January 25, 2016
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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

Legislative Day & Hill Climb gave hundreds of AWB members a chance to be heard

The theme "Be Heard" rang out loud and clear at last week's sold-out Legislative Day & Hill Climb. Highlights included a breakfast keynote and Q&A with Gov. Jay Inslee, a packed Hill Climb and a well-attended legislative reception. Panel discussions hit on the minimum wage, carbon emissions, regulations and the "Cascade Curtain." Through it all, employers were able to connect with lawmakers and other state leaders.
Read more »

AWB board adopts new strategic plan

Achieve. Connect. Employ. Compete. And do it all while enhancing a sense of place second to none. AWB's board of directors unanimously approved a new mission and vision statement last week that brings these longheld pillars of AWB's work to the forefront.
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Senate passes bill to fix public charter school law, 27-20; House passes McCleary funding roadmap 64-34

The Senate has passed a bipartisan bill that would tweak the voter-approved public charter school initiative to ensure it complies with a state Supreme Court ruling. Three Democrats voted for the bill and one Republican voted against it. It now heads to the House for consideration. Read more »

Leadership Washington class of 2016 visits the Capitol and top employers

The second class of AWB Institute's Leadership Washington came to Olympia last week, meeting with legislators and learning firsthand about the lawmaking process from AWB's government affairs team. They also visited AWB members I.P. Callison & Sons and Earth Friendly Products for some hands-on education. Read more »

Registration open for Spring Meeting and gubernatorial debate

Don't miss the 2016 AWB Spring Meeting, featuring the gubernatorial debate between incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Bill Bryant. The debate will be just one of the highlights of the two-day Spring Meeting, to be held June 14-15 at the Davenport Hotel and Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane. Register today for what is sure to be a sold-out event! Read more »

Sen. Ericksen offers bill to require legislative approval of carbon limits; secretary of state's office certifies carbon tax initiative

The Secretary of State's office last week approved the signatures on Initiative 732, the revenue neutral carbon tax, presented to the Legislature this year. Meanwhile, Sen. Doug Ericksen has proposed a bill that would prohibit the state Department of Ecology from setting a carbon cap without legislative approval. Read more »

Priority Legislation

HB 2638: Aerospace tax preferences

AWB President Kris Johnson joined employers and elected officials last week to testify against a proposal to retroactively modify the 2013 agreement that guaranteed construction of the 777X and its high-tech carbon fiber wing in Washington. Read more »

SB 6412: Modifying the penalty for tax surveys and reports

AWB is testifying this afternoon in favor of Senate Bill 6412, which modifies the penalty that employers pay for late filing of tax preference surveys and reports. Read more »

HB 2542: Motion picture industry tax incentives

The many film industry employers involved with Z-Nation, the hit zombie drama filmed in Spokane, would be among the beneficiaries of a bill that would delay the expiration of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program and gradually increase the maximum tax credit. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Lobby Lunch series begins this Thursday with update from governor's office

The AWB Lobby Lunch series kicks off this Thursday with an update from two top advisors to Gov. Jay Inslee: Executive Director of Policy Matt Steuerwalt and Chief of Staff David Postman.
Read more »

Join AWB's 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. Read more »

Other News

Eyman's I-1366 tax-limiting initiative ruled unconstitutional

A judge struck down the entirety of Initiative 1366 last week, saying the Tim Eyman initiative was unconstitutional. The initiative would have lowered the state's sales tax rate by 1 percent if lawmakers did not put on the ballot a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds supermajority vote in the Legislature to raise taxes. An appeal is planned. Read more »

Tacoma's minimum wage increases to $10.35 next Monday on way up to $12

The phased-in minimum wage approved by Tacoma voters in November begins Feb. 1. The minimum wage for workers in Tacoma will be $10.35 per hour, the first step in the gradual increase to $12. Tacoma's new mandatory paid leave ordinance also begins on Monday. Read more »

Hearing held on bill to increase age to buy tobacco and vaping products to 21

A hearing was held last week on a bill that would increase the age to purchase cigarettes and vaping products to age 21. Read more »

County Council Chair Joe McDermott, Sen. Pramila Jayapal join U.S. House race

As expected, the race to succeed longtime Congressman Jim McDermott is quickly attracting candidates. King County Council Chair Joe McDermott (no relation to the retiring congressman) and state Sen. Pramila Jayapal announced their candidacies last week. Read more »

AWB members entitled to discount at upcoming GeekWire Startup Day in Bellevue

The annual GeekWire Startup Day offers a look at the innovations of Washington's high-tech economy. AWB members quality for a 25 percent discount to the event. Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

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 »

Tweet of the Week

Employers are Leading the Way



They Said It

Washington Should Keep Its Word


"This is about honoring agreements."
~ AWB President Kris Johnson, expressing concern about the impact House Bill 2638 would have on Washington's valuable network of aerospace jobs. (TVW video begins at 46:30)




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Good News for Washington's Trade Economy

NW Seaport Alliance sees 2015 payoff

By Jon Talton, The Seattle Times

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the consolidated container operation of the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma, just reported its traffic for 2015 and much of the news is surprisingly favorable.

Despite trouble in China, the global slowdown and early 2015's West Coast labor troubles, international container volumes increased by 8 percent. Automobile imports also reached a new record, 183,305 vehicles, up 4 percent.

[For more on the success of our working waterfronts, check out the cover story in the latest edition of Washington Business magazine]

Click here to read the full column in The Seattle Times
Building a New Industry

Protect region's growing space companies

By Eric Anderson, co-founder of Planetary Resources, Inc.

Just as it led a new aircraft industry at the turn of the last century, so today Washington is leading a new commercial spaceflight industry. Here, innovative companies such as Blue Origin, Tethers Unlimited, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing, and my own -- Planetary Resources, the asteroid-mining company -- are reaching for the stars.

The Space Angel Network's figures show that $17 billion in non-governmental funding has been invested in commercial space ventures over the past decade. Much of that investment has come here, to fund factories and provide high-quality jobs. We recently opened a new, state-of-the-art factory producing satellites in Redmond.

The legal certainty and progressive regulatory environment are key reasons why the private sector can invest in commercial spaceflight ventures. It is important to know that these laws are both helpful and stable before committing funds for long-term projects.

Fortunately for the Washington commercial spaceflight sector, we have policymakers working to provide such a supportive legal environment ...

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