March 14, 2016
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Bringing Business Up to Speed
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Top Stories

Legislature wraps up... and starts again to finish budget; governor begins promised bill veto action

The 60-day legislative session is in the books and another 30 days is underway as lawmakers fail to reach a supplemental budget agreement within the alloted time, which expired Thursday. In the meantime, the Gov. Jay Inslee began vetoing bills on his desk -- starting with 27 last Thursday night -- in an attempt to end the budget stalemate. Read more »

Measure to fix voter-approved public charter school law heads to governor

The sometimes contentious legislative back and forth on the merits and constitutionality of public charter schools ended last week -- for now. On the final day of the regular 2016 session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 6194 that would save eight public charter schools authorized by passage of Initiative 1240 in 2012 but deemed unconstitutional last September by the state Supreme Court. All that awaits is the governor's signature. Read more »

Supplemental transportation budget passes with broad bipartisan support

The Legislature passed a mid-biennium adjustment to the transportation budget on Wednesday that alters last year's two-year budget by $507 million. Gov. Jay Inslee praised the bipartisan bill, which funds maintenance and congestion relief projects across the state, and gives State Patrol officers a raise. Read more »

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, several senators announce retirement

Saying his four decades in public service have been a "rare privilege and a great honor," Lt. Gov. Brad Owen announced Tuesday that he will not run for reelection to a sixth term as the presiding officer of the Senate. Additionally, Sens. Don Benton, R-Vancouver; Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup; Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam; Karen Fraser, D-Olympia; and Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, announced last week they are leaving the Legislature. Read more »

Two AWB-supported bills fall victim special session kerfuffle, governor's veto pen

Caught up in the fracas of the governor's veto power and the beginning of the special session were two AWB priority bills to address economic development and out-of-pocket health care costs. Gov. Jay Inslee threatened to veto bills if lawmakers didn't get him a budget by the end of the regular 2016 session -- last Thursday -- and he followed through. Senate bills 6569 and 6220 were two of the 27 measures struck down by the veto pen. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

Session rewind: AWB Government Affairs staff will run down the 2016 session in free webinar

Join AWB's government affairs team March 24 for a review of the 2016 legislative session and a look ahead at what's coming in 2017. The webinar is free to all AWB members. Read more »

Other News

Call for nominations: Help bring more great business leaders to AWB's board of directors

AWB is accepting nominations for leaders to join our Board of Directors. Nominations are due by April 1, with elections held at the June 15 Spring Meeting in Spokane. Read more »

Audit reveals state paid jailed inmates unemployment benefits, costing taxpayers $656,000

Unemployment benefits are being paid to many people in county jails, an audit revealed last week. The report identified 1,911 check recipients worth about $656,000 from July 2013 through September 2014. Read more »

Washington STEM gives out $4 million in grants

Computer science education in the public schools will see a boost after the Washington STEM program announced $4 million in grants last week for 28 education organizations around the state. Read more »

Federal trial begins today for state Auditor Troy Kelley

Washington Auditor Troy Kelley, accused of pocketing $1.4 million in real estate transaction fees that should have been returned to homeowners, will go before a judge and jury starting this week in federal court. Kelley, whose alleged crimes predate his 2012 election to lead the state's watchdog agency, is the first Washington state official in 35 years to be indicted.
Read more »

L&I offering free safety seminar March 24; several AWB members to present safety tips

Prevention is key to a culture of workplace safety. Several AWB members will join other employers at a free Department of Labor & Industries safety seminar to be held March 24. Read more »

State Health Care Authority costs driving supplemental budget increases

The Washington Research Council's new policy brief breaks down how inaccuracies forecasting at the state Health Care Authority is adding to the difficulty in crafting a state supplemental budget this year. Read more »

Boeing 777X Composite Wing Center to open by May 2016

The mammoth 1.3 million-square-foot Boeing 777X carbon fiber wing manufacturing center is set to open two months from now. The plant will boost 777 production employment by 10 percent as workers build and assemble the first wing of this type in the world. Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

April 7: AS9100 Rev D: What's New and What are the Impact of the Changes?

Attention management and quality managers: Learn about the impacts of the restructured AS9100 standard on current Quality Management Systems at an April 7 seminar in SeaTac. AWB is hosting one of the first seminars on the new changes to the AS9100 Rev D, giving attendees the first chance to be up-to-date on the required standards. Read more »

April 13: Employment Law Webinar Series #2: Employee Handbook, Insurance and Benefits

The second in a six-part Employment Law Webinair series takes place April 13 and will cover the important topics of employee handbook and insurance and benefits. Now is the time to register to get your business in top HR shape for 2016 and qualify for continuing education credits.
Read more »

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 »

AWB Regional Meetings to be held Aug. 16-29

The annual AWB Regional Meeting have been scheduled around the state Aug. 16-29. This is a chance to hear from the Government Affairs team and ask questions, share ideas and participate in candidate interviews.
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

Vocal Students



They Said It

Serving the People, Not the Party


"A courageous act of statesmanship feels a hell of a lot better than the sinking feeling of caving in to partisan peer pressure."
~ Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, announcing his retirement after 40 years of public service.




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An Economic Cornerstone

Manufacturing Helps Even Out Rough Spots of Valley Economy

By Yakima Herald-Republic

Yakima County, with its agricultural heritage, has never been regarded as a manufacturing center, with a few exceptions -- the now-shuttered Boise Cascade mill being one. The manufacturing sector peaked about 15 years ago with 11,300 jobs; the closure of high-profile companies such as Boise, Western Recreation Vehicles and Trailwagons dropped that number to about 7,700 by 2010, during the depths of the national economic recession.

Some of the manufacturing jobs are coming back, thanks to combination of new and established employers. Many of the stalwarts like Triumph Actuation Systems, Shields Bag and Printing, Magic Metals and Pexco are holding strong. And now companies like Liberty Bottleworks, Peninsula Packaging, Paragon Films, CubCrafters and Manhasset Specialty Co. have helped to nudge the sector's employment up to an annual average of 8,600 by the end of 2015. That figure stands to grow in the future, thanks to some new initiatives by familiar entities.

Click here to read the full editorial in the Yakima Herald-Republic
A Remedy for Students, Parents


Gov. Jay Inslee should sign charter-schools bill

By The Seattle Times editorial board

Students at the state's eight public charter schools, their parents, teachers and administrators have almost won their difficult fight after a key state House vote Wednesday.

Now, Gov. Jay Inslee should -- without delay -- sign ESSSB 6194, a remedy for the concerns of the state Supreme Court, which threw out the voter-approved charter-school law in September. That ruling plunged the schools serving 1,100 students in the Seattle, Highline, Kent, Tacoma and Spokane school districts into disarray. Emergency measures have temporarily kept them open.

The bill would change the funding source, the root of the court's concern. But it still would give the schools more latitude for innovation while holding them to high accountability standards -- otherwise, they would be shut down.
Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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