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BIAW Blog

Women in Construction: Employment Reaches Pre-Recession Levels
September 14, 2020

The number of women employed in the construction industry grew substantially in 2018 rising to 1.1 million, a total reached prior to the Great Recession. As the construction skilled labor shortage remains a key challenge, adding new workers is an important goal of the industry. Bringing additional women into the construction labor force could represent a potential opportunity for the future.

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COVID-19 and Wildfire Smoke Safety
September 14, 2020

This wildfire season will be especially challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is concern about the health impacts of wildfire smoke overlapping with COVID-19 because both impacts respiratory and immune systems. COVID-19 restrictions limit how we can reduce our exposure to wildfire smoke.

If you have COVID-19, breathing in wildfire smoke may make your symptoms worse. Wildfire smoke can also make you more susceptible to respiratory infections, like COVID-19. Some symptoms, including cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing, are common to wildfire smoke exposure and COVID-19.

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Keep Your Workers Healthy with Clean Hands
September 10, 2020

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve all become more aware of how important proper hand hygiene – washing and/or disinfecting hands – is to stay healthy. According to the CDC, washing your hands frequently is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of germs and infections. On jobsites, hand hygiene is more important than ever before.

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Department of Health has Issued Guidance for Employers Considering COVID-19 Testing Policy
September 10, 2020

The Department of Health strongly discourages employers from requiring their employees to test negative before returning to work after a confirmed COVID-19 infection. People with confirmed COVID-19 infection who are not hospitalized can return to work after:

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COVID-19 Unemployment Account Rule
September 8, 2020

In the 2020 session, the Legislature passed Engrossed House Bill 2965 which provided support for Washington employers and employees in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The bill created the COVID-19 Unemployment Account and appropriated $25 million to help reduce the increased tax burdens for employers affected by COVID-19. The Employment Security Department (ESD) has now filed rules to define how employers can qualify for assistance from the COVID-19 Unemployment Account. Supporting documents for the final rule are available on the ESD’s rulemaking

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Latest Legal Update
September 3, 2020

Currently, BIAW has three active lawsuits pending in state court. Here’s the latest and greatest on their status:

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BIAW Awards Record-Breaking $40,000 in 2020 Scholarships and Grants
September 2, 2020

BIAW awarded $40,377 in scholarships and grants to students and programs across the state. The scholarship winners are continuing their education with future careers being assets to the home building industry.

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Your Employment Security Department (ESD) Fraud Questions Answered
August 20, 2020

One of the most frustrating aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that overseas criminals successfully infiltrated Washington’s unemployment insurance system through fake unemployment claims. According to the Employment Security Department (ESD), these fake claims received payments totally nearly $600 million – benefits that should have been paid to laid-off workers in Washington state.

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State Building Code Council Needs TAG Members
August 10, 2020

Usually, the building codes go into effect in July, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BIAW requested they be pushed back. Now the building codes go into effect February 2021, but the State Building Code Council (SBCC) needs to work on the next installment of the codes starting next month. The Plumbing, Fire, Mechanical, and Commercial Building technical advisory groups (TAG) are looking for residential building representatives. This is your chance to use your expertise and real-world knowledge of building to shape the next edition of statewide codes.

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Latest Primary Election Results
August 10, 2020

Most of Washington’s ballots have been counted from the Aug. 4 primary. Over 301,000 ballots remain to be counted with about 2.15 million counted to date.  The turnout will be over 47%, an above-average showing for a primary election. The final primary results should be released on Friday.

This year’s ballot includes all statewide offices, half of the state Senate seats, and all state House seats. Both U.S. Senate seats are not on this year’s ballot. In the state legislature, Democrats have working majorities in both chambers and will remain in control after the general election.

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BIAW Now Offering Online CESCL Classes
July 31, 2020

BIAW is proud to announce that the Education program is now offering CESCL classes and recertification online.

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Jenn Kavanaugh Named R.O.I.I.® Select Director
July 29, 2020

BIAW is excited to announce Jenn Kavanaugh as the new R.O.I.I.® Select Director.

Kavanaugh has over 16 years of experience at BIAW working on the R.O.I.I.® Select team, advancing from Enrollment Coordinator to Administrative and Marketing Director, and now to her new role as R.O.I.I.® Select Director. She led the R.O.I.I.® Select team to a 34% refund for 2018 enrollment.

