January 13, 2020

AWB kicks off 2020 session with a focus on statewide prosperity

By: Brian Mittge   Comments: 0
AWB's 2020 Government Affairs Team, from left: Peter Godlewski (environmental policy); Amy Anderson (education, health care and federal affairs); Gary Chandler (vice president, Government Affairs); Tommy Gantz (tax and fiscal policy); Bob Battles (employment law); and Mike Ennis (transportation, land use and rural issues). (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)
AWB's government affairs team is already deeply engaged as the Legislature officially begins its 60-day "short" session today. Hearings on major legislation and budget issues are already taking place this week.

The six-person Government Affairs team at AWB works with lawmakers to ensure that the employer perspective is heard on all issues that affect businesses. As the state's oldest and largest statewide business association, AWB advocates to policies that expand economic opportunity, encourage job creation and generate investment in every part of the state. 

That's a wide-ranging mandate. Here are a few areas of particular focus for AWB's advocacy efforts:

Budget and taxes

AWB will advocate for a sustainable budget that lives within the state's current record level of tax collections: the $51.7 billion in tax revenue is nearly double what the state spent just 10 years ago, and it's up more than 18 percent from the previous budget. 

Employment law

AWB will advocate for policies that protect the flexibility of employers and employees on shift scheduling. We'll support the right of individuals to work as independent contractors. And we'll try to halt or moderate the new overtime rule, with the aim of protecting jobs that would be lost under the new wage regulations. 


With the passage of Initiative 976, we'll encourage lawmakers to adopt a supplemental transportation budget quickly. Employers ask that lawmakers protect the crucial maintenance and preservation account, as well as new projects of regional and statewide significance, along with project that have matching funds from outside partners.

AWB's Government Affairs team will cover a broad range of other issues, including education & workforce development; the environment; health care; land use; and rural jobs, among others.

Employers are invited to join us and engage with lawmakers on these crucial issues on Jan. 28 at the AWB Legislative Day & Hill Climb.