March 21, 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

Lawmakers may vote on budget and end special session this week

Last week was quiet at the Capitol, with little public word on whether budget negotiations were making progress. As the Legislature entered its second week of overtime, some observers said the special session could stretch past Easter -- or that votes could begin as soon as tomorrow. Read more »

State Supreme Court justices question constitutionality of I-1366

Last year's tax-cutting measure, Initiative 1366, faced a skeptical state Supreme Court last week as justices examine a lower court ruling that tossed it out. The initiative aims to force the Legislature to adopt a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 supermajority for tax increases to be sent to voters or automatically cut the state sales tax rate. Read more »

Washington exports plummet as unemployment rate rises to double digits across much of the state

The global economic slowdown is weighing down Washington. While aerospace remains strong, state exports excluding Boeing dropped 21 percent in January. The pain is being felt across the state. Newly released unemployment figures for the same month show jobless rates climbing into double digits in much of the state outside the Puget Sound region. Read more »

Seattle business leaders unveil plan to create a world-class transportation system

Challenge Seattle, a new collaboration between some of the top business leaders in the region, announced a transportation plan last week to help bring high-tech innovations to the gridlock of the Puget Sound metroplex. Read more »

Yes, traffic really is that bad: Seattle commuters spend 66 extra hours a year in their cars

A new report finds that Seattle's traffic is among the worst in the nation. Commuters in the Seattle area waste 66 hours per year in traffic. The report also lists the country's most congested corridors -- 15 of them are in the Seattle-Bellevue-Tacoma region.
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

Washington Post: 'The economy is growing, but carbon emissions aren't. That's a really big deal'

For the second straight year, the global economy has shown strong growth without any increase in carbon emissions. In fact, carbon emissions seem to be trending downward. This "decoupling" of economic growth and carbon output is "certainly a landmark, " The Washington Post writes.
Read more »

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn considering independent campaign for governor

Randy Dorn, who is finishing his second term as superintendent of public instruction, is becoming more vocal about a possible run for governor. The Seattle Times encourages him to run, saying his focus on funding public education would be an important addition to the governor's race.
Read more »

I-405 express tolls will no longer be collected on evenings, weekends and major holidays

WSDOT announced last week that express lane tolls on I-405 will only be collected from 5 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays. The change means no tolling on evenings, weekends and six federal holidays. Read more »

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse invites employers to job fair in Pasco

Congressman Dan Newhouse is inviting employers to be part of a job fair he is hosting April 30 in Pasco. Citing widespread unemployment in the area, he is hoping to connect job seekers with employment during the event at Columbia Basin College. Read more »

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 »

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 Webinar series takes place April 13 and will cover the important topics of employee handbooks, 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

Great News for Employers and Students

They Said It

Funding K-12 Education

"If it comes to global warming, ocean acidity, carbon, he's all-in, no matter what. But it's not the paramount duty as a governor to solve global warming." ~ Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, discussing his frustration with Gov. Jay Inslee and why he is thinking of running for governor as an independent to push public education funding to the center of the debate.

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Budget with Tomorrow in Mind

State lawmakers shouldn't abandon discipline

By Kris Johnson, president, AWB

Just because you have money in your pocket today doesn't mean you are free to spend it all. Some of it -- or even most of it -- may be spoken for tomorrow.

That was the thinking behind the 2012 law, approved by a bipartisan Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, requiring a four-year balanced state budget. We were the first state in the nation to institute this check on the state budget process, which is designed to be a defense against irresponsible spending.

Many of the legislators who supported the bill in 2012 and helped it pass with strong bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate, are still serving today. But some don't want to adhere to it, which is one of the reasons the Legislature has gone into yet another special session.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The News Tribune
Clean Coal Helps Our Economy and Our Allies

Washington trade projects are a long-term investment

By Bill Chapman, CEO, Millennium Bulk Terminals

Scattered amidst the echo chamber of anti-fossil fuel stories, if you're diligent, you discover impartial news on the fundamental role that coal continues to play in powering our way of life. These stories tend to broaden your understanding of the necessity of coal in today's world. Take Japan. Our ally to the east just announced 43 new coal plants. Those plants are now in the planning stage. Advanced technologies available when they're built could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 25%.

But, as I said before, these stories tend to get lost in the shuffle. Instead, what you often hear is the view that some see coal as a risky long-term bet. We've taken that bet. We view energy and trade differently. We're working hard to build a $680 million port on the Columbia River that will be a world-class coal export terminal.

Here's why this "bet" will pay off for our local workforce in southwest Washington, the Longview community, and our Asian allies looking to the United States for reliable energy...
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Daily News
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