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2020 Virtual Housing Forum
July 24, 2020

BIAW is partnering with the Association of Washington Business (AWB) to take the 2020 Housing Forum virtual. This event is structured as a reoccurring monthly webinar series starting August 25 to continue the discussion about housing availability and affordability in Washington state.

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BIAW Moving Update
July 24, 2020

Unfortunately, do to shutdown-related issues, BIAW was forced to postpone the move-in date to our new headquarters until August 17.

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2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) Delayed Until Oct. 28
July 15, 2020

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) will delay implementation of the 2020 National Electrical Code (NEC) and new electrical rules through Oct. 28. Existing electrical rules and the 2017 NEC will remain in effect until that time.

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WAHC Primary Election Endorsements
July 13, 2020

Endorsements are based exclusively on a candidate’s positions and record on home building issues, regardless of party affiliation.

All endorsements are governed by Washington Affordable Housing Council (WAHC) comprised of trustees, representing contributing local associations. WAHC meets regularly to review candidates running for Legislature and statewide offices.

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BIAW Supports Members Through Move
July 12, 2020

BIAW is moving to its new home, the Parkside Building, on July 20-24! During this transition, we ask for your patience as you may experience some delays in emails and phone calls while we are transferring servers, phones, and other IT equipment.

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Meet Brooke Frickleton
July 10, 2020

BIAW is pleased to announce the addition of Brooke Frickleton as our new Associate General Counsel.

Prior to joining BIAW, Frickleton was an associate at the Phillips Burgess law firm, specializing in land use, growth management, and legislative and municipal government.

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BIAW is Moving!
July 6, 2020

UPDATE: BIAW's move is extended until August 7. Staff will be working in the Parkside Building office starting on August 10.

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New Overtime Rules Begin July 1
July 6, 2020

As an employer in Washington, July 1 often means new rules and/or regulations. This year is no exception. One new regulation that employers must be aware of and implement is the new rule on overtime pay for “Executive, Administrative and Professional,” or EAP employees.

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Phase 3 and Face Mask Q&A
June 29, 2020

Q: What phase changes involve construction?

A: As many counties apply to move through the four phases determined by Gov. Inslee, BIAW has received some questions about what this does to the residential construction industry and requirements as we reopen our state.

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How to Solve a Shortage of Storage
June 25, 2020

As communities across the country practice social distancing to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, you might have more people in your home than usual. Whether it’s your college student who has moved home earlier than expected, or young kids spending more time at home than normal, finding storage for blankets, clothes, books, toys and other items that are taking over your living areas can seem challenging. But there are practical and attractive ways to incorporate storage throughout your home.

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Court Upholds L&I Emergency Rule to Fine Businesses
June 22, 2020

We are troubled to report that last Friday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge John C. Skinder denied BIAW’s request to stay the emergency rule recently adopted by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). The court ruling allows the agency to continue issuing fines of up to $10,000 to businesses L&I inspectors deem out of compliance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. These fines are in addition to the state’s authority to shut down businesses, revoke business licenses and pursue criminal penalties.

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Smart Home Tech Helps Aging Home Owners
June 18, 2020

The idea of retirement conjures up images of spending time with grandkids, travel, or dedicating time to your favorite hobbies. One important part of enjoying your golden years is living comfortably in your own home. If you or your loved one plans to live in their current home, aging-in-place modifications and smart home technology can increase comfort and safety.

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Main Street Lending Program
June 12, 2020

While the Paycheck Protection Program by the Small Business Administration has captured headlines over the past few months, there is another, lesser-known program offering loans to small businesses by the Federal Reserve that has been less than 5% utilized.

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A Home Summer Shape Up Amid Coronavirus Concerns
June 11, 2020

The onset of summer is typically a perfect time to refresh your home. This year, with public health officials asking many of us to stay at home for weeks or months to slow the spread of the novel COVID-19 this might be a good time to make a few simple home improvements that can help you avoid significant repairs or costly utility bills later in the year. Below are some tips to help get your home in shape for summer, inside and out.

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BIAW Lawsuit Would Stop L&I Emergency Rule to Fine Businesses
June 8, 2020

BIAW has filed a lawsuit to repeal an emergency rule that authorizes the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to fine businesses that violate Gov. Inslee’s Stay at Home Order.

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10 Toolbox Essentials for Small Home Repairs
June 4, 2020

The joys of homeownership are numerous, from providing comfort for you and your family to building up equity in your financial profile. If you are a new homeowner, it is important to be ready to encounter home repairs. Fortunately, not all home repairs require the help of a professional or come with a big price tag. With the right tools, you can take on small home repairs. Here are 10 essential toolkit items to help you tackle home projects and maintenance.

