November 28, 2016
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Top Stories

It's time! Celebrate outstanding employers at inaugural Evening of Excellence at Benaroya Hall this Wednesday

Help honor Washington's top employers this Wednesday at the first-ever Evening of Excellence. Twenty award finalists will be among the many guests who will walk the red carpet at the formal event Nov. 30 at Benaroya Hall when 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. Reserve your spot today for a memorable evening in Seattle! Read more »

Election update: King County GOP names Dino Rossi as top pick to replace Sen. Andy Hill

Legislative control will remain split in Olympia even as the most difficult work of fulfilling the Supreme Court's McCleary education funding ruling must be completed. Into the mix might step Dino Rossi, who as a state senator in the early 2000s, helped put together a highly-regarded compromise budget. Rossi was the King County GOP's top choice to replace the late Sen. Andy Hill. Read more »

Federal court temporarily blocks new DOL overtime rule, now heads to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Employers gearing up to implement the new U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule Dec. 1 received a temporary reprieve last week. A federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction against the new rule. But, that doesn't mean employers should sideline their plans to comply with the rule in the future as the case now heads to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Read more »

THIS FRIDAY: Help AWB light the state's Christmas tree

One of Olympia's favorite holiday tradition returns this Friday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. Join Gov. Jay Inslee for the lighting of the state's tree at this free, family-friendly event and consider donating to this festive and heartwarming project. The AWB Holiday Kids' Tree Project has raised more than $390,000 since 1989 to buy Christmas gifts for families in need across the state. Read more »

Key Hearings/Meetings

Water Quality Committee to meet Tuesday

The AWB Water Quality Committee will meet Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 9 a.m. at AWB. The group will discuss next steps after the EPA's promulgation of Washington's water quality standards, among other issues. Contact Connie Carlson for call-in information, or Brandon Houskeeper for more information about the content of the meeting.

AWB Employment Law Committee to meet Thursday with L&I Director Joel Sacks

L&I Director Joel Sacks will meet with the AWB Employment Law Committee to discuss a number of workplace issues when it meets Dec. 1 at 1:30 p.m. at AWB. One item sure to be on the agenda: how L&I will implement Initiative 1433, including rulemaking for the new safe and sick leave rule, as well as logistics for increasing the state's minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020. Contact Connie Carlson for call-in information, or Bob Battles for more information on the content of the meeting.

Health Care Committee to meet Dec. 6

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has been invited to the next meeting of the AWB Health Care Committee on Dec. 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Contact Connie Carlson for call-in information, or Sheri Nelson for more information about the content of the meeting.

Other News

Linda Williams appointed as chair of the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals

The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals now has a chair. Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Linda Williams to chair the group, effective Dec. 5.

Read more »

WTO rules against successful Boeing tax incentives

The World Trade Organization, or WTO, today ruled the bipartisan tax incentives for Boeing';s 777X program passed in 2013 are illegal under their rules. However, Boeing declared victory as the WTO rejected virtually every claim made by the European Union.

Read more »

Kitsap Sun: New EPA water quality rules complicate the issue, set up potential litigation

What comes next under water quality standards imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? That was the question addressed in a wide-ranging Kitsap Sun blog post, which examines the specific chemicals and the issue of whether the state should appeal the stringent -- and unattainable -- federal standards.

Read more »

Changes at Boeing: new president of Commercial Airlines; creation of Global Services unit

The Boeing Co. announced last week that it is hiring GE Aviation Services' President and CEO Kevin McAllister to lead Boeing Commercial Airplanes, replacing the retiring Ray Conner. The company also announced the creation of a new unit called Boeing Global Services.

Read more »

AWB Events & Resources

Registration now open for 2017 Employment Law webinar series

Employment law is a crucial part of navigating today's business world. Learn the basics along with the latest legal changes during AWB's 2017 Employment Law webinar series. Ensure access to all six, and save money through our early bird pricing, by signing up before Jan. 6. Read more »

Spots filling up for AWB's fly-in to Washington, D.C., next week

Meet with national leaders next week during AWB's annual D.C. fly-in. 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 »

Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow, will keynote the 2017 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at Zillow, will give the keynote address at AWB's annual Legislative Day and Hill Climb. This year's event will be held 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

No Major #waleg Changes

They Said It

Time to Support Charter Schools

"Families need more choice and opportunity, not less." ~ Thomas Franta, CEO of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, in an op-ed urging an end to lawsuits that aim to shut down Washington's thriving public charter school system, which now serves 1,700 students, most of them in historically underserved areas.

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A Lack of Effective Training

Too many Washington kids are not college- or job-ready

By Steve Mullin, president of the Washington Roundtable

Students in Washington classrooms today will soon enter a job market bursting with opportunities. New research from The Boston Consulting Group and the Washington Roundtable projects 740,000 job openings in our state in just the next five years. State job growth over that period is expected to be nearly triple the national average.

Increasingly, Washington students will need a postsecondary credential -- such as a technical or industry certification or license, apprenticeship, associate degree or bachelor's degree -- to access the best job opportunities our state has to offer.

A survey of Washington Roundtable member companies shows a universal preference to hire Washington kids for Washington jobs. We have no doubt other employers feel similarly.

The challenge is this: Just 31 percent of the students who attend a public high school in our state go on to attain a postsecondary credential by age 26. Less than a third are prepared for the jobs of the future. 

That's not good enough.

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Supporting the Snake River Dams

Our dams support us; it's time to support them

By U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Following Judge Michael Simon's recent decision to require a full review of the Columbia and Snake River systems, there has been a movement to reevaluate what our dams mean to Eastern Washington.

Here in our region, the four lower Snake River dams provide renewable, reliable, affordable energy and act as a superhighway for barges to transport goods. As a community, we need to let our federal partners know that we want to continue to invest in and improve our dams.

Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers is undertaking a public "scoping" period through January 17, 2017, providing an opportunity for Eastern Washington residents to voice their support for dams and the benefits they offer to the region.

Read the full op-ed from The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
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