December 14, 2015
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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

As Paris group sets global carbon reduction goal, Washington employers are leading without new mandates

Nearly 200 nations agreed on new carbon reduction goals at the Paris climate talks on Saturday. The Department of Ecology is expected to release a draft carbon reduction rule this month. Amid these calls for further regulation, AWB continues to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee's office, emphasizing that employers are already effectively reducing carbon emissions.
Read more »

Be heard! Registration 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 »

Charter schools look for creative lifelines while awaiting legislative fix

The Washington Charter School Commission is making final plans to lay off its staff in the continuing fallout from the state Supreme Court's ruling that invalidated voter-approved public charter schools. The nine charters that have already opened, with more than a thousand students enrolled in their innovative educational programs, are looking at creative ways to stay open as they await a legislative solution.
Read more »

Inslee declares state of emergency after floods, landslides

Pounding rains and winds buffeted much of the Pacific Northwest last week. Floodwater deluged low-lying areas and mudslides closed northbound Interstate 5 at Woodland as well as several mountain passes. Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to the severe storms. Read more »

Boeing offers first look at new 737 MAX

The first Boeing 737 MAX was unveiled in Renton last week for a celebration with thousands of employees. Boeing is building the new fuel-efficient plane in a third production line alongside two existing 737 lines. Read more »

New federal education law replaces 'No Child Left Behind'

The 2002 No Child Left Behind law has been left behind as Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a revised federal education bill. The Every Student Succeeds Act drops strict accountability and testing requirements. Under the new law, Washington could regain about $40 million in federal funding that was diverted last year after the state became the first to lose a federal waiver.
Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Climate Committee to meet Wednesday

The AWB Climate Committee will meet this Wednesday at 10 a.m. at AWB to discuss the carbon cap rule, legislative policy and to hear from proponents of the carbon tax initiative. Contact AWB Government Affairs Director Brandon Houskeeper to learn more, or Connie Grande for call-in options.


AWB Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee to meet Jan. 7

The AWB Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee will meet Thursday, Jan. 7, 1:30-4 p.m. at the AWB office. Contact Government Affairs Director Eric Lohnes to learn more.


Other News

Gov. Inslee to introduce draft supplemental budget

Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to release his proposed supplemental budget this week. The document will provide a starting point for budgetary discussions as the Legislature convenes Jan. 11.
Read more »

Ex-Im Bank back open, but only for small deals until board seats are filled

The Export-Import Bank has been reauthorized, but can only approve small deals -- not big orders for aircraft, satellites and major manufacturing equipment -- until open board seats are filled. This leaves major employers like Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar in limbo.
Read more »

Obamacare tax penalty increasing by nearly 50 percent next year

Americans who do not sign up for health insurance will pay a higher penalty next year -- an average of nearly $1,000 per household, according to a new analysis. Read more »

Auditor Troy Kelley unexpectedly returns to work as lawmakers push for impeachment

As lawmakers from both parties announced a resolution to impeach Troy Kelley for "dereliction of duty," the embattled auditor unexpectedly returned to work last week from a seven-month leave of absence he began after being indicted on federal fraud charges. Kelley said his legal issues will not affect his leadership of the state agency focused on rooting out corruption and waste.
Read more »

AWB "Webinar Wednesdays" begin Jan. 13

The second Wednesday of each month, AWB will host a webinar on a wide variety of topics that are useful, interesting and fun for our members. The first Webinar Wednesday will be on navigating the Legislature's website. Register today for "Become an Insider: Navigating the Legislature Online and in Person." Read more »

Request for comment on DSHS-requested law on electronic child support withholding

The governor's office is asking for feedback from AWB members on potential request legislation from the Department of Social and Health Services. The proposal would require employers to remit child support withholdings to DSHS electronically, with some exceptions.
Read more »

Look for year-in-review Fast Facts next week; AWB office will close on Christmas Eve

This will be the final regular Fast Facts email for 2015. Watch your inbox next week for a special edition looking back at 2015, including the top AWB videos of the year, plus a new video year-in-review. Fast Facts will return on Jan. 4 with a look ahead at the upcoming legislative session. The AWB office will be closed Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1.


AWB Events & Resources

Forklift safety: Train the trainer workshop

AWB and Joe Teeples of We’re Into Safety will offer a "train the trainer" forklift safety seminar on Jan. 7 from 8 a.m. to noon. Register now to ensure that your workplace is safe and up-to-date on the latest regulations. Read more »

OSHA Compliance: Two-day course on avoiding hazards, compliance with regulations

A two-day course Feb. 2-3 will teach about OSHA and state rules (both Washington and Oregon). Joe Teeples of We're Into Safety will show how to avoid safety hazards, comply with state and federal regulations, and how to communicate risks to employees. Register here. Read more »

RESCHEDULED: Feb. 16 seminar, Employment 'at Will' in Washington -- Dead or Alive?

On Feb. 16, join Karen Galipeau Forner, founder and managing member of K-Solutions Law in Bellevue, for a two-hour seminar at AWB on helping employers understand "at-will" employment, including best workplace practices to minimize discrimination claims.
Read more »

Tweet of the Week

The First 737 Max



They Said It

Fix the Glitch


"The urgency has never been greater for our legislators to act for Washington students to keep these schools open and to ensure these options are available to Washington families in the future." ~ Maggie Meyers, a spokesperson for the Washington State Charter Schools Association.




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Leading Without New Top-Down Mandates

Recognize success industries are having in cutting CO2

By Kris Johnson, AWB president, and Daren Konopaski, vice president and business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 302

It is true this year's drought and wildfire season wreaked havoc on the state, a point that Gov. Jay Inslee makes while promoting his government-centric carbon emissions reduction plan. But the governor's labeling of those who disagree with the details of his plan as "fear mongers" is not fair.

There is no denying there is more work ahead, but there is also no denying that Washington employers and their employees are already leading the way toward the cleaner future that Gov. Inslee -- and frankly all Washingtonians -- so strongly desire.

Gov. Inslee has continued to say "it's time to lead," but Washington employers and employees are already leading the way toward environmental solutions that work -- without top-down, bureaucratic mandates that raise taxes on everyday citizens but don't solve the problem.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Herald
Delays Hurt Workers and Economy

State should speed up permits for export docks

By Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch

While our neighbors to the north and south of Washington watch their port infrastructure grow and flourish, our state -- the most export-dependent in the nation -- is improbably holding up billions of dollars in private infrastructure development that would only help us compete with California and Canada.

The delay with regard to the export terminal expansions in Bellingham and Longview is patently unacceptable. Proposed projects and potential investments in this state should benefit from a fair, timely and predictable review process. Yet that is not the case with these projects, whose review has been in process for three years and subject to numerous, ongoing delays.

It is one thing to politically disagree with these projects on the basis of exporting a particular commodity -- in this case, coal -- and to express concern over the environmental standards to which these projects must adhere. It is quite another to attempt to bind these projects with endless government bureaucracy and red tape in hopes that the investors will give up and go elsewhere. Our competition is ready and willing to accept new business and is making the needed investments to do so.
Click here to read the full column in The Olympian
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