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Phase 2/Phase 3 Requirements for Professional Workplaces
May 19, 2020

While a lot of focus has been spent on the criteria for Phase 2/Phase 3 requirements for construction job sites, it's important to note that many BIAW members may have business operations that involve professional spaces that are open to the public and have different requirements. :

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Keep an eye out for Unemployment Fraud
May 14, 2020

Across the state, we are hearing more and more about fraudulent unemployment claims being filed by individuals posing as employees. Currently, it is unknown how others have gained access to individual personal information. It is hypothesized that this may be the result of recent large scale data breaches that you may have read about in the news in the recent past.

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BIAW Scholarship Deadline Extended
May 1, 2020

The 2020 BIAW Scholarships deadline has been extended! BIAW is awarding $30,000 in scholarships this year to students who are already in or are looking to go into programs supporting the construction industry-related field.

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Inslee issues additional guidance on construction activities
April 29, 2020

On Friday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a plan to allow current construction projects to be completed. Today, the governor clarified the initial guidance memo and issued a guide to frequently asked questions about construction activities.

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Washington Small Business Emergency Grant
April 7, 2020

Gov. Inslee created a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The grant program will provide a limited number of businesses in Washington with a grant up to $10,000.

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Paycheck Protection Program
April 3, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program is a U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Jobsite Precautions
April 3, 2020

BIAW has been working diligently to keep home builders and contractors informed about Gov. Inslee’s Stay-at-Home order. Currently, construction is listed as non-essential in the order, but there are exemptions that allow for some workers to continue necessary projects. For those still working on homes, you need to alter your behavior and follow guidance to do your part to flatten the curve and spread of COVID-19.

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What the CARE Act Covers for People who are Self-Employed
April 3, 2020

Payroll Protection Program:

The Paycheck Protection Program is a U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. For more information or to apply for the Payroll Protection Program, visit our Payroll Protection blog.

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Commonly Asked Questions About Non-Essential Construction Order
April 2, 2020

1. Is construction an essential service?

Under the Gov. Inslee's guidance issued March 25, commercial and residential construction are considered non-essential businesses and are therefore not permitted to continue. However, an exception to the order allows for construction in the following limited circumstances:

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Building Codes Delayed
April 2, 2020

Gov. Inslee announced a delay in implementing the new state building codes from July 1 to Nov. 1. BIAW and the Washington Association of Building Officials had jointly asked the governor for the delay to ensure builders and officials could be adequately trained on the new codes prior to their implementation. This delay is crucial for our members to be fully educated on the changes in the codes and to allow for the materials to be available locally before the building codes are implemented.

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What to Know about the CARES Act
March 31, 2020

The CARES Act, the economic relief bill signed into law on Friday, provides much-needed temporary support for American workers impacted by COVID-19. It dedicates $250 billion to give workers more access to unemployment benefits during this public health emergency. The CARES Act also includes:

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Stay Connected Through a Crisis - Conferencing Tools for Quarantine
March 30, 2020

Digital tools and devices help people stay connected, be more efficient, and increase productivity especially at work. During this global health crisis, smart devices and programs are helping businesses handle increased work-from-home demands, and meet customer expectations during a disruption, and help us all stay connected. Resiliency matters now more than ever. Here are some digital tools and devices BIAW has gathered to help you stay connected:

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Covid-19 IRS Payroll Tax Credits Available to Small & Midsized Employers
March 25, 2020

Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.

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Remote Notarization
March 25, 2020

Last session the Washington State Legislature passed SB 5641, which allows for electronic notarization of documents. Under an emergency proclamation related to our COVID-19 crisis, Governor Jay Inslee has made this bill effective immediately.

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BIAW out of the Office
March 25, 2020

In accordance with Governor Inslee’s stay-at-home order, beginning March 26th, BIAW's offices will be closed until the order expires. However, BIAW staff will still be available but working remotely. Email is the easiest and most timely way to connect with us. Find our staff directory here »

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COVID-19 Local Permitting Action Plan
March 18, 2020

The situation is changing daily as the virus spreads and additional government restrictions and actions are taken. It is important to maintain contact with local permitting agencies and check in regularly. For individual and community safety, please utilize technology that does not involve human contact: use the internet and telephone. And WASH YOUR HANDS!

