May 2, 2016
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Other News AWB Events & Resources AWB Institute Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Environmental Impact Statement released for Millennium Bulk Terminal project in Longview

More than four years after the project was first proposed, regulators have finally released an environmental impact statement for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals redevelopment of an industrial site in Longview. The fact that it took years to produce is troubling for the state's current and potential employers. Read more »

Boeing invested more than $13 billion in Washington in 2015

Washington's aerospace tax incentives, passed in 2003 and 2013, are having the intended effect, as Boeing and its hundreds of suppliers continue to invest in the state. Last year, Boeing's investment in Washington was $13 billion dollars, a major return on the state's $305 million in tax preference. Read more »

Jury acquits Auditor Troy Kelley on one count of making false statements, hung on 14 other counts

A jury couldn't reach a decision on most of the major charges against Washington Auditor Troy Kelley. A weeks-long trial ended with a hung jury on 14 felony charges of fraud, theft and tax evasion. The jury acquitted Kelley of one more charge, of lying to the Internal Revenue Service. Kelley immediately returned to work, despite repeated calls from legislative leaders for him to step down. Read more »

Uber offers help to commuters as Bertha begins digging underneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct

It's going to be a long two weeks in Seattle. The city's downtown elevated highway has been shut down as the deep-bore tunneling machine known as Bertha digs beneath it. AWB member Uber is among the ways city residents can work around major traffic impacts.
Read more »

At Worker Memorial Day, AWB joins with governor, labor and L&I in shared call for a culture of safety

The 24th annual Worker Memorial Day ceremony last week was a somber reminder of the importance of employers and employees working together to ensure safe workplaces. Read more »

Other News

Alcoa reaches deal to keep Intalco smelter open, saving nearly 500 jobs in Ferndale

The Intalco aluminum smelter in Whatcom County will stay open, thanks to a deal between Alcoa and the Bonneville Power Administration. The agreement, announced today, will prevent layoffs for 465 workers.
Read more »

Employers face more scrutiny as Seattle mayor pushes to more than double the size of its Office of Labor Standards

As Seattle adds new regulations and rules for employers, its new Office of Labor Standards can't keep up with the demand. Mayor Ed Murray is proposing to more than the size of the agency. After pushback from employers, however, city budget-writers are no longer looking at a new "head tax" on employers. Read more »

Rising minimum wage impacts: cuts to benefits, increased prices, less work for teens, difficulty competing out-of-state

Researchers are studying the impacts of Seattle's rising minimum wage. While only preliminary results are available, they show where impacts are being felt -- and how employers are planning for greater impacts in the years to come. Read more »

Election Update: Legislative candidates emerge as official filing date approaches

More candidates are announcing plans to run, with primary battles likely in Federal Way and Vancouver. Candidates may begin officially filing for office on May 2. Read more »

Major insurance premium increases expected under Obamacare in 2017

The cost of health insurance could increase by double digits next year as insurance companies look to recoup high costs under the Affordable Care Act. The requests for rate increases are expected to come this summer -- just in time for the major political conventions. Read more »

Retail sales up 7.7 percent in last quarter of 2015

Washington's taxable retail sales showed strong growth in the latest report from the Department of Revenue. Retail sales grew by 7.7 percent to $35.9 billion in the last quarter of 2015. Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Last chance to register: ADA Reasonable Accommodations -- Best Practices for Employers to Avoid Liability

Learn how to navigate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act during a May 5 seminar in Seattle with Selena Smith, an employment law attorney and partner with Davis Grimm Payne & Marra. Register online today!
Read more »

Employment Law Webinar Session Three: Wage & Hours

AWB's employment law series continues May 11 with a look at wage and hour issues with Mona McPhee, the director of litigation at Desh International and Business Law. Learn how to minimize costs while complying with complex wage and hour laws -- and earn HR continuing ed credits, all from your desk with this webinar. Register online today!
Read more »

Hear directly from gubernatorial, lieutenant governor candidates at AWB Spring Meeting

