Association of Washington Business – Updated Weekly

Top Stories

Employers bring concerns to final hearing on new overtime salary limit; public comment still open

The Department of Labor & Industries held its final public hearing last week on its proposal to set a new minimum overtime salary of $79,000. Employers said an update to the rule is necessary, but this salary threshold would cause hardships. L&I will take public comment until Sept. 6. Read more »

Supporters asked to speak up for LNG storage facility in Tacoma

AWB is supporting Puget Sound Energy’s final permitting hurdles as it builds a liquid natural gas (LNG) storage facility in Tacoma. This will allow ships to move away from dirty bunker fuel, creating the cleanest shipping fleet on the West Coast. The 8-million-gallon tank will also ensure greater reliability in the natural gas network serving the western United States. Read more »

Dru Garson and Greater Grays Harbor receive AWB’s 2019 Chamber Advocacy Award

In a surprise presentation last week, AWB President Kris Johnson honored the energetic contributions of Dru Garson, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor. Through advocacy in Olympia and statewide, Garson has embodied the spirt of AWB’s Grassroots Alliance, Johnson said. Read more »

AWB’s Federal Affairs Summit kicks off today with evening reception in the Tri-Cities

The 2019 Federal Affairs brings together many of Washington’s congressional members, policy experts, and your fellow business leaders to discuss the federal issues that impact all of us. The event kicks off tonight with a networking reception. Tomorrow brings a full agenda of policy panels, congressional speakers and a keynote address from the U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary. Read more »

AWB hotel block for Policy Summit Sept. 17-19 at Suncadia Resort closes TODAY

Policy Summit is back! We recommend booking your room now, the AWB hotel block at Suncadia Resort closes today. One of our most popular events, this one often sells out. Don’t miss a point counter-point with two former White House chiefs of staff, and dozens of other compelling speakers. Register now! Read more »
Federal Issues

Senate committee approves largest highway bill in history

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has unanimously approved a bill that would authorize $287 billion in surface transportation projects over the next five years. While not a comprehensive infrastructure bill, it is nevertheless a bipartisan legislative vehicle for a variety of highway, rail and transit initiatives. Read more »
Other News

TOTE Maritime moving headquarters to Tacoma

Nearly 150 TOTE Maritime employees will be coming to downtown Tacoma. The shipping company announced last week that it is moving its headquarters from Federal Way into the downtown building that most recently housed State Farm. Read more »

U.S. Rep. McMorris Rodgers announces $3.9 million in FCC support for rural broadband deployment in Stevens County

Rural broadband in northeast Washington is going to get a boost, thanks to $3.9 million from the Federal Communications Commission aimed at increasing internet access speeds in nearly 3,000 homes and businesses in Stevens County. Read more »

AWB to host aerospace industry stakeholder meeting

AWB will host a meeting next Monday to discuss industry stakeholder public comment to the Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences as it looks at whether to endorse or not endorse the recommendations of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee’s preliminary report on the performance of Washington’s aerospace industry tax preferences. Read more »

Deadline approaching to report and remit Paid Family and Medical Leave premiums

Paid Family and Medical Leave reporting and remitting is underway. Employers and employer agents have until Aug. 31 to file reports and remit payments for the first two quarters of 2019. Read more »

Now more than ever, employee benefits matter

A new suite of employee benefit programs through Colonial Life can help employers give workers access to quality insurance options. Read more »

Local fire departments urged to apply to be part of the Holiday Kids’ Tree Project

Christmas in August? No, but it is time to start thinking about the annual Holiday Kids’ Tree Project. AWB members have donated more than $420,000 over the past 30 years to help families in need during the holiday season. Fire departments help us distribute that money in the form of toys and gifts. Now is the time for rural fire districts to apply to be part of this year’s program. Employers with contacts in the firefighting community are being asked to spread the word. Read more »
AWB Events & Resources

Join us at the beautiful Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum for policy discussions and networking

Policy Summit is back! One of our most popular events, this one often sells out. Make connections and engage in high-level, statewide policy discussion. Learn about the current outlook on issues that impact your business and the communities where we live and work. Save your spot! #AWBsummit19 Read more »
Tweet of the Week

A Champion Chamber Advocate

They Said It

Protecting Highway Funds

“Pay-per-mile tax holds promise – as long as money isn’t diverted from highways.” ~ An editorial headline in The News Tribune, emphasizing that any discussion of a per-mile tax should ensure that all money raised falls under the current protections of the state’s 18th Amendment guarantee that gas tax money goes to highway purposes.