January 11, 2016
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Department of Ecology releases draft carbon cap rule

Last week, the state Department of Ecology released its official draft carbon cap limit. Meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the rule will raise the cost of doing business and living in Washington. Read more »

Legislative session kicks off today

This year's short legislative session began today and is scheduled to last for just 60 days. Items on the docket include continuing to reform education spending and fixing the voter-approved charter school law. AWB's government affairs team will continue to bring the employer perspective to Olympia and convene discussions to find solutions.
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Minimum wage and safe/sick leave initiative filed with Secretary of State today

A proposed ballot initiative introduced this morning would increase the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 an hour, phased in over four years. The initiative would also require employers to provide at least seven days of paid sick and safe leave each year. Read more »

Lawmakers propose charter school fixes

Two bipartisan proposals have already emerged to fix Washington's voter-approved public charter school initiative, addressing issues brought up by the state Supreme Court in its late-summer ruling that invalidated the state's public charter schools. Read more »

Eight days until Legislative Summit and Hill Climb. Register now to be heard!

A top economist from Zillow will be a keynote speaker at next week's Legislative Day & Hill Climb. Are you one of the more than 300 employers, lawmakers and special guests to have already registered? This year's AWB Legislative Day will include an afternoon trip to the Capitol and a time to meet with individual lawmakers. Reserve your spot today. Read more »

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Costly Carbon Cap Sends Money Elsewhere

Ecology's Carbon Rule: A Money Transfer from Washington to California and Wall Street

By the Washington Climate Collaborative

Washington is one of the lowest-carbon states in the nation when it comes to emissions from road vehicles, electricity generation, manufacturing, or commercial and residential buildings. A combination of forward-thinking policies and innovation has reduced our carbon emissions below what they were in 1990 and created a clear and downward trend into the future. We fully expect the state to meet its emissions goals for 2020, which is to have Greenhouse Gas emissions reduced to 1990 levels. All of us -- families, farmers, workers and employers -- are invested in protecting our environment, and it shows in the many ways this success has been achieved.

The reality of this makes Gov. Jay Inslee's proposed carbon cap all the more puzzling. A year ago, he submitted a cap and trade proposal to the Washington State Legislature that would have created a $1.3 billion energy tax on Washington consumers. His most ardent supporters in the Capitol saw the problems with implementing this policy, and his proposal failed to even get a vote.

Click here to read the full blog post from the Washington Climate Collaborative
The TPP is Good for Washington

Ratify Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact

By The Herald Editorial Board

More than 40 percent of all jobs in the state are tied to trade, reports the Washington Council on International Trade. The state Department of Commerce reports that state exports topped $90.5 billion in 2014, a 10 percent increase over 2013. On a per capita basis, the state agency says, Washington state is the nation's largest exporter.

Washington state and many of its businesses and workers now also stand to benefit following the completion this fall of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries, the largest trading partners being Japan, Australia, Canada and Mexico. President Barack Obama is expected to put the pact before Congress later this year for either its approval or its rejection.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Herald
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