June 27, 2016
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Top Stories

Small business outreach tour ends 15-city road trip this week on the Olympic Peninsula

AWB's small business outreach tour covered nearly a thousand miles to visit six cities last week, from the Tri-Cities to Everett. After a stop in Aberdeen today, the final leg of the tour concludes tomorrow in Port Angeles. Feedback collected from the tour will be used to help guide AWB's 2017 small-business legislative agenda.
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AWB and GSI, with partners Community Colleges of Spokane and KHQ-TV, hosting Aug. 17 gubernatorial debate in Spokane

Sponsored by Avista, AWB along with Greater Spokane Incorporated, will host the first gubernatorial debate on Aug. 17 in Spokane. KHQ-TV and Community Colleges of Spokane are partnering with us to ensure the success of the much-anticipated event.
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Still time to enter your company for an AWB award -- deadline is Thursday

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.
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Deadline is this week to apply for Leadership Washington program for 2016-17

It's time! This Thursday is the deadline to apply for a seat in the Class of 2017 and the third cohort in the Leadership Washington program. 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.
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Miss Spring Meeting? Catch up with videos, blogs of lieutenant governor debate and election outlook panel

TVW and AWB's Vimeo page now have full video of the Spring Meeting lieutenant governor debate. You can find blog posts diving into the event and a social media roundup of our "Vote for Business" event in Spokane.
Read more »

Other News

Sound Transit will put $54 billion light-rail measure on the ballot

The central Puget Sound's light rail system would more than double in length under a $54 billion expansion plan that will be on the November ballot. The Sound Transit 3 measure would link Tacoma, Seattle, Everett and the east side over the next 25 years, if voters in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties vote "yes" to increasing their taxes by about $400 a year.
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Fairchild a finalist for next round of KC-46A Pegasus aerial tanker basing

Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane is one of five final candidates to serve as base of the KC-46A Pegasus aerial tanker. As the U.S. Air Force begins scrutinizing the suitability of each candidate base, a recently approved casino in the runway approach area could have a negative impact.
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Carbon fiber composite industry in Washington fueling 'supercars' and aerospace

The growing carbon fiber composite manufacturing and research sector in Washington state is expanding the state's economic base, but finding ways to fill the jobs created in the high-tech industry is a challenge the state must tackle. Read more »

Space conference in Seattle highlights area's growing private-industry space development

For the first time ever, the NewSpace Conference was held outside Silicon Valley -- and the decision to hold it in Seattle is shining a spotlight on the region's growing clout in the private-industry space sector.
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Brexit from EU passes, what it means for state and national manufacturing and trade unknown

Last week's 52-48 vote affirming the United Kingdom will exit the European Union has onlookers speculating on the as yet unknown implications the move will have on American trade and manufacturing, two cornerstones tethered together and to the U.S. economy.
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Unemployment rates for May slightly higher than same month last year

The state Employment Security Department released its monthly unemployment numbers for May, which show the state sitting at 5.8 percent, a full percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate. Read more »

Hearing begins for proposed Vancouver Energy terminal

The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council is scheduled to hear testimony beginning today for Vancouver Energy's proposed oil-by-rail marine terminal at the Port of Vancouver. Testimony is expected from dozens of experts and others over a five-week period. Gov. Jay Inslee will make the final decision. Read more »

Report: Medicare will be insolvent by 2028

The 2016 Medicare trustees' report predicts that the system's trust fund will be insolvent within a dozen years. That's two years earlier than had been predicted in previous reports. Still, the new report is more optimistic than the Congressional Budget Office, which says the fund will be solvent only until 2026. Read more »

Passages: Memorial services announced for Clif Finch and Randy Ray

Memorial services have been set for Clif Finch and Randy Ray, two longtime friends of AWB who recently passed away.
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L&I warns about summer paving scams

Watch out for traveling contractors who show up at your door and offer a cut-rate deal to pave driveways with "leftover asphalt" from another job. The Department of Labor & Industries warns that these are often illegal, unregistered contractors who later raise the price and do shoddy work.
Read more »

Seattle Tech Days business forum to be held Aug. 25-26

More than 200 innovators, entrepreneurs, business executives and tech leaders will gather in Seattle Aug. 25-26 for a day of Q&As, tech talks and interactive product demonstrations. The Ukrainian Consulate, European Business Association and Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce are hosting the forum. Read more »

Umpqua Bank names Cort O'Haver CEO

The board of Umpqua Bank, which named Cort O'Haver the company president in April, voted last week to make him CEO of the company. He will replace Ray Davis, who will become executive chairman of the bank's board. Read more »

K&L Gates to hold webinar on new federal overtime rule and salary requirements

More than four million salaried employees who currently are exempt from overtime will be affected by the U.S. Department of Labor's new rule. It requires overtime for employees who make under $47,476 a year -- doubling the salary thresshold for exempt employees. With an effective date of Dec. 1, employers have only six months to prepare for this major change. Read more »

AWB to be closed July 4th and 5th for Independence Day

To mark America's 240th birthday, the AWB offices will be closed next Monday and Tuesday in observance of the Fourth of July. Fast Facts will be sent Tuesday, July 5. From all of us at AWB, have a safe and happy Independence Day.

AWB Events & Resources

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 »

Still time to register: 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 »

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 »

Tweet of the Week

AWB Small Business Tour



They Said It

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Helps America


"If we fail to do it, all those countries in the Pacific wing are only going to have one place to go for their economic and other issues and that's with China. We have to do this deal." ~ Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urging ratification this year of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.




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Rail is Critical

Rail is still the safest, cleanest way to move hazardous materials

By AWB President Kris Johnson in The Spokesman-Review

Train derailments attract a lot of attention -- as they should. But, in fact, derailments are rare. Over the past 16 years, the train accident rate is down 45 percent -- the lowest rate ever, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Track-caused accidents are down even more -- 54 percent -- reflecting maintenance and capital investment by the railroads.

A single train can haul the same amount of cargo as up to 280 trucks. Rail frees up capacity on highways and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by double digit percentages.

Hazardous materials are a fact of our everyday life and are vital to maintaining jobs, the economy and public health. Rail is the safest, cleanest mode of transporting hazardous materials.

Let's learn from the accident at Mosier and continue to make investments and enhancements to improve transportation safety. But, at the same time, avoid arbitrary actions or policies that could have unintended consequences.

Click here to read the full column in The Spokesman-Review
Feeding the World

International trade's oversized local impact

By Rep. Dave Reichert

Comprehensive free trade agreements not only strengthen our agriculture industry, they also benefit the entire economy -- both rural and urban. When a grower sells more apples, more workers are needed to pick those apples, additional drivers are needed to transport the apples from the orchard to the packing house, more workers are needed to package the apples, and the chain continues until they are placed on a shelf in a country on the other side of the Pacific.

With Washington fruit and vegetable exporters facing an average of over 50 percent tariffs when trying to sell abroad, the Wenatchee Valley, Cashmere, Chelan and other farming communities in our region have much to gain from lower tariffs. Along with knocking down tariffs, trade agreements help ensure that our growers don't face other barriers, like regulations based on protectionism rather than science, which block access to foreign markets. Eliminating all of these barriers through trade agreements is essential for American agricultural producers to sell to the world's expanding markets. And making sure that our trade agreements have solid enforcement tools so that trading partners will implement their obligations is essential.

Click here to read the full column in The Wenatchee World
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