September 26, 2016
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Top Stories

New state revenue forecast shows tax collections up $336 million this biennium, $134 million in next

Washington state government will collect $470 million more than expected in this budget cycle and the next, according to the latest revenue forecast released last week. That's good news, but may not be a budgetary game-changer heading into the 2017 legislative session.  Read more »

L&I proposes workers' compensation rate increase, announces public hearings

Costs will go up for employers under the proposed workers' compensation rate increase announced last week by the state Department of Labor & Industries. The rate increase was 3.1 percent higher than was needed to break even -- in fact, L&I could have reduced rates for employers next year and still broken even.   Read more »

Less than two weeks until Manufacturing Day! Register now to open your doors, share your story

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.   Read more »

AWB Legislative Review arriving this week and is available online now

How did your lawmaker vote on issues that matter to employers? Find out with the AWB 2016 Legislative Review, which will be arriving in mailboxes this week and is available to read online.

Read more »

Boeing invests $6 million in local STEM education, says it will be in Washington for decades

More than 50 educational institutions and nonprofits around the state received grants totaling $6 million from Boeing last week. Among the recipients: local universities, who will receive $1 million to support STEM education. Boeing said the grants are part of its ongoing commitment to Washington as a significant jobs provider for decades to come. Read more »

Seattle passes controversial 'secure scheduling' ordinance. Business owner: 'I feel betrayed by Seattle'

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a "secure scheduling" ordinance last week. The ordinance exempts unionized workplaces but includes locally-owned franchises, even those that employ fewer than its stated lower limit of 500 employees.

Read more »

AWB joins King County Labor Council in speaking against I-732 in televised debate

AWB's Brandon Houskeeper joined the King County Labor Council in speaking against Initiative 732 in a Seattle Channel debate last week. That came on top of increased opposition to the carbon tax measure.

Read more »

Federal Issues

As costs go up for consumers and employers, Obamacare exchanges shrink

In a column called "The Incredible Shrinking Obamacare," New York Times columnist David Brooks said the landmark Affordable Care Act is looking less revolutionary as times goes on. Its exchange systems are losing carriers even as costs and deductibles are going up for consumers and employers.

Read more »

Business groups planning challenge to new overtime rule

As the Obama administration prepares to expand mandatory overtime pay to 4.2 million more workers, 21 states and a coalition of more than 50 business groups have filed a legal challenge of the new U.S. Department of Labor regulations. Meanwhile, employers should continue to implement the new overtime rule pending the outcome.

Read more »

Other News

Providence, Premera reach tentative agreement

Providence Health & Services has reached a tentative contract agreement with Premera Blue Cross on a new three-year contract. The deal means most Premera customers will be able to continue using doctors and hospitals in the Providence/Swedish network without interruption next year.

Read more »

Study: Washington has nation's seventh worst highway system

A new study by the Reason Foundation says Washington state has the 7th worst highway system in America. From deficient bridges to crumbling pavement and congested city highways, the study confirms what Puget Sound-area drivers say every day: Washington's highways and traffic are bad and getting worse.

Read more »

Marshawn Lynch and Seattle Chocolates team up to create Beast Mode candy bars

AWB member Seattle Chocolates and Marshawn Lynch, the famed former running back for the Seattle Seahawks, another AWB member, have teamed up for a sweet collaboration: Beast Mode chocolate bars.

Read more »

Further debates planned for commissioner of public lands, superintendent of public instruction races

The League of Women Voters will host debates Oct. 8 in Seattle for two important statewide races: superintendent of public instruction and commissioner of public lands. The debates follow those hosted by AWB between the same candidates this month at Policy Summit.

Read more »

Seminar to be held in Seattle: 'Best Practices for Best Employers'

Become a great workplace by learning best practices at Lane Powell's 34th annual "Best Practices for Best Employers" seminar Oct. 11 in Seattle.

Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

This week: Two-day OSHA 10 Training seminar Tuesday and Wednesday

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 this Tuesday and Wednesday 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 »

Oct. 26 AWB Institute Manufacturing Summit agenda filling out

AWB's Manufacturing Summit theme this year is "trade" and how manufacturing is key element in our state's economic success. Sponsored by RSM, the event 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 »

Celebrate excellence: Reserve a space at AWB's first-ever Evening of Excellence Nov. 30 at Benaroya Hall

Reserve your seats now for AWB's inaugural 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, take the lead on environmental stewardship, and build a better Washington for their employees and communities. Registration for the awards event is now open.

Read more »

Join AWB's 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.

Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Boeing Supports Our Communities



They Said It

Washington Can't Afford I-732

"This is Seattle. This is Jet City. You can't just say, 'no more energy-intensive manufacturing anymore, guys.'" ~ Nicole Grant, of the M.L. King County Labor Council, explaining some of the reasons why Initiative 732, the carbon tax proposal, is opposed by organized labor, employers, farmers and many environmental groups.




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I-732 is the Wrong Solution

Carbon tax would hit working people hard

By Lee Newgent, executive secretary of the Washington Building Trades Council

Seattle still makes things and we want to keep making things. We need a diverse economy that includes everyone. But I-732 will reduce job opportunities and economic output in Washington's manufacturing sectors.

Manufacturing growth would underperform by $4 billion and create 15,000 fewer jobs. Manufacturers will be less likely to expand or locate in Washington and will seek states with lower prices on electricity and natural gas...

Click here to read the full column in Crosscut
Not so Transformational After All

The Incredible Shrinking Obamacare

By David Brooks

The promise of Obamacare was that it would foster competition and offer lower premiums while covering tens of millions of Americans without, as President Obama often put it, adding a dime to the deficit.

Unfortunately, most of the exchanges are in serious trouble. As many critics pointed out at the time, the law is poorly designed to induce younger, healthier people to get into the system. The penalties attached to the individual mandate are too weak. The subsidies are too small. The premiums are too costly. The deductibles are too high. Many doctors aren't participating in the networks.

In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated there would be 21 million Americans using the exchanges by now. Many supporters argued that the exchanges would eventually replace the current dominant employer-based system.

Only about 12 million people are actually in exchanges. More important, the exchanges are attracting sicker, poorer people, who drain money, and are not attracting the healthier people who pour money in...

Click here to read the full column in The New York Times
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