June 20, 2016
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Top Stories

AWB announces first gubernatorial debate of 2016

Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Bill Bryant have agreed to their first gubernatorial debate, which will be held Aug. 17 in Spokane. AWB is partnering with Greater Spokane Incorporated, the Community Colleges of Spokane and KHQ-TV to produce the debate. Avista is the presenting sponsor. Read more »

AWB issues early candidate endorsements, positions on three statewide initiatives

AWB's announced an early round of candidate endorsements and positions on three ballot measures last week. Lieutenant governor candidate Steve Hobbs and legislative candidates Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla; Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver; and Teri Hickel, R-Federal Way, all received endorsements. When it comes to ballot measures, AWB is urging a vote against initiatives 732, 1433 and 1464.
Read more »

Spring Meeting brings a 'Vote for Business' to Spokane

State and national election experts brought the 2016 election home for employers during last week's sold-out AWB Spring Meeting, held at The Historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane. AWB and Greater Spokane Incorporated hosted the year's first lieutenant governor debate, and CNN commentators put this year's presidential election into historic context -- and looked ahead to how millennials will change the political landscape.
Read more »

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant addresses sold-out Spring Meeting crowd

It's time for leadership in the governor's office. That was the message Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant delivered to Spring Meeting attendees last week. His first task in office? Appoint a new slate of agency leaders that are not "retreads" from past administrations. Read more »

Grassroots Alliance meets in Spokane; Western Washington meeting date and location to be announced

Strengthening the partnership between AWB and it's local chamber Grassroots Alliance members was the goal of a meeting held last week at the tail end of Spring Meeting in Spokane.
Read more »

Leadership Washington Class of 2016 graduates; applications for Class of '17 due June 30

The second class of Leadership Washington graduated last week as part of the keynote dinner at the Spring Meeting in Spokane, with Daniel Kittle of Lane Powell speaking on behalf of his classmates to AWB members. Applications are still being accepted through next week for membership in the class of 2016-17. Download an application or learn more at the AWB Institute website. Read more »

Small business outreach tour continues this week in towns large and small

From Stephani's Oak Street Grill in Colville last week to Puget Sound Energy in downtown Bellevue later this week, AWB's small business outreach tour continues across the state to hear from small-business owners in little towns and big cities. Join us to share your stories of what's working for Washington employers -- and what's not -- as AWB crafts its 2017 small business agenda. RSVP now! Read more »

Special report from Washington Research Council: Fully funding public schools

The 2017 legislative session will be focused on education funding, as the state Supreme Court's watches closely to ensure the Legislature fully funds K-12 schools byt the 2018 statutory deadline. A new report from the Washington Research Council dives into the issue, noting that the Legislature has already increased education funding by 40 percent. Read more »

Other News

Revenue forecast shows increase in state tax receipts

Washington will collect hundreds of millions of dollars more in the coming years than expected, according to a new revenue forecast. That's good news, but the windfall may not be enough to pay for the billions of dollars due under the final part of the McCleary school funding ruling.
Read more »

Election forecast: 'Open race could yield first Republican treasurer since 1956'

With incumbent Treasurer Jim McIntire retiring this year, the race for state treasurer will be a lively one. In fact, according to The Associated Press, it might just be an opportunity for Republicans to win a seat they haven't held in more than half a century. Read more »

Join us at one of AWB's six Regional Meetings Aug. 16-19

The annual AWB Regional Meetings 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 Events & Resources

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 »

Dennis Miller to keynote Policy Summit with a comedic take on the election; Suncadia Lodge rooms nearly sold out

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

AWBI's Leadership Washington program accepting applications for next class through June 30

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

Finding Common Ground



They Said It

Plain Talk on Politics


"There is a bolder way of thinking about politics. Centrists want evolution and solutions in their elected officials. The sensible center needs to start speaking up and start showing up in elections." ~ John Avlon, CNN commentator and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, speaking at last week's AWB Spring Meeting in Spokane.




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Stable, Safe Base-Load Energy

Nuclear energy is a carbon-free solution we can't ignore

By James Moss, a member of the Energy Northwest executive board

The recent action by the Seattle City Council to denigrate, even deny, the contributions of nuclear energy to this state, now and in the future, makes no sense to me. The council voted to oppose the use of new nuclear-energy resources by the city's utility, after taking one-sided testimony disparaging Columbia Generating Station's safety, value to the region and environmental benefits.

First, nuclear energy is a baseload, or 24/7, resource. Power-grid stability relies on these types of resources to keep the lights on as the wind fluctuates and day turns into night. Without full-time resources, the power would not be there to ensure our hospitals, schools, homes and businesses can function as we expect them to.

Second, nuclear energy is a carbon-free source of electricity. The goal of governments from Washington, D.C., to Olympia, and around the world, is to reduce our carbon footprint from electricity generation. That means we need more carbon-free resources, not fewer...

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Predictable Permitting Needed

Washington's regulatory process is sending the wrong message to employers

By AWB President Kris Johnson

As Washington's tech sector expands, it may be tempting to believe that blue-collar jobs are no longer an important part of the economy, and that politicians and government officials can afford to drive away industries they don't like.

The assumption is that high-tech jobs will take their place. That's a dangerous assumption.

It's true that innovation is thriving in Washington, creating jobs and whole new industries. But the boom has not reached every corner of the state, and it's not realistic to expect that high-tech jobs alone will sustain our economy.

That's why a recent series of actions by state and federal officials that can only be viewed as making it difficult for employers to invest in Washington state is so concerning.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee World
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