November 7, 2016
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Top Stories

Decision day 2016 - ballots due Tuesday for important local, state and national races

It's time! Ballots must be postmarked or put in an official drop box by Tuesday in this week's election, which includes crucial statewide and local races. Be sure to vote. Watch AWB's video voter guide for a quick primer on the statewide and judicial candidates who have shown their commitment to improving Washington's place as a globally competitive state and AWB's position on three statewide initiatives.   Read more »

How will the election affect employers? Watch AWB webinar Wednesday morning for insights and analysis

Gary Chandler, AWB vice president, government affairs, will lead a wide-ranging discussion on election results this Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. Watch and ask questions live as AWB analyzes the effect of local, state and national election results on Washington's business climate.   Read more »

Passages: Sen. Andy Hill, lead Senate budget-writer, dies of lung cancer at age 54

Sen. Andy Hill, chairman of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, died last week after battling a recurrence of lung cancer. Hill, 54, was the lead budget-writer in the Senate. Leaders on both sides of the aisle praised him as a smart, dedicated public servant.    Read more »

Watch for the latest edition of Washington Business magazine

Check your mailbox for the Fall edition of AWB's quarterly magazine. The cover story highlights the latest high-tech advances in agriculture, from genetics to "flying tractors." Other features zero in on nuclear technician training in the Tri-Cities, the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and a close look at Washington's proposed Clean Air Rule and Initiative 732.    Read more »

I-732 update: Despite misleading pro-732 ad, the truth is that new carbon tax would make everyone pay

Supporters of I-732 released an unsettling ad last week that falsely claims consumers and households won't pay for the new carbon tax. The fact is, families would pay 25 cents more per gallon for gasoline and household energy bills would rise by $448 a year by 2020 and by $695 a year by the time the carbon tax reaches its maximum. A coalition of labor, environmental groups and employers across the state are rejecting this costly new tax on consumers.    Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Immigration Reform Committee will meet Thursday

The AWB Immigration Reform Committee will meet this Thursday, Nov. 10, at 1:30 p.m. Among the topics of discussion: reform of how H-1B, H-2A and H-2B visas are processed. For information on the agenda and speakers, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Bob Battles. For call-in options, contact Tommy Gill.

Tax & Fiscal Policy Council to meet Monday, Nov. 21

The AWB Tax & Fiscal Policy Council will meet at 10 a.m. Nov. 21 at AWB for a discussion of election results, the state's Education Funding Task Force, the November revenue forecast, strategy in the 2017 legislative session, and much more. For information on the agenda and speakers, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Eric Lohnes. For call-in options, contact Connie Carlson.   

Federal Issues

Obama administration pushing for approval of Trans-Pacific Partnership after election

The odds are long, but President Barack Obama is pushing ahead on bringing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal up for a vote in Congress during the lame duck session after this week's election. Trade experts say the odds of approval are low -- but not zero.

Read more »

Other News

Mary Fairhurst selected as new chief justice of state Supreme Court

The nine justices of the state Supreme Court voted Thursday to have Justice Mary Fairhurst serve as chief justice for the next four years. The internal vote means that Fairhurst will take over for Chief Justice Barbara Madsen. Madsen will continue to serve as a justice on the court, pending the outcome of this week's election, in which she faces a strong challenge from Kittitas County Prosecutor Greg Zempel.

Read more »

PNNL, UW and WSU pledge closer collaboration

The three largest public research institutions in Washington -- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Washington and Washington State University -- signed an agreement last week to work more closely together on pressing challenges in energy, the environment and global security. The collaboration builds on ties that are already close, from clean energy testing to transportation technologies.

Read more »

Sea-Tac Airport planning for major new air cargo facility

The international air freight cargo market is growing, and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport wants a bigger piece of the action. The Port of Seattle's strategic plan calls for building a new 289,000-square-foot air cargo facility -- and the project could become even bigger.

