August 29, 2016
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Key Hearings/Meetings Federal Issues Other News AWB Institute AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

AWB endorses Bill Bryant for governor, Kim Wyman for secretary of state, announces automatic legislative endorsements

After hearing the gubernatorial and secretary of state candidates defend their records and lay out a vision for the next four years during this month's debates, the AWB board voted to make its endorsements. AWB announced its support for Bill Bryant, the Republican challenger in the governor's race, and Kim Wyman, the Republican incumbent secretary of state.
Read more »

Finalists for AWB's first-ever Evening of Excellence awards announced

The 20 finalists for the inaugural Evening of Excellence awards were announced last week. They will be among the many guests who will walk the red carpet at the black-tie event Nov. 30 at Benaroya Hall where the winners will be announced. The awards recognize employers who harness innovation, lead on environmental stewardship and build a better Washington for their employees and communities. Registration for the awards event is now open. Read more »

Wildfire emergency declared in 20 Washington counties

Multiple wildfires and extremely dry conditions prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency in 20 Washington counties last week. Fires threaten homes, businesses, natural resources and public infrastructure across Eastern Washington. Read more »

Charter school supporters will intervene in latest court challenge

Families who have benefited from the unique educational innovations of public charter schools are intervening in opposition to a lawsuit that aims to shut them down.
Read more »

Can you afford another 25 cents a gallon on gas? Transportation costs to increase under I-732

Anyone who drives a car will be paying more to get to work, pick up the kids and go shopping under Initiative 732, creating a tax on carbon. It will add an extra 25 cents per gallon of gas immediately -- and that's just the start. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Employment Law committees will meet Sept. 1

The AWB Employment Law Committees, including the Workers' Compensation Committee, Unemployment Insurance Committee, Minimum Wage Committee, and the Workplace Safety Committee, will meet this Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 a.m. at AWB to discuss 2017 legislative objectives. For more information on the agenda, contact Bob Battles. To RSVP to attend the event or to request the call-in option, contact Connie Carlson.

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 the Washington State Department of Transportation 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 and infrastructure, to learn more about the meeting, or Connie Carlson for call-in options.

Federal Issues

Senate Leader McConnell: No vote on TPP this year

The Trans-Pacific Partnership will not receive a vote during the "lame duck" post-election session of Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, said last week.
Read more »

Bipartisan Workforce Advance Act bill introduced in Congress to offer new credentialing routes

A bill introduced in Congress would make it easier for high school students to take career and technical college courses, helping them graduate high school with college-level preparation for job and career success.
Read more »

Other News

Attorney general responds to state Supreme Court as McCleary hearing approaches

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office has weighed in on the Legislature's response to the state Supreme Court's ongoing McCleary education lawsuit oversight. The AG said the final legislative response to McCleary will come from the 2017 Legislature in advance of the ultimate deadline for compliance: Sept. 1, 2018.
Read more »

Olympia income tax initiative declared invalid

A measure that would have imposed an income tax in Olympia was declared invalid last week. The judge ruled that the initiative will not appear on the November ballot in the state's capital city. Supporters of the measure plan to appeal the ruling.
Read more »

C.J. Buck, CEO of Buck Knives, to keynote Manufacturing Matters EXPO in Spokane Valley

The fourth-generation head of Buck Knives, C.J. Buck, will give the keynote address at the Manufacturing Matters EXPO Sept. 26-27, hosted by the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce at the Mirabeau Park Hotel.
Read more »

Enjoy Labor Day! AWB's office to be closed for the holiday

AWB's Olympia office will be closed next Monday for the Labor Day holiday. Fast Facts will be published on Tuesday, Sept. 6. From all of us at AWB, have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day!

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. Contact Jackie Riley to learn how your company can participate in the day-long event.
Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Manufacturing Summit to be held at XFINITY Arena in Everett Oct. 26

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 »

Two weeks until Policy Summit -- only 15 seats left; Suncadia Lodge has limited full price rooms and alternate accommodations available for late registrants

Have you reserved your spot yet at Policy Summit? If not, only 15 seats remain. You won't want to miss New York Times best-selling author Dan Schawbel, comedian and political commentator Dennis Miller, candidates for major statewide races, and much more. Suncadia Resort has a limited number of regular-rate rooms, however there is a waitlist for the lodge, and AWB's events team has arranged for a limited number of rooms at a group rate at the Best Western Sno Cap. Contact Kelli Schueler to reserve a room at the discounted rate. 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

Productive Regional Meetings

They Said It

Endorsed for Governor

"I am honored to have the support of the leading job-creators in the state." ~ Bill Bryant, the Republican candidate for governor, after receiving AWB's endorsement in his gubernatorial run. AWB President Kris Johnson said the Aug. 17 debates in Spokane demonstrated that Bryant (and Secretary of State Kim Wyman) were clearly the best choices to help strengthen the state's competitiveness and business climate.

If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please contact

Raising the Cost of Energy

Initiative has something for everyone not to like

By The Capital Press Editorial Board

Initiative 732 is a tax on Washingtonians, pure and simple. Even the sponsors say the initiative, if it passes, would raise gasoline prices 10 to 20 cents. That's on top of state and federal gas prices, which combined are already 67.8 cents a gallon and among the highest in the nation.

Opponents estimate the impact will be even higher, adding 25 cents to the gasoline and diesel tax burden. Add that to an estimated 10 percent increase in the cost of electricity and a 15 percent increase in the cost of natural gas.

Taken together, that means the cost of farming, ranching and processing food will increase in Washington state.

The goal of Initiative 732 is reducing carbon output in Washington state. OK, what will that do to our changing climate? No, really. How much, exactly, will it reduce or reverse climate change?

Click here to read the full editorial in The Capital Press
A Bad Idea That Hurts Border Towns

Reject I-1464: Funding political campaigns with tax dollars is lousy idea

By The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin Editorial Board

Initiative 1464 is a terrible idea on several levels.

Let's start with its unnecessary call to amend the law to allow public funds -- tax dollars -- to be used to finance campaigns for elected offices. This, on principle, should not be a function of government. Nor is it a sensible use of tax dollars...

And the way in which the tax dollars would be collected to fund campaigns is particularly egregious.

I-1464 repeals the nonresident sales-tax exemption and would require Oregon residents to pay the sales tax on retail purchases in the state. The tax paid by Oregonians and other out-of-state shoppers would be roughly $30 million a year (estimated by the Department of Revenue at $173.2 million over the first six years).

Repealing the sales-tax exemption would hurt border communities such as ours. A large percentage of purchases in this Valley are made by people who live in Milton-Freewater and Umatila County...

This initiative is opposed by well-respected former public officials of both parties. This includes former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, Attorney General Rob McKenna, Secretary of state Sam Reed -- all Republicans --and Auditor Brian Sonntag, a Democrat.

We strongly urge voters to reject this lousy initiative.

Click here to read the full editorial in The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Upcoming Events