September 19, 2016
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Top Stories

Sold-out Policy Summit features three days of insightful and fun discussion

From the youthful energy of author Dan Schawbel and AWB's Grow Here panel to the big-picture perspectives of experts in education, politics and taxation, AWB's 27th annual Policy Summit was the biggest ever. It also saw Wendy Sancewich take over as AWB Board Chair after two years of leadership by Mike Schwenk.

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Candidates for auditor, superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of public lands debate at Policy Summit

AWB hosted three debates at Policy Summit, bringing together candidates for important statewide races that can have a big impact on the employer community. Candidates for state auditor, commissioner of public lands, and superintendent of public instruction held debates that were live-streamed statewide on TVW. Read more »

AWB announces final statewide, legislative candidate endorsements

AWB endorsed Steve McLaughlin for commissioner of public lands, Erin Jones for superintendent of public instruction, and almost two dozen legislative candidates last week. The endorsements came after candidate debates and a months-long interview process in communities across the state. Read more »

Leadership Washington program welcomes its third class during Policy Summit kickoff

The Leadership Washington Class of 2016-17 met in person for the first time last week at Policy Summit. The group of young business leaders will travel the state over the next nine months, learning about Washington's diverse economic sectors and regions in a leadership development program organized by the AWB Institute.

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Grow Here campaign highlighted during inspiring Policy Summit talk

Three young leaders who were part of AWB's Grow Here campaign met for a fascinating, inspiring talk at Policy Summit. They discussed the impact of AWB's million-dollar ad campaign and how it helped them sharpen their own focus on telling their companies' sustainability stories.

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Department of Ecology unveils Clean Air Rule and carbon cap

Having failed to pass a carbon cap through the Legislature, Gov. Jay Inslee's administration last week unveiled a so-called Clean Air Rule that creates new costs for consumers by creating a carbon cap system. Employers will see the biggest hit, but everyone in the state will have higher costs under the plan.

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Labor Council speaks out in opposition to I-732

Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council, spoke out against Initiative-732 last week during a TVW discussion of the carbon tax. The No on 732 campaign has crunched the numbers and found the costs from the initiative would mean gasoline costing 25 cents more per gallon and annual costs to families of $628 per year for energy.

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Federal Issues

U.S. House votes 405-5 to approve Perkins Act, supporting career and technical education

The lower house of Congress voted overwhelmingly last week to approve a bill supported by manufacturers. Known as the Perkins Act, the bill aims to increase the quality of technical education through promotions of career and technical education programs on the high school and college levels

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Other News

Tentative state worker deal announced; includes raises, $12 minimum wage

The closed-door negotiations between state worker unions and the governor's office have ended in a tentative deal. Announced last week, the contract for 30,000 state workers would include raises averaging 6 percent and a $12 minimum wage. Under current state law, the Legislature can only vote yes or no on the contracts.

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Washington doesn't make the cut in new list of "Top State for Doing Business"

Competitiveness matters, and a new list of the "Top States for Doing Business" shows that our state has room to improve. In the national ranking of the 20 states for doing business, the Evergreen State is conspicuously absent.

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L&I to host worker safety conference in Spokane

Registration is open for one of the largest safety and health conferences in the nation, which will be held in Spokane at the end of the month.

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AWB Events & Resources

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 »

Tell your manufacturing story, open your doors 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 and order signage and other items for the day.

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Manufacturing Summit coming to XFINITY Arena in Everett Oct. 26

AWB's Manufacturing Summit is coming to Everett. The 2016 AWB Manufacturing Summit, sponsored by RSM, 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.

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Tickets now available for Evening of Excellence Nov. 30 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle

Reserve your seats now for AWB's first-ever Evening of Excellence. Twenty award finalists 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, presented by Banner Bank, 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.

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

Meet with national leaders during AWB's annual 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.

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Tweet of the Week

Celebrating a Successful Policy Summit



They Said It

Employers Are Already Cutting Carbon

"Washington state is already a low-carbon leader in the nation and the world, and we agree there is more work to be done. Unfortunately, this Clean Air Rule will create a confusing and untested carbon cap system that puts our state at a competitive disadvantage to our neighboring states." ~ AWB President Kris Johnson, responding to Gov. Jay Inslee's carbon-capping Clean Air Rule, released last Thursday.




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Rushing to Overreach

Seattle's scheduling rule is counter to our innovative business culture

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Seattle's current success is due in large part because the city's been an incubator of disruptive retail companies that are now household names.

As companies such as Starbucks, Costco and Nordstrom extended their brands far and wide, they also projected Seattle values -- including service and benefits that raised the bar in their markets.

Seattle must fiercely protect its reputation as a place of business innovation and agility. That provides far more jobs and opportunity than being a sandbox for special interests' regulatory experimentation...

Unionized retailers are excluded from the layers of new regulation and potential penalties, even if their contracts provide fewer worker protections than stipulated.

The rules are so complex and difficult for companies to follow without incurring penalties. The path of least resistance becomes unionization...

Click here to read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Ag Can't Afford I-732

Initiative 732 would create an uneven playing field for farmers

By Jared Balcom, Pasco potato grower

As a farmer who is concerned about climate change, especially what will happen with water in our part of the state, I was inclined to support Initiative 732. But after learning it isn't revenue neutral and seeing the added costs on things like gasoline, electricity, and natural gas, I don't see how I can support the proposed tax.

Farmers like me are some of the strongest advocates for a healthy climate and environment to grow safe, healthy food. But we also need an even playing field. I don't know how I can compete with farmers in other states if I am paying more for my inputs on fuel and electricity than my competitors in Idaho and Oregon. It doesn't make sense. We need a better approach to cut carbon. I will be voting no on I-732.

Click here to read the full letter to the editor in The Tri-Cinity Herald
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