November 30, 2015
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Top Stories

This Friday: AWB hosts lighting of the Holiday Kids' Tree to kick off the season

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 »

Gov. Inslee heads to Paris for international carbon and climate change conference

Gov. Jay Inslee will leave for Paris this Friday to observe the global conference on carbon emissions and climate change. Bill Gates, who will also attend the conference, has announced the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a new multi-billion dollar investment in clean energy innovation. Meanwhile, new projections find that Washington's carbon emissions are dropping well below 1990 levels. Read more »

Registration is now open for 2016 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

The Hill Climb is back! AWB's 2016 legislative summit will include a trip to the Capitol and a time to meet with individual lawmakers. That's in addition to the regular slate of legislative leaders and policy makers, as well as employers and AWB's policy experts. Reserve your spot today. Read more »

Mobile version of Redbook now available

The annual Washington Competitiveness Redbook is now available online. This mobile-friendly version is optimized to focus on the most relevant details to illuminate a discussion on where Washington ranks in almost 60 key competitiveness categories. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

Government Affairs Council to meet Tuesday at AWB to discuss legislative objectives

The AWB Government Affairs Council will meet at AWB on Tuesday from 1:30-3 p.m. to discuss and vote on three updated legislative objectives: Health Care, Tax & Fiscal Policy and Transportation. Contact Connie Grande for call-in options or Gary Chandler to learn more.

Other News

Rep. Teri Hickel sworn in to represent 30th Legislative District

Republican Teri Hickel of Federal Way was sworn in last week as a member of the state House. She will serve a one-year term after defeating appointed Rep. Carol Gregory, D-Federal Way. Her election to the House swings the balance of power to a 50-48 split, giving Speaker of the House Frank Chopp the smallest possible majority. Read more »

Blue Origin rocket lands upright, achieving 'Holy Grail of rocketry'

It might look simple in the movies, but landing a rocket upright is among the trickiest feats. Last week Blue Origin sent a rocket into the upper atmosphere then landed it upright back on the Launchpad. Owner Jeff Bezos called the historic engineering achievement "one of the greatest moments of my life." Read more »

Columbia River's salmon return is second best year on record

What a year for salmon! An estimated 200,000 fall chinook made it back to Hanford Reach, the most since hydroelectric dams were built on the river 80 years ago. Overall, it was the second-best year for the river system's salmon species. The impressive return is a sign of success for work to improve habitat and fish passage at the dams. Read more »

M3 Bioengineering raises $3.5 million to research drugs for Alzheimer's, other brain diseases

The Seattle biotech firm founded by Policy Summit speaker Leen Kawas just raised $3.5 million to pursue treatments for brain diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. 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

Restoring Power After the Storm



They Said It

A time for bipartisanship


"No legislation will pass unless it has bi-partisan support in both the House and the Senate."
~ House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, about the realities of governing when Democrats have 50 votes and Republicans have 48.




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Washington Is Already a Climate Leader

Low-Cost, Low-Carbon: The Northwest's 20-Year Energy Plan

By the Washington Climate Collaborative

The Northwest remains an attractive location for job creation due to its low-cost and low-carbon electricity -- companies want to locate here and workers want to work here. On the eve of Governor Inslee's trip to Paris for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, it's an opportunity for him to tout his own state's carbon-reduction leadership.

Rather than spending time focusing on complex, top-down regulatory schemes designed to drive up the cost of energy, leaders should find ways to encourage innovation and collaboration. If they do, Washington can make a great contribution to that discussion.

Click here to read the full blog post from the Washington Climate Collaborative
Bringing Back Charter Schools

New Task for Lawmakers

By the Editorial Board of The Columbian

Washington lawmakers should add another item to their long to-do list for next year -- bring charter schools into compliance with the state constitution.

First of all, charter schools are the will of the voters. Secondly, in approving charter schools, Washington became the 42nd state to allow them. There seems to be little reason the state cannot learn from other parts of the country and embrace charter systems that work well while eschewing those that do not.

Lawmakers should be beholden to what is best for students -- and that means a well-managed charter school system.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Columbian
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