February 29, 2016
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Key Hearings/Meetings Other News AWB Events & Resources AWB Institute Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

AWB's 'Grow Here' employer image campaign ad debuts during Oscars

Grow Here, AWB's multimedia campaign celebrating Washington employers for their job creation and environmental stewarship, debuted its first television commercial Sunday evening with a 30-second spot that aired just before the start of the Oscars telecast. The red carpet preview marked the official launch for the 2016 campaign, which continues throughout the spring, highlighting employers like Schilling Hard Cider and Nucor Steel Seattle -- employers that are creating jobs and increasing opportunity for all while leading the nation in protecting the environment. Read more »

House, Senate release budget proposals as session nears its scheduled conclusion

It was the tale of two budgets last week as both the House and Senate released their spending plans. House Democrats would like to add $467 million in extra spending in this off-year budget tune-up. The bipartisan Senate budget makes necessary tune-ups to last year's biennial budget but holds off on major policy and spending changes until next year's longer budget-writing session.
Read more »

Department of Ecology delays carbon cap rule to work on 'clarifications'

In what seems to be good news, the state Department of Ecology has withdrawn its draft carbon cap regulation to pursue several "clarifications." AWB and our members have been closely engaged on detailing the impacts of this costly proposal, and we'll continue to keep a close eye as the next version of the rule is written. Read more »

Students rally after House Ed committee narrowly votes against Senate's charter school fix

By a rare 10-10-1 vote, the House Education Committee voted Thursday not to consider a bill to fund public charter schools that passed out of the Senate. Hundreds of charter school students and supporters rallied at the Capitol in support of these innovative public schools, and House leaders say the issue is still in play. Read more »

Lobby Lunch series to conclude this week with Senate budget leaders

The sixth and final Lobby Lunch of 2016 will feature Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, and Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia. Join us this week to hear the latest on budget negotations from the Senate's top budget architects. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Water Quality Committee to meet Thursday

The AWB Water Quality Committee will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday to discuss the latest water quality standards draft from the Department of Ecology. Contact Brandon Houskeeper, government affairs director for environmental issues, for more on the meeting, or Connie Grande for call-in information.

Join AWB's final Friday morning legislative update conference call

Want to learn what happened this week and what's ahead in the Legislature? Join AWB's final 30-minute Friday Phone Briefing of the 2016 session at 8 a.m. Our government affairs team offers a quick update on the week's legislative news and insights into the issues being debated in the waning days of this year's legislative session. Read more »

Other News

Two possible initiatives would cut funds for transportation projects

Drivers stuck in traffic know that congestion relief is urgently needed, but two possible citizen intiatives cast some shadows on promised projects meant to address chokepoints and infrastructure updates. If they end up on the November ballot and are approved by voters, I-1421 and I-1454 would cut deeply into the transportation funding package passed last year, including much-needed upgrades to SR 520, SR 167, the North-South Freeway in Spokane, and other projects across the state. Read more »

Study: Washington lost $770 million during West Coast port dispute

The six-month-long port slowdown in late 2014 and early 2015 cost the state $770 million in economic activity, according to a new study from the Washington Council on International Trade. The group's president calls the dispute "catastrophic for our trade-supported state." Read more »

Bertha on the move again after six-week delay

Seattle's deep-bore tunneling machine inched forward again last week, six weeks after Gov. Jay Inslee halted its work when the underground drilling caused a sinkhole near the Alaskan Way Viaduct. New estimates have it reaching the Alaskan Way Viaduct by late March. Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Register now for 2016 AWB Spring Meeting, including keynote speakers from CNN

Two popular CNN news commentators will give the keynote address at the AWB Spring Meeting in Spokane. The husband-and-wife team of John Avlon, a staunch political independent, and Margaret Hoover, a proud Republican, will take a wide-ranging look at the 2016 election. Register today for what is sure to be a sold-out event! Read more »

Still time to save! Early bird registration discount for employment law webinars extended to Friday

AWB and top Northwest employment law firms are partnering to offer a unique opportunity to learn the latest in human resources law. The six-part Employment Law Webinar Series will offer timely information, a binder and thumb drive with materials, and HR continuing education credits. The webinars can be purchased as a series until March 4 at a discount, or on an individual basis.
Read more »

AWB Institute

Employers sought to host internships for community college STEM students

Would you like to connect with up-and-coming engineering and STEM students? The AWB Institute is looking for employers to provide internships for community college students through Washington MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement). This is a great way to support the workforce of the future -- and connect with valuable potential future employees. Read more »

Applications being accepted for Leadership Washington Class of 2017

The AWB Institute is now recruiting for the third class of Leadership Washington that will hold its first meeting at the AWB Policy Summit Sept. 13-15. Download an application or learn more at the all-new AWB Institute website.
Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Building the Next Generation of our Workforce

They Said It

Public charter school students rally

"Save our schools! Save our schools!" ~ Hundreds of Washington public charter school students and supporters, chanting the Capitol rotunda Thursday after a House committee narrowly voted not to bring a Senate charter school funding bill to a vote.

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Opportunity Washington Points the Way

Middle of the pack isn't good enough

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

We've never thought the median was a comfortable place to reside, and would like to live in the above average category. And we're willing to work to get there.

Our state is making small strides with the passage of a transportation package last year that should lead to some improvements. But slow commute times on the West side continue to plague that score.

Our governor may be one of the biggest threats to improvement with his ideas on fish consumption, minimum wage and water quality that could impact our state negatively.
Click here to read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Enough Stalling

Time for drama to end: House should vote on charter schools

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Heaven help the 1,200 students attending Washington's eight fledgling charter public schools. They seem too often to be at the mercy of adults with a penchant for slow-rolling.

Now, it's up to Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, to stop the fooling around. He should bring a bill to the House floor that once and for all restores some certainty to this promising alternative to traditional public schools, which voters wanted when they approved Initiative 1240 in 2012.

Time for this drama to end.
Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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