May 23, 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

Boeing celebrates opening of new 777X wing plant in Everett

Workers, elected officials and Boeing officials held a ceremony Friday in Everett to mark the opening of the company's 1.3 million square foot 777X carbon fiber wing plant.
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Debate over McCleary funding continues as attorney general asks for sanctions to be dropped

The Legislature has increased K-12 education funding by nearly $5 billion and is on track to fully fund basic education by 2018, the attorney general and Legislature said in a report filed last week with the state Supreme Court. They asked justices to lift $100,000 per day sanctions and a contempt order related to the McCleary case.
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Election Update: Hundreds of candidates file for local, state, federal offices

From the courthouse to the statehouse, state Supreme Court to the U.S. Congress, candidates made it official last week during Washington's election filing week. With the races now set, attention turns to the Aug. 2 primary.
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Greg Zempel, Kittitas County prosecutor, announces Supreme Court run

After 21 years as the top prosecutor in Kittitas County, Greg Zempel announced last week that he will run for the state Supreme Court. Zempel said he wants to make the state's high court less political. He is running against incumbent Chief Justice Barbara Madsen.
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David DeWolf, a longtime Gonzaga Law professor, files for Supreme Court

Gonzaga School of Law professor David DeWolf will challenge appointed Supreme Court justice Mary Yu for one of three seats on the high court that will be on this year's ballot.
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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Employment Law Committee to meet May 31

The AWB Employment Law Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. May 31 to discuss workers' compensation, the Board of Industrial Appeals, safe/sick leave initiatives, family medical leave, biometrics and other issues. Contact Bob Battles for more on the agenda and Connie Grande to RSVP and for call-in options.

Other News

New federal rule expands overtime eligibility to millions

The Obama administration published its final overtime rule last week. When it takes effect Dec. 1, anyone making a salary less than $47,476 a year will automatically qualify for overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours a week. That's about double the current threshold of $23,600 in place today. Read more »

State's jobless rate stuck at 5.8 percent, with areas outside Seattle still faring much worse

Washington's unemployment rate was unchanged in April, remaining at 5.8 percent, a bit worse than the national average. What that single number doesn't capture is that a red-hot job market in the Seattle area obscures how much rural areas of the state continue to struggle.
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Wildfire season off to an early start in Washington

While it's too early to say if this wildfire season will be as devastating as 2014 and 2015, the Washington Department of Natural Resources said blazes are already beginning to pop up on both sides of the Cascades.
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Show off your forklift skills at 'Forklift Rodeo'

If you know someone who knows his or her way around a forklift, it's time for them to receive some recognition.
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New area code overlays approved for Western Washington and Idaho

Western Washington and Idaho will have new area codes, and the "overlay" means that 10-digit dialing will be required for all numbers, even local, by fall of 2017.
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Passages: Clif Finch, former AWB general counsel and government affairs director

Clif Finch, who served as AWB's general counsel and was a longtime government affairs director, passed away last week. Finch was an active voice for business in Olympia and received AWB's Ron Gjerde Award for his work on behalf of the employer community.
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AWB office closed for Memorial Day; Fast Facts to be published on Tuesday

AWB's Olympia office will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day. Fast Facts will be published on Tuesday, May 31. We wish all of our members a safe and meaningful Memorial Day.

AWB Events & Resources

AWB Spring Meeting nearly sold out! Don't miss lieutenant governor debate, CNN commentators and more

Only three weeks remain until AWB's annual Spring Meeting June 14-15 in Spokane. 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. 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.
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CompWise Safety & Workers' Compensation Seminar: Hiring Practices & Safety Performance

Between the cost and damage of lost-time incidents and workers' compensation claims, it's crucial for employers to be up-to-date on ways to prevent injuries and respond effectively when they happen. AWB is proud to bring together state and national experts on June 29 in SeaTac for a hiring practices and safety seminar. Register here. 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.
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Time to RSVP for small business outreach tour's 10 June stops across state

After a great kickoff to our statewide small business tour, we're now taking RSVPs for our next 10 stops. We'll begin the second leg of our tour June 16 in Spokane and Colville, then criss-cross the state as we gather information to craft of our 2017 small business agenda.
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 »

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

An Uneven Economic Recovery

They Said It

Boeing's $1 Billion Investment

"This facility represents the beginning of the next chapter in our story that will revolutionize a new industry." ~ U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, celebrating the opening of Boeing's 777X Composite Wing Center in Everett.

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Urging Congress to Act

Employers, farmers, manufacturers and many others agree on need for TPP

By the U.S. Coalition for the Trans-Pacific Partnership

We, the 106 undersigned companies, associations and organizations active in Washington, are writing to express our strong support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is critical to the future growth of trade, jobs, prosperity and competitiveness of the United States, and for Washington in particular.

The Asia-Pacific will continue to be the most vibrant region in the global economy for the foreseeable future. Yet, we are falling behind, as other countries that have negotiated preferential trade agreements in the region place our manufacturers, innovators, service providers, farmers and ranchers, and workers at a competitive disadvantage. Approval of the TPP will close the gap, and place U.S. companies, farmers and ranchers, and workers at the center of this dynamic regional economy.

Click here to read the full letter sent to every member of Washington's congressional delegation
Regulatory Certainty

Olympia misses another chance for quicker project reviews, job creation

By Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick

Economic growth in Washington rests, in part, on political oversight. Our state faces a number of infrastructure and trade opportunities that, if approved in a timely manner, can create more jobs and a stronger local economy. Unfortunately, many of these projects stall due to a permit process that shackles them with red tape and delays.

Streamlining this process is critical to unlocking our state's economic potential, which is why during the recently-completed 2016 legislative session, I introduced Senate Bill 6527 to inject much-needed accountability into the review of local infrastructure projects.

Under my regulatory "shot clock" proposal, government agencies conducting State Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA, reviews would be held to a 30-day completion process. It would also require completion of environmental project reviews no later than 12 months following submission of project applications not requiring a federal review.

Click here to read the full op-ed in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
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