January 16, 2017
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Key Hearings/Meetings Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Legislative Day & Hill Climb is sold out! A few spots remain for tomorrow's evening reception

The 2017 AWB Legislative Day and Hill Climb has sold out, although a waitlist has been created and a few tickets are still available for the evening reception with lawmakers. Contact Kelli Schueler for information. Those who have secured tickets will hear from Gov. Jay Inslee, newly-elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, Zillow Senior Economist Skylar Olsen, and top lawmakers from both parties.

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Session begins with inauguration and different visions for budget and taxation

Gov. Jay Inslee and Republicans in the Legislature agreed last week on the destination, but not how to get there, on issues such as better schools and mental health programs. The first week of the legislative session saw discussions begin about funding and accountability in this budget-writing year.

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Education focus includes talk of 'levy cliff,' heavy tax burden in rural areas, and an end to OSPI lawsuit against local school districts

The 2017 legislative session is being seen as a marathon push to comply with the state Supreme Court's 2012 McCleary education funding decision. The first week of the session saw an emphasis on education funding and quality issues.

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New coalition advocates for aerospace, points to economic impact and benefits of good tax policy

The aerospace industry supports a quarter million jobs in Washington, generating nearly $100 billion in economic activity and $363 million in tax revenue for education, social services and highways. A new statewide coalition has formed to help support this crucial industry in Washington. It's called Aerospace Works for Washington.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

Lobby Lunch series begins Jan. 26

Olympia's "power lunch" returns next week as the annual legislative AWB Lobby Lunch series begins for 2017. Save the date for noon on Thursday, Jan. 26, as bipartisan and nonpartisan leaders give updates to AWB members. Look for details in next week's Fast Facts.

AWB Health Care Committee to meet each Wednesday during session

The AWB Health Care Committee will meet 11 a.m.-noon each Wednesday at the AWB office. The meetings will include discussions on current and proposed health care legislation. The meetings may be cancelled due to occasional conflicts. Contact Sheri Nelson for information on AWB's health care advocacy efforts, or Connie Carlson for meeting call-in options.

AWB Education & Training Committee to hold weekly update calls each Friday morning

Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for education, will hold update phone calls with the Education & Training Committee each Friday at 8 a.m. beginning this week. Additionally, because education funding is tied so closely to tax issues, the AWB education and tax/fiscal committees will be holding a joint meeting soon. Contact Anderson at AmyA@awb.org to learn more and Connie Carlson for call-in information.

AWB Land Use Committee will meet Monday, Jan. 23

The AWB Land Use Committee will meet next Monday, Jan. 23, at 9:30 at AWB to discuss a number of vesting, land use, growth management and other legislative issues. Contact Mike Ennis for information on AWB's land use advocacy, or Connie Carlson for meeting call-in options.

Federal Issues

Ambassadors urge Congress to pass Trans-Pacific Partnership, lest America 'cede leadership and accept a diminished role'

China will step into the vacuum created if America abandons leadership on trade by failing to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a group of ambassadors said last week. They urged Congress to pass TPP and President-Elect Trump to modify the deal if necessary, but to ensure that it passes. American jobs and its place on the world stage are at stake, they said.

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Congress takes first step to repealing the Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Senate last week took the first step to undoing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The chamber made the move through a budgetary process called "reconciliation," which would remove funding for the ACA in the federal budget. The resolution now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. The bill to repeal the policies that make up the ACA has yet to be agreed upon.

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Other News

Insurance Commissioner Kreidler approves Kaiser's acquisition of Group Health

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler on Friday approved the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan's $1.8 billion acquisition of Group Health Cooperative, saying Washington would retain a competitive health insurance environment.

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Zillow pledges $5 million for new UW computer science and engineering building

Seattle-based real estate company Zillow is donating $5 million toward the construction of a 135,000-square-foot computer science and engineering building at the University of Washington. Construction could start this month. The building is expected to open in early 2019.

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Fairchild won't get next round of new tankers

The U.S. Air Force has picked a New Jersey base as home for its next-generation aerial refueling tankers, rather than Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane. The state's congressional delegation said the issue isn't finished.

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Ikea installs state's largest solar rooftop array at new Renton store

Ikea has installed Washington's largest array of solar rooftops panels on its new Renton location. The store installed a total of 3,268 panels that will produce 1,261,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually, equivalent to the emissions of 187 cars.

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Registration open for L&I agricultural safety conferences in Yakima and Wenatchee

For the first time, Washington's annual Agriculture Safety Day will be held in two locations to meet growing safety and health training needs in the agricultural industry. The February conferences will be held in Yakima and Wenatchee.

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Employment law posters available from Department of Labor & Industries, Department of Licensing

AWB will no longer be selling employment law and minimum wage posters, but employers can download updates for free from the web.

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AWB Events & Resources

2017 Employment Law webinar continues Feb. 8: 'Employee Handbook, Insurance & Benefits'

The 2017 AWB employment law webinar series kicked off last week with an informative talk on pre-hire, hiring and job descriptions. The next webinar will be Feb. 8. Chad Arceneaux with Eisenhower Carlson will discuss employee handbooks, insurance and benefits. Registrations are still open for all five of the remaining webinars.

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Registration now open for Generation Workforce summit in Seattle

Join Rebecca Ryan, a noted futurist, economist and "brain shaker," at the AWB Workforce Summit on March 22 in Seattle. This new event will look at generational change in the workplace and highlight the strengths that each generation brings. This event is perfect of employers, business leaders and human resources professionals looking to plan ahead for workforce needs and work through opportunities presented by a multi-generational workforce.

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Save the date: Annual AWB Spring Meeting in Spokane takes place May 8-9

Details are still in the works, but AWB's popular Spring Meeting in Spokane is scheduled to take place May 8-9 at The Historic Davenport Hotel. Last year's event boasted record attendance and this year's meeting is expected to follow suit. Registration will open soon, so mark your calendars to join AWB, fellow business leaders and state policy makers in Spokane this spring. Read more »

Tweet of the Week

Leadership in D.C.

They Said It

Dr. King on Leadership

"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Keep an eye on D.C., too

What Happens in the 'Other' Washington Matters, too

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Last month, two dozen business leaders from Washington state headed to the "other" Washington to meet with our state's congressional delegation and hear from key insiders about what to expect on everything from trade and health care to environmental and immigration policy.

It was the third annual "D.C. Fly-in" led by the Association of Washington Business, and it came at a remarkable time in our nation's history. In the last 24 years, there have been just three Decembers with a presidential transition underway.

The trips are important because decisions made at the national level can impact Washington employers and the economy, just as the decisions made by state lawmakers in Olympia impact employers.
Read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee World
Sustainability in Action

IEDS: On-board Environmental Stewardship

By Washington Business magazine

Tracking how long its vehicles are idling in traffic or in stop lights is just one of the many creative ways this Spokane logistics company found to lower fossil fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.

In two months, the company reduced engine idle time for 40 percent, increased mileage by 8 percent, and cut fuel usage by 3,780 gallons.
Read more in Washington Business magazine
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