August 15, 2016
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Top Stories

AWB, GSI gubernatorial and secretary of state debates take place Wednesday in Spokane

Preparations are nearly complete for AWB's secretary of state and gubernatorial debates this Wednesday at the Spokane Falls Community College Music Auditorium. The event is made possible through a partnership with Greater Spokane Incorporated, KHQ-TV, Community Colleges of Spokane and the presenting sponsor, Avista. Read more »

AWB named ACCE's first-ever state Chamber of the Year

AWB was honored with the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives' (ACCE) 2016 Chamber of the Year award last week at the group's annual conference in Savannah. Of the stand-out efforts by AWB, ACCE recognized the association's new strategic plan, Grassroots Alliance, membership and financial performance. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce were also in the running for the award. Read more »

AWB's six Regional Meetings, candidate interviews kick off in Tacoma, Spokane and Tri-Cities this week

Annual AWB Regional Meetings begin Tuesday in Tacoma and continue in Spokane on Thursday and the Tri-Cities on Friday. Next week, AWB will meet with members in Everett and Bellevue, with Vancouver's meeting the week after. This is a chance for member and non-member employers to hear directly from the Government Affairs Team about their 2017 legislative priorities, ask questions, share ideas and participate in candidate interviews. Read more »

Seattle City Council to hold public hearing Tuesday on 'predictive,' or 'secure,' scheduling

Modeled after a San Francisco policy, the City of Seattle is pushing for changes in the labor laws regarding "predictive scheduling," also called "secure scheduling," requirements for employers who do business in Seattle. This complex ordinance is on a fast track for approval possibly as soon as next month. As part of consideration of the proposal, the city has scheduled a public hearing at City Hall for this Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m., where AWB hopes local employers will show up to share their thoughts and concerns.
Read more »

AWB announces state Supreme Court race endorsements

Three state Supreme Court justices are up for reelection this year and this week, AWB outlined its endorsements. After careful consideration by members and of the candidates and cases decided by the state's high court since the last election, AWB announced it will endorse Greg Zempel, the Kittitas County prosecutor running for Position 5, and Dave Larson, the Federal Way judge running for Position 6. Read more »

Candidates for state's top schools chief to debate at Policy Summit Candidates for state's top schools chief to debate at Policy Summit

Gearing up for the November elections, AWB will host three statewide candidate debates at this year's Policy Summit Sept. 13-15 at Suncadia Lodge. The first debate will take place Sept. 13 at 3:15 p.m. and will feature candidates for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) -- long-time Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, and Erin Jones, an award-winning teacher and former assistant superintendent of student achievement at OSPI. Register for Policy Summit today. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee call set for Aug. 25

The Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee will meet via conference call on Thursday, Aug. 25. The phone call will finish the discussion from the committee's July meeting and finalize the 2017 Legislative Objectives. For agenda information, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Eric Lohnes, and for call-in information contact Tommy Gill.

Meeting of AWB Transportation Committee set for Sept. 8.

The AWB Transportation Committee will meet at 3 p.m. on Sept. 8 at AWB to hear from WSDOT and Office of Financial Management officials on issues those agencies will pursue during the 2017 session. The committee will also finalize AWB's transportation legislative objectives. Contact Mike Ennis, government affairs director for transportation, to learn more about the meeting, or Connie Grande for call-in options.

Other News

November is fast approaching, races heating up, close races ahead and I-732 opposition growing

It's election season, which is evident by anyone who receives mail, watches television or reads their local paper. In an election year with several statewide ballot measures, several legislative races that will be won by slim margins, if the primary election is any indication, voters are now tasked with picking their sides and pondering their positions on measures that will impact the state budget, employers and consumers.
Read more »

KWC mobilizes members on Spokane City Council rail ordinance

Keep Washington Competitive, a broad coalition of business and labor groups, is raising questions about the constitutionality of the Spokane City Council's move to fine railroad companies for transporting energy products through the city. The coalition is mobilizing its members to send a message to the Council that the policy would put local jobs in jeopardy and paralyze the state's most environmentally-friendly means for moving agricultural and other commodities to the ports and around the nation.
Read more »

