May 16, 2016
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Top Stories

Small business outreach tour kicks off as AWB prepares small business agenda for 2017 legislative session; 10 more stops in June

From the Palouse to Puget Sound, Vancouver to Mount Vernon, AWB's government affairs team met with dozens of small business owners in five cities last week. The wide-ranging discussions included regulations, minimum wage, teen workers, health insurance costs and much more. The talks will continue in June at 10 more meetings across the state. There's still time to RSVP.
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Education leaders discuss school funding plan, state Supreme Court progress report

Lawmakers worked last week on what is perhaps the most vexing 2017 legislative puzzle -- K-12 basic education funding. The bipartisan Education Funding Task Force, made up of House and Senate lawmakers, approved a progress report due to the state Supreme Court as part of the court's 2012 McCleary education funding ruling. Will it be enough to satisfy the court? Lawmakers should find out soon. Read more »

Election Update: Filing week begins, Dorn out of governor's race, 16th District House race has challenger, more

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn announced last week he is officially out of the race for governor. That is just the start of the many changes and candidate filings that will shake out as the election filing deadline hits this Friday.
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Millennium Bulk Terminal, Cherry Point projects hanging in the balance -- and so are jobs

The creation of good-paying jobs up and down the Washington coast is at the core of the Millennium Bulk Terminals and Gateway Pacific Terminal debate. But recent decisions at the state and federal level have two unlikely allies -- business leaders and labor unions -- banding together to address permitting roadblocks for the projects they say would create economic opportunities in communities that need them most.
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AWB Spring Meeting nearly sold out! Don't miss lieutenant governor debate, CNN commentators and more

Just one month left until AWB's annual Spring Meeting June 14-15 in Spokane. As of last week, ticket availability is limited and the discounted room blocks at each hotel are full! Now is the time to register to guarantee your spot at the lieutenant governor candidate debate and hear from Gov. Jay Inslee (invited) and candidate for governor Bill Bryant. The evening will feature CNN news commentators John Avlon and Margaret Hoover with a "point-counter-point" keynote address.
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Other News

Inslee directs Washington National Guard to train 250 personnel for wildfire season

In light of last year's record wildfires, Gov. Jay Inslee last week directed the Washington National Guard to train and certify 250 personnel in preparation for this summer.
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State maritime industry at risk

Washington is one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation, making the maritime industry a significant part of the economy. But, this economic powerhouse has some strong currents to contend with: Workforce shortage, land use and deindustrialization efforts in the state as well as competing ports in British Columbia, Canada. Read more »

Obama signs federal trade secrets bill into law

Four years of bipartisan congressional work culminated last week with President Barack Obama's signature on the Defend Trade Secrets Act. The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and the House by an overwhelming margin, creates a federal system of trade secrets law to protect America's innovation culture.
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Machinist strike in Spokane, teachers may be gearing up for fall strike

Union machinists are on strike at a major aerospace supplier in Spokane, and teachers in the Northshore School District are already mentioning a possible strike, months before the 2016-17 school year begins.
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More problems come to light in state roads tolling

Over the past year the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) penalized its tolling vendor 77 times, totally $120,000 for a string of customer services lapses and failures, hoping to "get their attention" and force changes. Read more »

UPDATED: Department of Revenue urges early renewals before online system taken offline for replacement

The Department of Revenue will replace its online business licensing systems in early June. Because the system will be taken offline for the change, businesses with annual reports or location renewals due by May 31 should renew online by May 24.
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AWB Events & Resources

RESCHEDULED: Employment Law Webinar: Wage & Hours

The third installment in AWB's employment law series has been rescheduled to this Wednesday. There's still time to register for this wide-ranging class on 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 education credits, all from your desk with this webinar. Register online today!
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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.
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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.
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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 »

Join AWB for the third fly-in to Washington, D.C.

Meet with national leaders during AWB's D.C. fly-in Dec. 5-7. AWB's government affairs team will lead the trip to the nation's capitol, including congressional visits, meetings with federal agencies and the new administration. It will also include a Washington state grand reception, a candlelight tour of the Capitol and more. 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

Small Business Speaks Out



They Said It

The Voice of Small Business


"We're exposed to a very uneven playing field, and the more disadvantages we get, the harder it is to do business. Every time we add another layer onto this, it becomes more difficult to make that payroll. At some point the owner's going to look at that and say, you know, I can't make this anymore." ~ Brice Erickson, owner of B&L Bicycles in Pullman, at last week's AWB small business outreach meeting in Pullman. Erickson, who started his shop in Pullman 20 years ago, said the state sales tax puts him at a disadvantage to online retailers. His biggest competitor now is in Ireland, where the government subsidizes shipping and online buyers pay no sales tax.




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Trade Pact Protects American Jobs

The TPP would let America, not China, lead the way on global trade

By President Barack Obama

Over the past six years, America's businesses have created more than 14 million new jobs. To keep this progress going, we need to pursue every avenue of economic growth. Today, some of our greatest economic opportunities abroad are in the Asia-Pacific region, which is on its way to becoming the most populous and lucrative market on the planet. Increasing trade in this area of the world would be a boon to American businesses and American workers, and it would give us a leg up on our economic competitors, including one we hear a lot about on the campaign trail these days: China.

Of course, China's greatest economic opportunities also lie in its own neighborhood, which is why China is not wasting any time. As we speak, China is negotiating a trade deal that would carve up some of the fastest-growing markets in the world at our expense, putting American jobs, businesses and goods at risk.

Fortunately, America has a plan of our own that meets each of these goals. As a Pacific power, the United States has pushed to develop a high-standard Trans- Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that puts American workers first and makes sure we write the rules of the road for trade in the 21st century...

Click here to read the full column in The Washington Post
Prioritize Education Spending

Capital gains taxes are too unreliable to fund education

By Jared Walczak, Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation

Funding public education through a tax on capital gains is superficially appealing. Rather than taxing all income (prohibited by Washington's constitution), recent proposals would tax only a species of income commonly equated with wealth. The stereotype does not always hold true: senior citizens paying capital gains taxes on retirement income, for instance, do not conjure up images of idle wealth.

The most glaring flaw in such tax proposals, however, is this: Some years, capital gains are a pipe dream.
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Tri-City Herald
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