January 30, 2017
Fast Facts
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Top Stories Legislation of Note AWB Institute Federal Issues Other News Key Hearings/Meetings AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Governor's top advisors speak at first Lobby Lunch of 2017

Three top aides to Gov. Jay Inslee joined AWB members for the first Lobby Lunch of 2017. They discussed Inslee's $4.4 billion tax proposal and answered questions from AWB members about the possibility of offsetting additional costs by lowering the costs of workers' compensation taxes and other costs on employers. This week's Lobby Lunch will feature Republican legislative leaders. Democratic leaders will speak Feb. 9.

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Presidential administration appoints state senators to federal posts

Sen. Brian Dansel, R-Republic, stepped down last week after being appointed to a federal Department of Agriculture post. Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, is shuttling between Olympia and Washington, D.C., after being tapped for a short-term position with the Enviromental Protection Agency. Democrats tried unsuccessfully on Friday to temporarily take over the Senate after the slim Republican-led Majority Coalition Caucus dropped to a 24-24 tie due to Dansel's departure. Today Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, was appointed to Dansel's former Senate seat.

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Senate MCC unveils education funding and McCleary plan

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus released its education funding plan on Friday. It changes both how K-12 teachers are paid and how K-12 public schools are funded. First-year teachers would see a raise to $45,000 a year. Top teachers would earn bonuses. The plan also meets AWB's priority of support for career and technical education.

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Washington Research Council policy brief: 'Washington State Businesses Pay 58 Percent of State and Local Taxes'

During a legislative session when talk of new taxes is widespread, it's worth remembering that employers in Washington already pay the majority of the taxes collected by state and local governments. In fact, Washington employers pay an average of $7,600 per employee in taxes -- that's higher than the amount in 45 other states.

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It's a wrap! Filming concludes for the next round of Grow Here commercials and employer image campaign

Video crews were in the farming country of southeast Washington last week filming operations at The McGregor Company. This 130-year-old family business has a great story to tell about its commitment to farm families, small towns and the environment. AWB's multi-media Grow Here campaign will do just that, and will also explore the innovative work being done at Alaffia and M3 Biotechnology. The first commercials should begin airing in late February.

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Registration open for Spring Meeting in Spokane May 8-9

Back by popular demand, noted communications expert Frank Luntz will keynote the 2017 AWB Spring Meeting in Spokane. Luntz, whose 2012 Policy Summit talk was well-received, will look at how employers can communicate their message. Registration is now open for Spring Meeting May 8-9 at The Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane.

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Legislation of Note

SB 5032 and 5149: Paid family leave

AWB testified this afternoon on Senate bills 5032 and 5149, both of which would implement paid family leave, but with different impacts on employers.

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SB 5299 and SB 5531: Pregnancy accommodation

Two bills that would provide accommodations for pregnancy in the workplace were up for public hearing this afternoon in the Senate. AWB offered an employer's perspective on the bills during public testimony.

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HB 1500: Adding new layers to tax transparency

House Bill 1500 will be heard in the House Finance Committee on Tuesday. This bill adds unnecessary layers to Washington's strong transparency laws and threatens the predictability and stability of Washington's tax code.

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HB 1596: Mandatory reporting of high-priority chemicals

House Bill 1596 would expand chemical reporting requirements to a wide array of products. Adding these reporting requirements would, in practical terms, become a de facto ban on their use, with no demonstrable safety benefit.

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SB 5183 and HB 1282: Career and technical education funding

AWB testified in support of Senate Bill 5183 and House Bill 1282 last week as part of our ongoing support for career and technical education.

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House Bill 1809: Tax credits for clean alternative fuel commercial vehicles

The bipartisan House Bill 1809 would help make Washington's air even clear and the commercial vehicles on its highways even greener. This bill came about through AWB's Alternative Fuels Task Force.

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AWB Institute

Applications now available for Leadership Washington Class of 2018

Apply now to be part of the state's premiere leadership development program. Applications are now being accepted for the Leadership Washington class of 2018. This seven-session program helps the next generation of Washington leaders learn about the business and political landscape of Washington.

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Federal Issues

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer Becomes Vice Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee

Another Washington member of Congress has been named to a prominent position in an influential committee. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-WA, was appointed last week to a new position, the vice ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee.

