhattan Project facilities at Los Alamos, N.M., and Oak Ridge, Tenn. On Thursday, the public is invited to the formal launch of the park in Kennewick.
Read more »

Check your inbox: AWB members have opportunity to weigh-in on organization's strategic plan

A brief survey was sent to AWB members last week asking for input on the association's strategic plan -- AWB 2020 -- currently underway. The nine-question survey will serve as a guide to moving AWB forward in a thoughtful, member-focused direction.
Read more »

Take Veterans Day on Nov. 11 to honor military men and women for their service and sacrifice

Annual Veterans Day this Wednesday is our opportunity to thank our service men and women, and their families, for their service and sacrifice for our nation. And, it's a good time to remember how valuable a veteran can be as an employee after leaving military service.
Read more »

Donations to AWB's Holiday Kids' Tree project make season brighter for rural, low-income families

Now is the time to consider contributing to AWB's Holiday Kids' Tree project, which benefits rural fire districts around the state by providing funds to help needy families in their communities. The funds help Christmas happen in homes where it would not otherwise be financially feasible. The tree-lighting ceremony will take place in the Capitol rotunda in Olympia on Friday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m.
Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Succession Planning Fundamentals Dec. 10: How to transition ownership of your company

Kristofer Gray, CFP, and Paul Hajek will examine many of the common challenges affecting business owners on the subject of succession planning and implementation at a seminar that will take place at Davis Wright Tremaine offices in Seattle on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 10 a.m. The last seminar was filled to capacity, so reserve your spot today.
Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Questions For Gov. Inslee?

They Said It

A Win for Moderation

"The test for a split 2016 Legislature this year will be on reform of the state's antiquated education-finance regime. It will require statesmanship across party lines. If Hickel's win holds, those lines are now nearly parallel." ~ The Seattle Times in an election night editorial about the new 50-48 Democratic-Republican divide in the state House after the apparent victory of Federal Way Republican Teri Hickel.

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Children Need Options

Parent Perspective: Making A Non-Political Case For Charter Schools

By Linda Sikora

I know there are funding issues and administration issues and legislative issues and union issues... all the "yeah buts" that people stake their positions on so vehemently. Here's my "yeah but" -- I wish we could channel that passion differently, I wish the "opposed" people could have the experience I had today... to see a child's eyes light up and watch her confidence emerge. It was one of those soft, seminal moments in my life. In that moment, I knew this child's life, her trajectory, could completely change. Sometimes, the biggest changes start small -- one child at a time, one school at a time. We can figure this out, people.

Please don't close these schools.

Click here to read the full blog post via the Washington State Charter School Association
Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

Businesses Languishing Without Ex-Im Bank; Congress, Reauthorize It

By The Seattle Times editorial Board

Hilliard's Beer is gaining popularity in Sweden, where the Seattle-based brewery planned to expand sales this year. It has also received interest from distributors in Toronto and London.

Those opportunities are now on hold since Congress failed to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank last summer.

Elected leaders must end the ideological battle over Ex-Im and revive this vital tool for U.S. companies to grow exports overseas.

Hilliard's Beer is one of hundreds of exporters that used Ex-Im to secure loan guarantees and credit insurance for international sales. The shutdown has resulted in more than $9 billion worth of deals lost, said U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

A lot more is at stake -- last year the bank completed $27.4 billion in transactions and supported 164,000 U.S. jobs.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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