February 13, 2017
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Legislation of Note Federal Issues Other News AWB Institute Key Hearings/Meetings AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

Education funding issues continue to take center stage in the Capitol

With the governor, Senate and House plans now on the table, the McCleary education funding debate in Olympia is taking shape. While policy ideas are not far apart, addressing how to best fund schools and ensure educational equity remains a sticking point.

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Sen. Braun talks with AWB members about Senate's education funding and accountability plan

AWB kicked off an ongoing education webinar series on Friday with Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia. Braun discussed his bill to meet the McCleary state Supreme Court decision by ensuring at least $12,500 per pupil in funding, giving raises to new teachers, and putting new accountability measures in place. Democrats from the House and Senate will discuss their proposals this week and next as the AWB webinar series continues.

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Democratic leaders speak at third Lobby Lunch of 2017

AWB members heard from legislative Democratic leaders at last week's Lobby Lunch. Sens. John McCoy and Marko Liias, and Rep. Larry Springer, spoke to employers about education, the uneven economy hampering rural regions of the state and mandatory paid leave. This week's Lobby Lunch will feature Dr. Steve Lerch, the state's top economist. Reserve a seat now.

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Winter edition of Washington Business magazine arriving soon

Watch your mailbox for the latest edition of AWB's magazine, Washington Business. The winter edition highlights the winners of the new Evening of Excellence awards, visits with the dynamic new director of innovation impact at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, examines the impact of the AWB's Grow Here campaign, and much more.

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Legislation of Note

HB 2005 & SB 5777: Simplifying municipal general business licenses

AWB testified this afternoon on two bills that aim to provide workplace accommodations for pregnant women. House bills 1448 and 1796 were up for hearing in the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee.

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Several bills would offer different responses to Supreme Court's Hirst ruling

The House now has two different responses to the Hirst ruling by the state Supreme Court, which says counties must independently confirm availability of water before approving wells for building and development. That ruling has largely shut down rural development in many parts of the state. Spokane and Whatcom counties have stopped issuing building permits based on the ruling.

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HB 1710: Limiting appeals on the harvest of damaged forest products

AWB supports a bipartisan proposal, House Bill 1710, that reduces the risk of severe wildfires, streamlines permitting and will give a boost to rural economies.

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HB 1372 & HB 1144: Increasing the stringency of greenhouse gas limits

Two House committees held public hearings this afternoon on bills that would tighten greenhouse gas emission limits -- House Bills 1372 and 1144. Additionally, HB 1372 would remove the recognition of carbon-neutral biomass as renewable. AWB opposes these measures, which add costs by setting emissions targets beyond reasonable or achievable limits.

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HB 1300, 1301 & 1486: Wage violations

Several bills that aim to address wage and hour violations will come before the House Appropriations Committee this Wednesday. AWB has testified against the bills, and will testify again with our concerns this week.

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HB 1967: Non-compete agreements

AWB has multiple concerns with House Bill 1967, introduced last week to address non-compete agreements. The bill will come before the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. AWB will be there to testify about its impacts on employers.

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Federal Issues

Judge rules in favor of Moda in $214 million decision on ACA 'risk corridor' program

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Moda Health in a case involving a provision of the Affordable Care Act aimed at providing a safety net for insurers in the health care exchanges. The ruling means Moda will receive $214 million because of losses it incurred in the exchanges, and the decision could have multi-billion dollar implications because of losses by other insurers.

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Other News

Call for nominations: Help bring more great business leaders to AWB's board of directors

It's time to step up and help AWB remain a leader and voice for solutions in Olympia! Nominations are now being accepted for seats on the AWB Board of Directors. Businesses of all sizes and business leaders of all ages are invited to apply. Nominations are due by March 24.

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Rich Cummins named new chancellor of WGU Washington

The president of Columbia Basin College, Rich Cummins, will take over as the new chancellor of Western Governors University Washington. Cummins has spent 27 years at the Pasco college as a professor and leader. He'll now take over a growing online competency-based university.

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Seattle Symphony wins third Grammy

For the third straight year, the Seattle Symphony has won a Grammy. The award was announced during the gala event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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Is one-hour train service between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., in the cards?

In theory, high-speed trains running at up to 250 miles per hour would cover the 140 miles between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., in just an hour. Gov. Jay Inslee is asking the Legislature for $1 million to study the feasibility of this proposal.

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New Department of Transportation director could be named soon

The Senate is preparing to confirm Roger Millar as the new Washington secretary of transportation. Millar has been serving as acting secretary since last year.

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Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship available for young women interested in public policy

Applications are now being accepted for the Jennifer Dunn-Thomson Scholarship, an annual scholarship for women that honors the late Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn and her strong support of free-market principles.

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Submit your company for AWB's Evening of Excellence Awards

Now is the time to submit your business for consideration in this year's Evening of Excellence. Finalists and winners will be honored in a formal downtown Seattle soiree at Benaroya Hall. Nominate your company today for one or more of our five categories: Achieve, Connect, Advance, Leading Environmental Practices, Entrepreneur of the Year and Employer of the Year. The deadline for award applications is June 30.

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AWB Institute

Apply now to be part of Leadership Washington's 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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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. 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.

This week's AWB Health Care Committee meeting is canceled

This week's meeting of the AWB Health Care Committee has been canceled. The committee will generally meet 11 a.m.-noon each Wednesday at the AWB office. 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

Employment Law Webinar -- Wage and hour

The third AWB employment law webinar is coming March 8. Mona McPhee, director of litigation at Desh International and Business Law, will present this useful and timely webinar. Register here to reserve a space.

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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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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 learn how to harness the opportunities presented by a multi-generational workforce.

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Registration open for Spring Meeting in Spokane May 8-9

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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Tweet of the Week

Treating the Crew to Olympia's Power Lunch

They Said It

Education funding

"Our number one and overriding mission, at least for the last couple of years, has been to elevate and stress the importance of taking action of fully and fairly funding our public schools." ~ Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, at Thursday's Lobby Lunch meeting with House and Senate Democratic leaders.

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Better Metals

Making our infrastructure second to none

By Christina Lomasney, president, CEO and co-founder of Modumetal, Inc., a Seattle-based nanolaminated metals company

Why is it so important we employ the best-available metals technology? Because corrosion is a quiet infrastructure killer. Corrosion degrades -- sometimes catastrophically. When you read about bridge collapses and unsafe structures, think corrosion. Corrosion is a budget-buster -- using lower quality metals which corrode quickly creates a ruinous cycle of more maintenance and faster required replacement of our infrastructure. The National Association of Corrosion Engineers pegs the direct cost of corrosion in the U.S. at over 4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of our Nation.

Innovative companies across our nation have answered the call to improve America's infrastructure by reinventing the metals industry. As an example, our nanolaminated metals -- using a different manufacturing technique than traditional metals -- corrode significantly less, are stronger and lighter, and can require less energy and materials to produce. At Modumetal, we have demonstrated structures that resist corrosion thirty times longer for the same basic cost as the currently-specified materials. This means our bridges could last hundreds of years instead of decades. The net result: safer, longer-lasting infrastructure for less money.
Read the full op-ed in The Hill
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