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Association of Washington Business – Updated Weekly

Top Stories

Legislature adjourns after busy 60 days, but misses key opportunities

  The “short” off-year legislative session was a busy one, with Democrats in the full majority for the first time in five years. They passed a supplemental budget without new taxes, but which diverts money from the state’s reserves. Lawmakers also missed the chance to pass meaningful support for rural areas and manufacturers.

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Rep. J.T. Wilcox named new House Republican leader as Rep. Dan Kristiansen to retire

  House Minority Leader Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, will step down from his seat in the Legislature, he said last week. House Republicans met on the last day of session and named Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, as new House Minority Leader. Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, will serve as floor leader. Rep. Drew MacEwen was named assistant floor leader.

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Webinar: 2018 Post-Legislative Session Wrap-Up Webinar

  Join AWB’s Government Affairs team on Monday, March 19, 9-10:30 a.m. for a full wrap-up of this year’s legislative session. From carbon to broadband, taxes to education, this will be a complete look at how business will be affected by what the Legislature did — and did not — do this year. Register here.

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Less than two weeks until AWB’s Workforce Summit March 21 in Bellevue

  The second-annual AWB Institute Workforce Summit will be held March 21 at the Hilton Bellevue. The half-day event will be kicked off by Matt Poischbeg, vice president and general manager at Sea-Lect Plastics, who will give the keynote on apprenticeships and workforce development. Registration is now open!

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Federal Issues

Reps. McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse and Reichert sign letter against broad steel tariffs

The exact form of the president’s promised steel tariffs is still uncertain, but Washington state members of Congress are giving their input with an eye to ensuring Washington communities and employers are not affected.

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NAM seeking stories of how manufacturers are benefitting from federal tax reform

The National Association of Manufacturers is asking manufacturers to share their stories of what federal tax reform has meant to their company. The responses to this survey will help ensure that the public, lawmakers and the media understand how tax reform is strengthening American manufacturing.

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Legislation of Note

HB 1506: Pay equity

The Legislature passed House Bill 1506 last week, a bill sponsored by Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, and known as the Equal Pay Opportunity Act. It’s the first update to Washington’s gender pay law since 1943.

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Other News

Two longtime House members announce retirement from Legislature

House Transportation Committee Chair Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, and longtime Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle, announced last week that they would not be running for reelection.

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Reddemann leaving Energy Northwest; headed to United Arab Emirates

Energy Northwest CEO Mark Reddemann has taken a new job in the United Arab Emirates, where he will oversee four new nuclear reactors. During his tenure at Energy Northwest, the company was named AWB’s first-ever Employer of the Year.

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Washington ranked No. 6 by U.S. News 2018 Best States Report

The Evergreen State scored well in healthcare, education and the economy to earn high rankings in the U.S. News magazine’s annual state rankings report.

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Alaska Airlines earns top honor from popular travel website

Top travel website The Points Guy ranks Seattle-based Alaska Airlines the No. 1 airline in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

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Despite slowdown, Seattle construction boom remains historically strong

Seattle’s construction boom appears to be slowing with fewer projects underway. But there are still more cranes than anywhere else in the country, and 30,000 apartments in the development pipeline.

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My DOR secure services to launch next Monday

A new Department of Revenue system that launches next Monday will serve as the secure portal for all online services.

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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 to Bonnie Millikan by March 23.

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AWB Events & Resources

Webinar: Anti-Harassment Training and Investigations in the Era of #MeToo

  Join labor and employment law attorney Selena Smith on March 29 for timely information on how to handle anti-harassment training and investigations during the #MeToo era. Register now for this March 29 webinar.

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Save the Date: AWB and U.S. Chamber to co-host Early Childhood Learning Summit on April 17

  AWB will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in hosting an Early Childhood Learning event on April 17 at the Seattle Airport Marriott. Learn more and register online.

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AWB’s 2018 employment law webinar series continues with ‘Employee Handbook’ talk

  AWB’s popular employment law webinar series is back for the third year. The March 14 webinar will focus on updating Employee Handbooks with Greg Hendershott & Angela Vogel of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Over the coming months, other legal experts will look at the many facets of increasingly complex labor laws, offering up-to-date information to keep your workplace in compliance with the latest legal changes.

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April 4 tax reform webinar: Key provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

  How will the recent federal tax overhaul affect your business? Join AWB for a tax webinar on April 4 for a general overview of the new provisions affecting corporations, pass-through entities and others under the new federal tax law. Continuing education credits available upon request.

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Labor relations for beginners: for union and non-union workplaces

  Whether or not your employees are represented by a union, recent changes in federal labor law impact your workplace. Join us on April 26 to learn more about employers’ rights and obligations under key federal labor law principles.

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A new home for Spring Meeting — the Davenport Grand hotel

  Reserve your room May 15 and 16 in the AWB room block now for the 2018 Spring Meeting, to be held in the new Davenport Grand hotel in downtown Spokane. AWB’s annual meeting in Spokane is only going to be bigger and better as it moves to this deluxe new hotel near the city’s Riverfront Park.

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AWB HealthChoice members can get access to medical care anytime, anywhere

  AWB members enrolled in the HealthChoice Trust Premera plans have access to Teladoc, which offers 24/7 access to U.S. board-certified doctors via phone or video consults. Teladoc doctors can diagnose, treat, and send prescriptions to the pharmacy of your choice, all from the comfort of your own home.

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Tweet of the Week

The Importance of Early Childhood Education