AWB will host a lieutenant governor candidate debate, and will have scheduled times for both Gov. Jay Inslee and Bill Bryant to speak to members during the 2016 Spring Meeting. That's on top of a keynote talk with CNN news commentators John Avlon and Margaret Hoover. Register today for what is sure to be a sold-out event!
Read more »

Share your business story at AWB's small business outreach tour throughout May and June

Small businesses are the heart of AWB -- 92 percent of AWB members have fewer than 100 employees. As we prepare for the 2017 legislative session, AWB needs your help to create a small business agenda to ensure that the needs and perspectives of the state's powerhouse -- small employers -- is fully represented in Olympia. Join us in this month and next at our small business outreach meetings throughout the state to help shape AWB's small business agenda.
Read more »

Register for 'Fundamentals of Succession and Estate Planning for Business Owners' in Spokane and Olympia

AWB and Integrity Financial Corporation are offering a pair of seminars in June and July, on both sides of the state, to help business owners with succession and estate planning. Kristofer Gray and Paul Hajek of IFC will lead the seminars, presenting options and offering insights on how to thoughtfully develop a plan to help your business and family thrive throughout the generations.
Read more »

AWB accepting nominations for state's most innovative employers

AWB is expanding its tradition of recognizing employer excellence with a new focus for its 2016 awards. Nominations are now being accepted for the Manufacturing Excellence awards and the new Evening of Excellence for employers who are helping Washington achieve, connect, innovate and protect the environment.
Read more »

Dennis Miller to keynote Policy Summit with a comedic take on the election

As the 2016 election heats up, a little comic relief will help lighten the mood. Comedian, television personality and radio commentator Dennis Miller will bring a humorous take on politics to AWB's Policy Summit. Registrations are now open for the three-day Policy Summit, Sept. 13-15 at Suncadia Resort. Read more »

AWB Institute

Nominate young employer-leaders to grow through AWB's Leadership Washington program

The AWB Institute is accepting nominations for the third class of Leadership Washington. This group of young business leaders will meet for the first time 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

Awarding Strong Advocacy

They Said It

Tax Incentives Support our State's Economy

"We all feel frustration with short-term layoffs." But taking a "long view," landing the 777X and the carbon-fiber industry here "is the future of aviation" and "makes that package worthwhile." ~ Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, speaking about the value to the state of tax breaks that ensured production of the Boeing 777X in Washington.

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Ill-Advised Attack on Farmers

Our Voice: EPA money misused against farmers

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

The Environmental Protection Agency has a lot of explaining to do.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., and 144 House members recently wrote a scathing letter to the EPA, scolding the federal agency for funding a propaganda campaign against Washington state farmers. Earlier this spring billboards popped up in Olympia and Bellingham with pictures of cows standing in a stream with the slogan, "Unregulated agriculture is putting our waterways at risk" and the words, "Learn more at"

The billboards and the website indicate farmers are violating water quality laws and polluting the state's streams and rivers. EPA grant money reportedly was used to spread this message in violation of federal anti-lobbying laws.

Washington state has strict regulations governing livestock operations and it is illegal for farms to cause or contribute to pollution in waterways. While environmental groups have every right to promote their agenda, the tactics used by What's Upstream? appear malicious, inflammatory and lack hard evidence...

Click here to read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Ongoing Impacts of the Rise to $15

Minimum-wage law: This is not play money

By The Seattle Times editorial board

It's way too early to say whether Seattle's $15 minimum wage has been a success.

... this is not free money. The UW research shows the march to $15 prompted 11 percent of businesses to consider or plan a move out of Seattle.

Anxious employers are looking ahead. Overall, 85 percent of food service and hospitality businesses planned to raise wages, and 30 percent said they planned to reduce the workforce.

One "potential area of concern" for University of Washington professor Jacob Vigdor is teenage-employment rates. "One message we've been hearing from businesses is, when they're hiring now, they're placing a big emphasis on workers with experience," said Vigdor.

In the case of $15, the jury is still out.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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