Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hiring Event

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Sequestration to Have Broad Impacts

As the final days get down to the sequestration deadline of March 1 and the (budget) Continuing Resolution (CR) extension until March 27, the White House released new documents over the weekend depicting the state-by-state impacts of defense and domestic cuts stemming from sequestration.

The GOP has questioned the administration's methodology. The immediacy of some impacts is also questioned, as occurring over the last seven months of the federal fiscal calendar in 2013, ending Sept.  30.

Some observers expect a renewal of CRs through the 2013 budget year and the eventual end of sequestration as applying only to the 2013 budget.


Teachers and schools
Washington will lose approximately $11,606,000 in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 11,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 50 fewer schools would receive funding. In addition, Washington will lose approximately $11,251,000 in funds for about 140 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.

Work-study jobs
Around 440 fewer low income students in Washington would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 180 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,000 children in Washington, reducing access to critical early education.

Funding for clean air and water
Washington would lose about $3,301,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Washington could lose another $924,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

In Washington, approximately 29,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $173.4 million in total. Implementation is expected beginning in April.

  • Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $124 million.
  • Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations would be cut by about $3 million.
  • Navy: Cancel aircraft depot maintenance at Whidbey Island and a demolition project in Bremerton.
Funds for law enforcement and public safety
The State will lose about $271,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. 

Job-search assistance
The State will lose about $661,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 24,510 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment. 

Child care
Up to 800 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job. 

Vaccines for children
In Washington State, around 2,850 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $195,000. 

Public health
Washington State will lose approximately $642,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Washington State will lose about $1,740,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3800 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Washington State Department of Health will lose about $174,000 resulting in around 4,300 fewer HIV tests. 

STOP Violence Against Women Program
The State could lose up to $143,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 500 fewer victims being served. 

Nutrition assistance for seniors
Washington State would lose approximately $1,053,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors. 

Virginia would be hurt the most with 90,000 employees expected to lose up to 22 days of work. Second on the list is California, where 64,000 DOD civilians are slated to be furloughed. The remaining states in the top 10 include Texas, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Washington, Alabama, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
SOURCES: Association of Defense Communities. The White House. The Washington Post. Published Feb. 24, 2013. Updated Feb. 25, 2013.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Seeking Business Environmental Awardee

Earth Day is near and appropriately, the Chamber recognizes that there are many outstanding businesses in our community working hard to protect the environment and preserve our quality of life.

Do you know of a business that deserves recognition for surface water protection or restoration achievements? How about a deserving business that has achieved exemplary results in reducing waste dumped into area streams?  Who has the best air quality results?

The Chamber is accepting nominations of businesses that deserve recognition for their exemplary environmental protection or restoration efforts. The selected nominee will receive a business environmental award to be presented.

Nominations will be accepted no later than March 25. Please submit your nomination(s).
For more information about nomination criteria or to participate in the Chamber’s Earth Day event sponsored by Taylor-Thomason Insurance, contact Gary Brackett or at 253.682.1720.  

Award Recipients

Tahoma Business Environmental Award

 1       2003  Kay Parks/Dan Meyer Auto Rebuild
 2       2004  Simpson
 3       2005  McFarland Cascade
 4       2006  Port of Tacoma
 5       2007  Totem Ocean Trailer Express
 6       2008  PLU
 7       2009  Carlile Transportation Systems
 8       2010  Walsh Construction
 9       2011  Waste Connections, Inc.
10      2012  Richlite Company

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

4Q12 Tacoma Council Scorecard Issued and 2012 Scorecard Review

To better represent business interests with government, the Chamber is communicating to our members the voting records of elected and/or appointed officials on issues relevant to our mission.  Following is the fourth Scorecard of votes by the City of Tacoma Council.

The following scorecard presents actual votes – rather than leadership, testimony, rhetoric or behind-the-scenes work.  Votes selected for inclusion in the voting record are those issues that impact the success of new and existing businesses in our community.

The Chamber recognizes that votes are only one part of the picture of an engaged, business-friendly city, but they do illustrate consistencies or inconsistencies between Chamber membership and civic leaders. The Chamber encourages businesses to get involved with leaders and issues beyond this scorecard.

If you have any questions about the specific votes or seek a greater understanding of the issues, please contact Gary Brackett, garyb@tacomachamber.org or David Schroedel, davids@tacomachamber.org

Legislature Considers Mandating More Benefits

A trio of employee benefits bills impacting all businesses (or businesses whose workers enter Seattle), will be heard this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 1:30 p.m. by the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. 

Chamber Recommendations:

SUPPORT SB 5726 Places geographic limitations on local paid sick leave and paid safe leave programs.

SUPPORT SB 5728 Declares state preemption of local paid sick and paid safe leave regulation.

OPPOSE SB 5594 Mandates state-wide minimum standards for sick and safe leave from employment.

The City of Seattle’s application of its sick leave regulation to any business that has workers temporarily in Seattle has impacts on all businesses whose workers physically go there.  If you have workers who go into Seattle even for only part of a given day, contact your legislators (where you live and where your business is located). (Link to Senate Find Your Legislator.)

Your stories of the impacts on your business (paperwork expense, added personnel costs, etc.) to the Chamber’s lobbyist Michael Transue will help.  For those companies with lobbyists, have them sign up in opposition to this legislation.

You may want to communicate to your legislator and/or sign up in opposition to SB 5594 legislation if you believe there is no room in state government for a sick/safe leave policy mandate on business on a state-wide level.   You may comment online for each bill here.
If you have the opportunity to journey to Olympia to personally tell of the impact to your business, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting is:

Senate Commerce and Labor Committee
Senate Hearing Rm 4
J.A. Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA