August 22, 2016
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Top Stories

Inslee, Bryant share visions for Washington's future at first gubernatorial debate

The first gubernatorial debate of 2016 went off without a hitch last week in Spokane. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Bill Bryant spoke about the four years of Inslee's administration and what direction is best for the state in the years ahead. The debate was broadcast live on Spokane's KHQ television, and It's still available on news websites for online viewing. Read more »

Secretary of State Kim Wyman and challenger Tina Podlodowski debate in Spokane

Incumbent Secretary of State Kim Wyman and challenger Tina Podlodowski squared off in Spokane in an AWB-sponsored debate on the state's voting system, registration of corporations, and the proper role of partisanship in the office of the state's highest elections watchdog. Read more »

AWB's six Regional Meetings, candidate interviews continue this week in Everett, Bellevue, Vancouver

Crowded rooms and good discussions have ruled at the first week of AWB's regional meetings, which began last week and continue this week and next. 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 »

Opportunity Scorecard shows slight improvement as Washington rises to 27th out of 50

Washington moved up one spot, to 27th out of 50, in the latest Opportunity Scorecard rankings released last week. Not only is the state a bit below average overall, Washington still hasn't broken into the top 10 in any of the three major categories examined: Achieve, Connect and Employ. Read more »

Support growing in opposition to I-732, the energy tax

Last week, a number of supporters, including local chambers of commerce, joined the list of employer groups, unions, farmers, environmental organizations and many others who oppose I-732, the carbon and energy tax. 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.

Federal Issues

More troubles for Affordable Care Act as insurers drop out of health insurance exchanges

For the first time, there is an American county with no insurers at all on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange. It's a trend that's likely to increase as major insurers pull out of the government-run health insurance exchanges, citing growing financial losses. Customers are left with few – or no – options for health insurance through the ACA.
Read more »

Other News

AWB announces 2016 legislative candidate endorsements

Voters who want to support employer-friendly candidates have a new resource going into the general election. Today, AWB released its list of candidate endorsements, highlighting lawmakers and candidates who understand what employers need to thrive and create jobs. Read more »

Elway poll finds voters split on initiatives, supportive of Inslee, Clinton

Pollster Stuart Elway released political poll numbers last week that detailed support -- or lack of it -- for this fall's initiatives, as well as voter preferences for statewide and presidential candidates.
Read more »

Union leaders voting on early contract extension at West Coast ports

With painful memories still fresh from the 2014-15 port slowdown, union leaders and shipping companies are discussing a very early agreement to extend port contracts. That would be very good news for Washington employers, manufacturers, farmers and importers, who lost hundreds of millions of dollars when the last contract negotiation went sour.
Read more »

Apple crop is looking juicy and bountiful

As harvest begins in Washington's vast apple orchards, the view is good -- both for tasty fruit and a large crop yield.
Read more »

Aug. 31 is deadline to submit Corporations for Communities Award nominations

Do you know a Washington corporation or business that gives back to your community? It could be donating money or supplies, providing volunteer help on projects, or something else that makes a difference. If such a company comes to mind, help give it the recognition it deserves by nominating it for our state's highest civics award.
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

Manufacturing Summit to be held at XFINITY Arena in Everett

We have a location! The 2016 AWB Manufacturing Summit will be held in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at XFINITY Arena in Everett on Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Register now to hear the latest from employers and the next generation of manufacturing leaders. Read more »

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 »

One month until Policy Summit -- reserve your spot today!

As new speakers continue to join the Policy Summit line-up, the AWB-discount room block at the Suncadia Resort has filled up. Other rooms are still available at Suncadia at regular room rates, however, and AWB is compling a waitlist for the discounted block. Don't miss your chance to hear from New York Times best-selling author Dan Schawbel, comedian and political commentator Dennis Miller, candidates for major statewide races, and much more. 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 »

Join AWB for the third fly-in to Washington, D.C., Dec. 5-7

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

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They Said It

Victory for Voters

"I can't tell you who won the secretary of state debate, other than maybe the public, which often doesn't see a debate for that office broadcast live to much of the state and available online for the rest of it."
~ Jim Camden, reporter and Olympia bureau chief for The Spokesman-Review, about the secretary of state debate that he moderated last week in Spokane. AWB and GSI hosted the debate between incumbent Kim Wyman and challenger Tina Podlodowski, and the debate that followed, between Gov. Jay Inslee and challenger Bill Bryant.

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Larsen for Supreme Court

The Times recommends Dave Larson for state Supreme Court Position 6

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Voters should welcome the chance to add new voices to the court and elect Dave Larson over incumbent state Supreme Court Justice Charlie Wiggins.

Larson has the trial, bench and civic experience to be a strong justice. He is the presiding judge of Federal Way Municipal Court -- comparable experience to Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, who was a Seattle Municipal Court judge when she ran for Supreme Court.

As a judge, he has adjudicated thousands of cases since his appointment to the bench in 2008, pushed for innovative reforms and has earned deep community respect...

Larson presents a strong, credible challenge to a court that has at times veered off course. He deserves a six-year term to the state Supreme Court.
Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Training the Next Generation

PNNL gives students hands-on experience

By Dr. Steven Ashby, director of PNNL

Many of us remember writing that dreaded essay about how we spent our summer vacation — often struggling to recall what we did or make it sound interesting.

That won't be a problem for the almost 800 students at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory this summer. They will have challenging and rewarding experiences to share with friends and families.

Take Isis Carrillo, for example, a University of Washington student planning to study molecular and cellular biology. She is working alongside PNNL mentors in instrument development and microfabrication laboratories, gaining useful skills and invaluable experience...
Click here to read the full column in The Tri-City Herald
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