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2018 Washington State Building Code Update
March 18, 2020

BIAW has reached out to the governor’s office seeking assistance to delay the implementation of the 2018 Washington State Building Codes. The Washington State Building Code Council approved all new building codes to be implemented on July 1, 2020, which was then sent to the WA State Legislature who gave their approval this session.

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2020 Home Design Trends
March 17, 2020

Now that we have entered a new decade, there are lots of changes to come for the home building industry. Here are just a few of the projected 2020 home design trends:

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SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
March 16, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

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Lawmakers Adjourn
March 16, 2020

A session that began with a focus on homelessness and a B&O tax increase ended with the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers wrapped up their work Thursday by approving funding from the state’s “rainy day” fund to assist the crisis and help businesses most impacted.

Lawmakers worked to fill the $453 million hole created by the passage of I-976, a $30 car tabs initiative. They also approved a supplemental budget, leaving the state with a $2 billion reserve, which is anticipated to be tested in the current state of emergency.

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Plan, Prepare, and Respond to COVID-19
March 12, 2020

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is spreading rapidly across the state. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease are at a higher risk for developing serious complications from the COVID-19 illness. However, there is no need to panic, just make sure you are taking precautionary measures to help prevent the virus from spreading. Here are some tips to keep you clean in the office or at the jobsite:

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Washington’s Presidential Primary is March 10th
March 6, 2020

REMINDER: Washington’s presidential primary is Tuesday, March 10th. This year, for the first time for Democrats and the second time for Republicans, you must select a preferred party to have your ballot counted. An online and audio voter’s guide is available here.

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Barkis' SEPA Infill Bill Heads to Governor for Signature
March 4, 2020

After extensive stakeholder engagement and strong bipartisan support, Rep. Andrew Barkis’ (R-Olympia) HB 2673, modifying the local categorical State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) exemption for infill development, unanimously passed the House and passed the Senate with only four “no” votes.

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Start Rewarding Your Business in 2020
March 4, 2020

If you still haven’t looked into BIAW’s R.O.I.I.® Select Retrospective Rating (Retro) program, now is the time! Your commitment to safety and your employees’ well-being could be earning you refunds on the industrial insurance premiums you pay to Labor & Industries (L&I). In fact, R.O.I.I ® Select participants are averaging refunds of 36% of their annual premium every year.

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Heck's Yes In My Backyard Act Passes House
March 4, 2020

Earlier this week, on a unanimous voice vote in Congress on an NAHB key vote, HR 4351, the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Denny Heck (D-Olympia), passed the House of Representatives.

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Session Nearly Over
March 2, 2020

On day 50 of 60, lawmakers are racing to the finish line with budget matters taking much of the focus. Legislators started the session with a correction to a new B&O tax passed last session as a "workforce education investment" surcharge used to fund higher education. Finding the 2019 bill impossible to implement, the legislature expanded the surcharge to all services.

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BIAW Headquarters Update
March 2, 2020

BIAW has closed on the sale of the McCleary Mansion and are now tenants in the mansion until our move to the Parkside Building early this summer. In January, we began construction on the Parkside Building and are making daily progress.

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New Mandatory PFML Posters Available
March 2, 2020

The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) made available its Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) poster and employer notice to employees.

All employers with employees working in Washington must post the mandatory PFML poster in an open and visible place on their worksites.

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Direct Contractor Liability Bill Dies at Cutoff
February 21, 2020

The Direct Contractor Liability bill, HB 1395, died Wednesday night after the house of origin cutoff. Thank you to everyone who contacted your state legislators to oppose HB 1395, which would have general and direct contractors liable for the unpaid wages and benefits of their subcontractor's employees.

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Wage Lien Bill Dies at Cutoff
February 20, 2020

The House of Origin cut-off was finalized yesterday at 5 p.m. and BIAW is elated to announce that SB 6053, the wage liens bill has died.

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Legislative Cutoff Update
February 20, 2020

Thank you for contacting your state legislators to oppose HB 1395, "Direct Contractor Liability," which would have general or direct contractors liable for the unpaid wages and benefits of their subcontractor's employees. Over 1,000 emails were sent by members and made a difference! BIAW will continue to work over the interim to find solutions, so workers get paid for their work, but for now, HB 1395 has officially died.

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BIAW Celebrates 70th Anniversary
February 18, 2020

On Feb. 18, 1950, the Home Builders Association of Washington (HBAW) was officially chartered by the National Association of Home Builders. HBAW changed its name to the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) in 1989. Today, BIAW celebrates its 70th Anniversary!

