May 31, 2016
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Top Stories

Job seekers, workers testify about need for Millennium terminal

Public hearings last week about the Millennium Bulk Terminal export project in Longview drew hundreds of people, including many current and potential employees. AWB also testified about the unreasonable burden placed on the project by an unprecedented environmental impact statement.
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State Supreme Court unanimously rules that I-1366 is unconstitutional

Affirming a lower court ruling, the state Supreme Court said tax-limiting Initiative 1366 violated the one subject rule and is unconstitutional. The 2015 Tim Eyman initiative would have lowered the state sales tax if the Legislature did not vote for a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 majority vote to raise taxes.
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U.S. House passes first updates to toxics act in 40 years

The week the U.S. House of Representatives easily passed the first updates to the Toxic Substances Control Act since 1976. The bill had nearly unanimous support. It would make chemical safety reviews more science-based and would help increase regulatory certainty for employers by moving away from the current state-by-state approach. Read more »

Only two weeks until Spring Meeting: Don't miss out!

Limited tickets are still avaiable for AWB's Spring Meeting June 14-15 in Spokane. Register now to guarantee your spot at the lieutenant governor candidate debate and hear from CNN news commentators John Avlon and Margaret Hoover about the national elections. Read more »

Other News

More ACA problems as insurers, facing losses, pull back from a dozen counties and ask for rate increases

The full costs and impacts of the Affordable Care Act are hitting insurers, prompting pullback from a dozen Washington counties and requests for rate increases in 2017. Read more »

Webinar rewind: U.S. Chamber of Commerce update on new overtime rule

Wondering how the new federal overtime rules will impact your business? Check out the webinar from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to learn more about the changes recently announced by the U.S. Department of Labor. Read more »

Revitalized charter school commission reauthorizes six existing schools, newly approves three more

It's back to business for the Washington State Charter School Commission. Meeting last week, the reauthorized panel approved five-year contracts with existing charter schools in Tacoma, Seattle and Kent. It also authorized three new schools in Seattle and Walla Walla to open in the fall of 2017. Read more »

L&I offers 'Employer's Introduction' classes

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is offering a slate of classes to help employers and managers understand their rights and responsibilities, and how to work with L&I.
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With summer job season approaching, make sure teens know how to stay safe

The summer job season is approaching, and sadly, teens are more likely than adults to get hurt at work. Parents are advised to make sure they know what their teens are doing on the job, and employers are urged to make sure their teen workers know job site risks -- and how to avoid them.
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Opinion: Group that sets salaries for state officials is facing problems

The salary for nearly 600 Washington elected officials is set by a volunteer citizen commission. Budget cuts to that commission are making it harder for it to do its work, writes Dick Walter, the retired AWB vice president of operations.
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Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals seeks nominations for new chair

AWB and the Washington State Labor Council are asking for applications for a new chair of the state's Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals. The board decides disputes about orders, decisions and awards of the state Department of Labor & Industries.
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AWB Events & Resources

Wage & Hour Webinar: Performance Evaluations, Disciplinary Action & Termination

AWB's employment law series continues June 8 with a talk on how to handle performance evaluations, disciplinary action and termination.
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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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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 »

Deadline to nominate your company for an AWB award is June 30

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. The deadline for applications is June 30.
Read more »

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

Support for Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement

They Said It

Plain Talk on Jobs

"'We can do better' isn't true. Your pot shops and hamburger stands do not provide family wage jobs with great benefits." ~ Dave Gillihan, a Millennium Bulk Terminal worker in Longview, saying the high unemployment rates in his community are evidence of the need for the quality jobs that would come with completion of the Millennium export terminal.

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Maritime and Manufacturing Matter

Nurture vital industries as city grows

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

As Seattle considers changes to its long-range growth plan, city leaders should heed a new report from lawmakers concerned about risks facing the maritime and manufacturing industries in Washington.

These industries are more than a picturesque backdrop for condos, office towers and bars in Seattle. They are a cornerstone of the state economy, accounting for 40 percent of the state's gross domestic product, with annual income of more than $15 billion.

Not everyone can work at, nor wants to -- so it's critically important to have other industries providing a range of job opportunities... Yet these companies are under pressure.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Carbon Market Sputters

California's Cap-and-Trade Bubble

By The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

When carbon cap and trade flopped in Europe, liberals blamed design flaws and hailed California's embryonic program as a better regulatory model. But cap and tax is struggling in the Golden State too.

A mere 2% of the carbon emissions credits that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) put up for auction in May were sold. The quarterly auction raised only $10 million of the $500 million that CARB projected. That's awful news for Democrats in Sacramento who planned to spend the windfall on high-speed rail, housing and electric-car subsidies...

CARB says this spring's auction bust is no big deal and regulators can withhold credits until the price rises. Unlike their European counterparts, California's climate crusaders don't seem to care if their businesses and consumers suffer.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Wall Street Journal
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