Read more »

Comment period now open for Vancouver Energy terminal permit

The public is now able to comment on the stormwater construction permit for the Vancouver Energy terminal. This proposed oil transfer terminal would help supply oil to refineries along the West Coast.

Read more »

Tri-City Regional Chamber now accepting applications for ATHENA Awards

Nominations and applications are open for the ATHENA awards for women in leadership. The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce will take nominations and applications until Nov. 25.

Read more »

How is your company recognizing Veterans Day?

Washington employers have a strong and proud history of supporting their employees who are service members or veterans. AWB President Kris Johnson would like to hear how you are recognizing Veterans Day this year.   

AWB Events & Resources

This Wednesday: 'Become an Insider -- Navigating the Legislature Online & In-Person'

Go into the 2017 legislative session with the knowledge and confidence of an insider. Join AWB's webinar this Wednesday to learn how to track what's happening in Olympia and add your voice to the discussion.

Read more »

This Thursday: Webinar helps employers prepare for new federal Overtime Rule that takes effect Dec. 1

Regardless of legal challenges, big changes are coming to federal overtime law Dec. 1. Is your business ready to comply? Learn what's coming, and how to prepare, with AWB's one-hour overtime rule webinar this Thursday, Nov. 10, featuring attorney Sarah Swale of Lane Powell.

Read more »

This Thursday: 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 »

Help AWB celebrate outstanding employers at inaugural 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 »

Mark your calendars: Holiday Kids' Tree lighting set for Dec. 2

Olympia's favorite holiday tradition returns Friday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. The AWB Holiday Kids' Tree Project has raised more than $370,000 since 1989 to buy Christmas gifts for families in need across the state. Join the lighting of the state's tree and consider donating to this festive and heartwarming project.

Read more »

Only one month left to 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

Loss of a Statesman



They Said It

The Need for New Leadership

"One-party rule of state government for 32 years is far too long. Management gets sloppy and department heads feel entitled. New ideas fade. Our ship of state is loaded with barnacles and needs a thorough cleaning." ~ Former Gov. Dan Evans, urging a vote for Bill Bryant as governor.




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Focus on Sustainability

Boeing, Alaska Air lauded for leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

By Andrew McIntosh, The Puget Sound Business Journal.

Two of Puget Sound's biggest aerospace companies are working hard to cut emissions as part of the regional efforts to combat climate change, a new report says.

Boeing Co. and Alaska Air Group each adopted a series of small but important measures that can make a difference, according to a new Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce report.

Entitled "Bright Green in an Emerald City," the report lists dozens of examples of emission-reduction efforts at companies, a university and some non-profits.

Boeing and Alaska Airlines are praised for developing shorter, more precise routes for incoming aircraft traffic flying into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport... Every Sea-Tac flight using such approaches conserves an average of 87 gallons of fuel, and saves passengers nine minutes of flying, the Seattle Chamber's report said.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduced with each of these flights equals to what a small car would use, driving all the way from Seattle to Minneapolis, the report added.

Read the full story in The Puget Sound Business Journal
The Risks of I-732

Collaborate, don't regulate carbon

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington state employers are proven leaders and innovators in energy conservation, carbon reduction and environmental efforts.

The record proves this is already taking place without a carbon tax, but rather through innovation and collaboration.

Washington's population has increased 43 percent since 1990 and the economy has grown 260 percent, yet carbon emissions are down 18 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

From small operations to large steel mills, companies have built sustainability and environmental stewardship into their operations, not as an afterthought.

Despite this solid environmental record, voters will be faced with a choice to raise the cost of energy -- the engine that keeps Washingtonians moving and warm -- through Initiative 732. It would put in place a carbon tax under the guise of doing what employers and residents are already doing -- lowering carbon emissions. But, it is not without risk to the economy, K-12 education and our low- and fixed-income neighbors...

Read the full op-ed in The Puget Sound Business Journal
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