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Access to Affordable, High-Quality Child Care is a Major Issue for Washington Employers 
AWB member Nicole Sohn testifies in support of a child care bill in Olympia.
The lack of affordable child care is emerging as a major issue not only for employees and families, but for employers and the overall economy as well. 

State lawmakers are moving quickly to address this challenge, and AWB's Grassroots Alliance is part of the conversation. 

Dru Garson from Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. testified on House Bill 2661 earlier this week.

"As an economic development professional, the lack of access and relative affordability of child care is affecting business attraction, business retention and business expansion efforts," Garson told the House Human Services and Early Learning Committee.

A lack of affordable and quality child care is contributing to higher turnover, lower productivity and more stress for workers and families. A recent report said Washington's economy lost more than $2 billion due to employee turnover and missed work related to child care issues.

AWB member Nicole Sohn, who owns a child care business in in Spokane, also testified in support of the bill.

The bill increases eligibility for state-supported child care programs and services and increases rates and training for early learning providers. AWB would like to see more support for employer-sponsored child care programs, and for employers that support their workforce's child care needs.

The bill's sponsor, State Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, also mentioned "The Mounting Costs of Child Care" report sponsored in part by AWB.

We anticipate a push for a new capital gains tax to fund child care and other state needs later in the session. At AWB we're telling legislators that state revenues are strong already.
 
Lawmakers should not need more revenue to make this a priority. The Legislature is working with a budget of more than $52 billion today, and current estimates anticipate more than $55 billion in revenues for the 2021-23 budget cycle.

AWB's Amy Anderson is taking the lead on this issue, which has emerged as a significant priority for lawmakers this year. Please contact Anderson to learn more and get involved at AmyA@awb.org or 360.943.1600.

 
Hill Climb on Tuesday
All Grassroots Alliance partners are welcome to attend AWB's Legislative Day and Hill Climb this coming Tuesday.

We've got a great lineup. Please join us for a day of networking, receptions and Capitol conversations on issues that matter to your communities, from transportation to taxes and employment law.

This short video gives an overview of what to expect at the Legislative Day and Hill Climb.

Think of it as "Hill Climb 101." From talking points to lunch and schedules, we've got you covered.

Click here to register and learn more. For more information, please contact AWB's Jacob Sodeman at JacobS@awb.org or 360.943.1600. 
AWB Amplified Takes A Critical Look at Low-Carbon Fuel Standard 
Check out the latest AWB Amplified. 
The proposed low-carbon fuel standard is a costly and ineffective way to address greenhouse gas emissions, according to the first AWB Amplified video of 2020.

AWB's Mike Ennis and member Paul Graves of Oak Harbor Freight Lines break down the high cost and low benefit of this proposal. 

Please share this message with your members. To learn more and get involved, please contact Ennis at MikeE@awb.org or 360.943.1600.

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Need help or have questions? Please contact Communications Specialist Andrew Lenderman at 360.943.1600 or AndyL@awb.org. 
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