October 17, 2016
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Top Stories

Election 2016: Record surge in voter registration, ballots drop this week; AWB endorsement information online

The wild presidential race and the many statewide and legislative races in Washington state have brought tens of thousands of new voters onto the rolls in recent days. While the top-of-the-ticket race attracts most of the attention, down-ballot races and measures are important to Washington employers and communities. Read more »

One Week Away: AWB Manufacturing Summit coming to Everett

Fred Hochberg, chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, will give the keynote address at the AWB Institute's Manufacturing Summit on Oct. 26. The theme of this year's summit is "trade" and how manufacturing is key element to 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. Register now to hear the latest from employers and the next generation of manufacturing leaders. Read more »

Vancouver Energy offers innovative proposal to link train throughput to safety performance

Washington has several energy and infrastructure proposals of statewide significance that are languishing under years-long review and constantly moving regulatory goalposts. Vancouver Energy has offered an innovative way to jump-start one of these important projects: a proposal that would link its train throughput to its safety record. Read more »

I-732's carbon tax proposal seeing growing opposition from many sides

From employers to organized labor, newspaper editorial boards to environmental groups, opposition is growing to Initiative 732's carbon tax. The measure would increase the state's budget deficit and could push major manufacturers to move out of state or shut their doors -- and consumers would pay 25 cents more per gallon of gasoline while electricity costs rise. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Water Quality Committee meeting scheduled for Oct. 24

The AWB Water Quality Committee will meet on Monday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m. the AWB office to discuss ongoing deliberations and implications of water quality issues in Washington with the state Department of Ecology. For agenda and information, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Brandon Houskeeper. For call-in options, contact Connie Carlson.

The AWB Health Care Committee to meet Nov. 2

A meeting of the AWB Health Care Committee has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the AWB office. For information on the agenda and speakers, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Sheri Nelson. For call-in options, contact Connie Carlson.

Other News

Tickets still available for third gubernatorial debate, to be held Wednesday in Pasco

Gov. Jay Inslee and his AWB-endorsed challenger, Bill Bryant, will meet for their third and final debate this Wednesday in the Tri-Cities. Free tickets are still available. Read more »

New revenue details show higher tax collections than expected; mixed economic forecast

The October results from the state's revenue and forecast council shows personal income growth but a struggling manufacturing sector. Revenue collections are higher than forecast. Read more »

Labor, agriculture and business groups decry proposed moratorium at Cherry Point

A broad coalition of workers, employers and farmers are urging the Whatcom Planning Commission to reconsider a proposed moratorium on the Cherry Point Industrial Area. This kind of rule will limit the high-paying export jobs that currently benefit the Bellingham community, they note. Read more »

New Employee Benefits available for AWB Members

AWB is pleased to announce that Lincoln Financial Group products, including voluntary life insurance, short-and long-term disability, and dental, are now available to all AWB members. Read more »

Greater Spokane, Inc.: Small Business International Trade Expo Nov. 3

Learn how to export your goods to the 95 percent of the world's customers outside the U.S. borders. The Small Business International Trade Expo in Spokane on Nov. 3, held at Greater Spokane, Inc., will have the voice of experts leading an interactive discussion on exports. Read more »

Employment Security Department hosting symposium on 'gig economy' Oct. 27

Experts in business and economics will share their perspectives about Washington's workforce needs in today's labor market at the state Employment Security Department's annual economic symposium. The keynote talk will focus on the so-called "gig economy." Read more »

Manhasset Stands acquires Noteworthy Music Stands

Portland's Noteworthy Music Stands will become part of Yakima-based Manhasset Music Stands, the companies announced last week. The acquisition ensures that the elaborately crafted Noteworthy products will continue to be made in America. Read more »

Long-time head of state Department of Financial Institutions retires, governor names interim director

Scott Jarvis, director of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, has announced his retirement. Gov. Jay Inslee named Gloria Papiez as acting director. Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

AWB webinar Nov. 10 offers help preparing for new federal Overtime Rule that takes effect Dec. 1

Regardless of legal challenges, big changes are coming to federal overtime law. Is your office ready? Learn what's coming, and how to prepare, with a one-hour AWB overtime rule webinar Nov. 10 featuring Sarah Swale of Lane Powell. Read more »

LLC, S-Corp or C-Corp: Choosing the right entity type for your business

Join Kristofer Gray of Integrity Financial Corporation in Bellevue on Nov. 10 for an informative seminar: "Should I be an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp: Choosing the right Entity Type for your Business, and how it can save on taxes when you eventually sell." Read more »

Save the date: First-ever AWB Education Summit Nov. 16 in Spokane

Mark your calendar for AWB's Education Summit, a new event to bring together employers, educators and innovative thinkers. One major focus of the summit will be on helping ensure that Washington's students are well-prepared to graduate with the skills needed to be part of the workforce. 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 »

Save the date: 2017 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

It's time to look toward the 2017 legislative session, including AWB's annual Legislative Day and Hill Climb. This year's event will be Tuesday, Jan. 17. Save the date on your calendar and contact Kelli Schueler to learn more. Read more »

Finally, a 401(k) retirement plan built for small businesses!

An all-new website highlights MyFuture 401(k), a program that allows small-business owners to offer robust, full-featured retired plans for their employees without the costs and hassle of running a full retirement program on their own.
Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Hearing From Bill Bryant



They Said It

Nuclear Reduces Carbon

"Columbia Generating Station has now produced 230 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in its lifetime. Carbon-free." ~ Energy Northwest, noting the vital role that nuclear energy plays in reducing carbon emissions.




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Focus on Sustainability

The Fruits of Environmental Labor

The growing sustainability movement is exemplified in this Washington winery: Creating a big wine that leaves a small environmental footprint.

Ever since Russell Claar broke ground for a vineyard in 1979 on land overlooking the Columbia River, attention to sustainability has always been of highest priority to his family-owned company.

Claar uses variable-speed pumps to reduce energy use, and repurposes dried grape skins to pave vineyard roads. They have kestrel boxes to house birds that naturally control rodents and they cultivate beneficial insects to control pests so pesticide use has nearly been eliminated. The winery, barrel room and storage building are heated and cooled through ground water geothermal heat exchange, saving electricity. Grey water from the winery is used for irrigation. The winery also uses light glass for bottling; saving energy in shipments.

Read more in Washington Business magazine
Responsible Energy Transfer


Facts support approval of Vancouver Energy

By Rob Harris, vice president, JH Kelly

The proposed Vancouver Energy oil-by-rail terminal at the Port of Vancouver represents a $210 million private investment in Washington's energy infrastructure. It would create valuable employment opportunities for working men and women in Southwest Washington and generate $2 billion in economic activity. And it would have the capacity to handle enough mid-continent domestic crude to replace West Coast oil imports from Iraq, Russia and several other countries, which is good for national security.

Despite efforts to transition to alternative energy sources, petroleum products will remain crucial to our daily lives for years to come. Fuels refined from crude oil moving through Vancouver Energy will help get employees to work, students to school and patients to health care providers. They'll move our state's agricultural products to market, and bring products from elsewhere to the shelves of local merchants.

Vancouver Energy won't increase consumption of fossil fuels, but it will improve our energy infrastructure to continue meeting these daily needs...

Read the full op-ed in the Vancouver Business Journal
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