Rep. Brad Klippert promoted to command Washington State Guard

In a ceremony Aug. 13 at Camp Murray near Tacoma, Rep. Brad Klippert was chosen to take command of the 80-member Washington State Guard. Klippert will be promoted to full colonel before taking over the role. He has a 28-year military career. Read more »

Inslee appoints Millar to head state's transportation agency

Serving as the acting secretary at the Washington State Department of Transportation over the past year, Roger Millar was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to be the secretary of the agency. Read more »

State revenue forecast comes in $60.6 million above June predictions

State tax collections continue to rise as new state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council reveals a $60.6 million bump in money expected to come to state coffers over the June predictions.
Read more »

AWB Institute

Tell your manufacturing story during nationwide Manufacturing Day Oct. 7

The AWB Institute is working with the National Association of Manufacturers to encourage Washington manufacturers to open their doors to the public on Oct 7 -- Manufacturing Day. Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Forklift Safety: Train the Trainer seminar to be held Sept. 1 at AWB

Without realizing it, many companies fail to fully comply with the increasingly stringent safety laws for forklifts and other power industrial trucks. Are you in compliance or are you breaking the law? Proper forklift safety training will make your company a safer place to work and keep you in compliance with the law. AWB's forklift safety seminar Sept. 1 will help your company be in compliance and a safer place to work. Register today! Read more »

Speakers, agenda and debates lining up to make this year's Policy Summit informative and fun

AWB is working on finalizing the agenda for the 2016 Policy Summit Sept. 13-15 at Suncadia Lodge in Cle Elum. Speakers from New York Times best-selling author Dan Schawbel to comedian and political-commentator-with-a-humorous-twist Dennis Miller will break up the time between panel discussions and key statewide candidate debates. Last year's event sold out three weeks early, so reserve your spot today. Read more »

Two-day OSHA 10 Training seminar takes place Sept. 27-28

Employers need to know how federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, and state rules complement and differ from each other. The two-day seminar Sept. 27-28 will give business owners and managers the information and tools they need to communicate hazards better with employees, prevent accidents, how to comply with new global harmonization system rules for chemicals in the workplace, and more. Registration for the course is now open. Read more »

Manufacturing Summit to be held Oct. 26

Manufacturing is alive and well in Washington, but it's far different from the manufacturing of yesteryear. To hear the latest from employers and the next generation of manufacturing leaders, join AWB at the 2016 Manufacturing Summit, to be held Wednesday, Oct. 26.
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 Wins Chamber of the Year Award

They Said It

Unions Oppose Carbon Tax

"We will be informing union members and their families about this position ... and urging them to vote 'no' on I-732."
~ David Groves, spokesman for the Washington State Labor Council, explaining the union's opposition to Initiative 732, the carbon tax initiative.

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Driving up the Cost of Energy

Carbon tax proposal wrong approach for state

By Tony Umek, CEO of AKU Enterprises, and Mike Bosse, president of the Central Washington Building Trades Council

We must continue to reduce carbon emissions, but Initiative 732 is the wrong approach for Washington businesses and workers.

Over the years, Washington voters have not had any opportunity to directly participate in the debate over climate policy -- having to read about either multi-national agreements signed halfway around the world or Gov. Jay Inslee's carbon dioxide reduction proposals in Olympia. All of that will change this year when voters get to weigh in on Initiative 732, which would enact a new energy tax on every Washington family and business under the guise of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

This is not a debate about whether to reduce carbon emissions; it's a debate about how we do it. The No on 732 Campaign, supported by the Washington Farm Bureau, Tri-City business leaders, the Association of Washington Business and labor groups, seeks a collaborative solution, based on the fact that innovative technology and incentives, not new taxes, are the keys to environmental progress...

Click here to read the full op-ed in the Tri-City Herald
Trade Wins

South Sound wins when doors open to free trade

By U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert

The benefits of free trade to our economy are proven and easily seen: small business expansion, job growth, wage increases, lower consumer prices and an overall strengthening of the economy. But the overwhelming benefits of trade can also be tracked through the stories of businesses that call Washington home.

Take, for example, the humble beginnings of Pierce County's family-owned Northwest Door.

What started in 1946 as a local garage installation company has grown to become one of the nation's leading garage-door manufacturing businesses, employing almost 300 workers and exporting products to places including Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Click here to read the full column in The News Tribune
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