January 18, 2016
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Priority Legislation Key Hearings/Meetings Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

It's time for the sold-out AWB Legislative Day & Hill Climb!

Tomorrow's Legislative Day and Hill Climb will have a full house for discussions with Gov. Jay Inslee, top legislative leaders and agency directors, and economists with unique perspectives on both sides of the state. Pre-registrations are closed for breakfast, panels and lunch. Registration is open today only for the evening Legislative Reception.

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Gov. Inslee proclaims 'State of Confidence'; AWB notes that economic growth is uneven

Gov. Jay Inslee struck an optimistic tone in his State of the State address, which he called "A State of Confidence." AWB responded with acknowledgement of the many bright spots in the state's economy -- and the many parts of the state that are still struggling.

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Sen. Hobbs introduces carbon tax as initiative certification set for this week

The Carbon Washington initiative that would add a $25 tax per ton of carbon emissions will likely be certified by the Secretary of State this week. Certification will allow legislative hearings to take place. Meanwhile, other carbon pricing measures are appearing in Olympia. AWB will continue to stay involved and propose carbon reduction solutions that don't take our state's economy backward.

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AWB Lobby Lunches begin Jan. 28 with update from governor's office

The AWB Lobby Lunch series begins Jan. 28 with an update from two top advisors to Gov. Jay Inslee: Executive Director of Policy Matt Steuerwalt and Chief of Staff David Postman. Reserve your seat today.

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Priority Legislation

SB 6194: Public charter schools

AWB's Amy Anderson joined students, parents and administrators last week calling for a legislative fix for public charter schools. After hearing their testimony, the Senate Education Committee voted in support of Senate Bill 6194, moving it on to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

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HB 2638: AWB to testify this week on value of aerospace tax preferences

AWB will testify Tuesday afternoon about the value of the legislatively-approved tax incentives that helped ensure construction of the Boeing 777X and its high-tech carbon fiber wing in Washington.

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Minimum wage: As $13.50 initiative moves forward, bill introduced to include total compensation credit, training wage

As signature gathering ramps up for a voter initiative raising the minimum wage to $13.50 over four years, separate bills have been introduced in the Legislature that would create different routes toward a higher minimum wage, including one proposal that a includes a training wage and would allow employers to include employee benefits when calculating total compensation.

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SB 6152: Tolling on Interstate 405

A bill by Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, would reduce the number of express toll lanes, open them to all vehicles at night for free, and remove the double white lines to make it easier for vehicles to move in and out of the lanes.

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SB 6222, 6223, 6033: Regulatory reform and creation of a one-stop business portal

AWB's Sheri Nelson testified in support of a trio of regulatory reform bills during last week's Senate Trade & Economic Development Committee. The bills would create a one-stop portal for small businesses, push for agency coordination, and establish a task force to examine state and local regulations that affect small business.

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HB 2340: State health insurance pool

AWB testified in support of House Bill 2340, changing the eligibility criteria for the state's health insurance pool coverage for people ineligible to purchase a health plan through the state's health benefit exchange.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB resumes Friday morning legislative update conference call

End your week with a preview of what's ahead during AWB's Friday Phone Briefing. Our government affairs team will wrap up the week's legislative news and offer insights on what lawmakers will be up to in the days to come.

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AWB Minimum Wage Committee to meet Thursday at 10:30

The AWB Minimum Wage Committee will meet this Thursday at 10:30 at AWB. Among the discussion items: the newly filed $13.50 minimum wage and mandated sick leave initiative, as well as legislative minimum wage bills. Contact Connie Grande for call-in options or Government Affairs Director Bob Battles for more on the issue.

Other News

Sen. Andy Hill, Inslee budget chief David Schumacher discuss upcoming fiscal 'bow wave'

The first day of the legislative session included a back-and-forth between the chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and Gov. Jay Inslee's budget chief about the 'bow wave' of red ink ahead on the governor's proposed supplemental budget.

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Ex-Im Bank earned $432 million for taxpayers last year, despite shutdown

The Export-Import Bank of the United States provides vital export credit guarantees for American manufacturers to safely sell their products overseas. It charges exporters for that service, and returns its profits to taxpayers. In 2015, th Ex-Im Bank deposited $432 million into the U.S. Treasury -- despite a temporary shutdown that reduced its volume by 40 percent.

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Webinar -- Identity Theft: Keeping Your Business & Your Customers Safe

Identity theft is a huge issue for consumers and businesses alike. The Internal Revenue Service, Federal Trade Commission and the Small Business Administration are holding a free webinar with information on how small businesses can protect themselves and their customers from becoming victims of ID theft

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Workforce Board invites comments on state workforce plan

Employers are invited to submit public comment on "Talent and Prosperity for All," the state's plan for workforce development. Comments are being accepted through Feb. 9.

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB partners with eShipGate to bring high-volume shipping discounts to small businesses

Small businesses now have access to shipping solutions and services usually only available to high-volume shippers. AWB is working with eShipGate to help our members save time and money on shipping.

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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.

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Tweet of the Week


They Said It

We Must Keep Moving

"If you can't fly, run. If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Supporting Employees and His Community

Dick Spady leaves a lasting legacy

By The Seattle Times editorial board

Dick Spady turned a greasy spoon into a beloved Seattle institution by keeping things simple.

Over six decades, generations of diners have relied on Dick's Drive-In's tasty burgers, hand-cut fries and creamy shakes to satisfy their hunger without breaking the bank.

The 92-year-old icon passed away this week, and he will be remembered as a passionate supporter of quality fast food, civic engagement and common-sense business practices.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
We're Already Reducing Carbon

Washington state is an environmental leader

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington is the eighth-greenest economy in the world, emitting less carbon dioxide today than it did in 1990, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, despite adding 2 million residents since then.

This hasn't happened by accident. It's the result of hard work and innovation on the part of employers and individuals throughout the state...

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee Business Journal
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