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K&L Gates to host free webinar on what to expect with immigration law

What changes will the new administration and Congress have for U.S. immigration law? Learn more about this topic with a free webinar Feb. 15 hosted by K&L Gates.

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Other News

Parts for Boeing 777X will be rolling off lines in Everett soon

After months of tests, the first production parts for the new Boeing 777X will soon be produced at the Boeing Company's Everett plant. It's an important milestone in a multi-billion-dollar evolution of Boeing's popular 777 airliner.

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PSBJ highlights the $277 million impact of life science R&D in Washington

The biotech and life sciences sector brought in $277 million in venture capital last year. When added to the $867 million in the technology sector, that's more than a billion dollars of investment coming to Washington research and development.

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Hundreds attend methanol hearing; major permit decision expected soon

A hearings examiner in Cowlitz County promised a speedy decision on a key permit for a proposed $1.8 billion methanol project in Kalama. The Northwest Innovation Works project would create nearly 200 permanent jobs, 1,000 construction jobs, and millions of dollars in tax revenue.

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The Daily News: Cowlitz job market continues to stagnate

Rural Washington still hasn't seen a full economic recovery. Unemployment rates in much of Washington are still far above the national average. Clearly, the hot economy of the Seattle area isn't something that rural Washington is experiencing.

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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledges $279M for UW's largest-ever private donation

A $279 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Washington is "once again shattering donation records" as the foundation aims to expand programs to measure and enhance health around the world.

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Homeless advocate Mary's Place raises $4.5M from donors including Starbucks, Microsoft

Employers gave generously during the annual Mary's Place "No Child Sleeps Outside" campaign. Companies like Starbucks, Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, Expedia and dozens of others helped the Mary's Place nonprofit raise $4.5 million in a single month. That will allow the Seattle nonprofit to open three new shelters and serve up to 500 families this year.

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Workers' compensation return-to-work service available for AWB members

AWB members qualify for a discount on the Safety Ambassador Program, an immediate, short-term light duty job program that allows injured employees to get back to work. The program can also help employers qualify for Stay At Work reimbursements.

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Key Hearings/Meetings

AWB Water Quality, MTCA, PBT and PSP committees to meet every other Monday

The AWB Water Quality, MTCA, PBT and PSP committees will meet at AWB every other Monday at 11 a.m. The next meetings are Jan 30 and Feb. 13. Contact Mary Catherine McAleer for information on the content of the meeting, or Connie Carlson for call-in details.

AWB Climate and Energy committees to meet every other Monday

The AWB Climate and Energy committees will meet at AWB every other Monday at 11 a.m. The next meeting is Feb. 6. Contact Mary Catherine McAleer for information on the content of the meeting, or Connie Carlson for call-in details.

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. 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 Events & Resources

Seminar: 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business

For most people, exiting their business is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be scary, frustrating, and even painful. AWB and Integrity Financial will give tips to create a well-structured succession planning process, helping business owners attain their vision of life after business.

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Employment Law Webinar: Employee Handbook, Insurance & Benefits

The 2017 AWB employment law webinar series continues Feb. 8. Chad Arceneaux with Eisenhower Carlson will discuss employee handbooks, insurance and benefits. Registrations are still open for this and the other four remaining employment law webinars.

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Register now for the first-ever Workforce Summit at Motif Seattle

Join Rebecca Ryan, a noted futurist, economist and "brain shaker," at the AWB Workforce Summit on March 22 at the Motif 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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Tweet of the Week

A Crucial Fact

They Said It


"It can't be a zero-sum game. Everyone has to get something out of any deal. There has to be a true compromise." ~ Drew Shirk, Gov. Jay Inslee's executive director for legislative affairs, speaking at Thursday's AWB Lobby Lunch.

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A look at the 2017 Legislative Day and Hill Climb

Watch Here
Employers Helping Find and Fund Solutions

Kudos to Microsoft for bold public-policy goals for Washington state

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Microsoft is taking its regional public service to a new level with the release of an ambitious legislative agenda for Washington state.

Under its president, Brad Smith, the company has increasingly advocated for education, transportation and economic development.

Recognizing that the entire state has unmet needs, the company is broadening its agenda beyond the Puget Sound area. Best of all, Microsoft is offering to help incubate and partly fund several new programs to get them launched.

The public benefits from such corporate citizens providing thoughtful and supportive engagement on critical policy issues.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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