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The who, what, where, when, and why's of Mediation
February 17, 2020

There are many ways to settle a disagreement---one method is mediation.

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BIAW Appeals Veto Lawsuit and is Joined by Bipartisan Coalition of Senators
February 13, 2020

BIAW continues work on our Hydraulic Permit Application (HPA) lawsuit, which stems from the passage and partial veto of HB 1579 that passed and was signed into law last session. One of our key arguments is that the governor does not have the authority to veto subsections or sentences in legislation as the Washington State Constitution specifically requires that he veto sections in their entirety. The legislature filed a similar suit last summer concerning the transportation budget, which is expected to be assigned a trial date soon.

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BIAW Policy Review: Coming to a Committee Near You!
February 11, 2020

Over the last several months, staff and members have been discussing ways to streamline BIAW’s policies as a part of a three-year review process mandated by BIAW’s Bylaws and Nominations Committee. Good policies make for good organizations. Here's an update on the process:

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Join us for the Parkside Open House
February 11, 2020

Join us for a tour of the Parkside Building, BIAW’s new headquarters on Feb. 24 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. We have just completed demo and now is a perfect time to get a sneak peek of the building.

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Home Owners Warranty Being Liquidated
February 10, 2020

Home Owners Warranty (HOW) is being liquidated for approximately $90-100 million, affecting 22,000 builders nationwide, with many participants across Washington state.

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NAHB Key Vote: How Your Lawmakers Voted on the PRO Act Bill
February 10, 2020

As you may have seen, NAHB recently asked members to contact their lawmakers in opposition of H.R. 2474, Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. This legislation contains dozens of sweeping labor law revisions that would negatively affect the construction labor market at a time of critical skilled worker shortages and gut the contracting business model that serves as the foundation of the residential construction sector.

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2020 BIAW Scholarships are Open
February 7, 2020

The 2020 BIAW Scholarships are now open! BIAW is awarding $30,000 in scholarships this year to students who are already in or are looking to go into programs supporting the construction industry-related field.

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Three Things to Know About the Proposed Wage Lien Bill
February 7, 2020

Without doubt, every worker deserves to receive the pay to which he or she is entitled, but based on data from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), wage disputes are relatively uncommon and there is a system in place to handle the few cases that do arise.

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Time to Weigh in on Permit Timelines
February 3, 2020

UPDATE (Feb. 3): A BIAW legislative priority requiring local governments to adhere to the 120-day permit approval timeline will be heard for the first time on Feb. 5th in the House Committee on Local Government at 8:00 a.m. Rep. Chris Gildon (R-Puyallup) sponsored this legislation that would clarify permit timelines, including permit completeness. HB 2886 still allows for local timeline flexibility for permits that may need more than the base 120 days. This legislation would also ban local governments from asking for a timeline waiver upfront or after a repeated resubmittal. This bill would require automatically approval of permits that go beyond timelines in statute.

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Seattle’s Head Tax Makes its way to Olympia
February 3, 2020

HB 2907 was introduced last week and would allow counties with populations over 2 million to impose an excise tax on business, including sole proprietors. Only King County exceeds the population threshold. The tax, which would be .1% to .2% on a company’s total payroll, could raise $120 million. Companies won’t have to pay the tax if all of their employees make less than $150,00 per year. For companies that have a mixture of workers making above or below that amount, the lower-paid employees’ salaries would be deducted for the purposes of tax calculations.

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Hill Day - Visit With Legislators
February 3, 2020

As a part of our winter board meeting, BIAW members have an opportunity to participate in Hill Day on Feb. 25. Hill Day is a chance to meet with your lawmakers about the critical issues facing our industry, such as housing affordability, labor shortage, energy code requirements, permitting inconsistency, and fees. Legislators want to hear from you, especially about how proposed laws, regulations, fees, and taxes might impact your business.

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Wage Lien Legislation Proposes Liens Against Employer’s Personal Property
January 31, 2020

UPDATE: SB 6053, the wage lien bill, remains in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, but lawmakers are currently working on it, meaning it could move at any time. There is a scheduled public hearing in the committee Feb. 5 at 3:30 p.m. We will update you on any changes.

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UPDATE: Direct Contractor Liability Moves in House
January 31, 2020

UPDATE: Late last month, the harmful Direct Contractor Liability bill went to the floor of the House. BIAW is working closely with Olympia Master Builders, Master Builders Association of Pierce County, and the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties to ensure the lawmakers know the effects this bill will have on our members. This bill, HB 1395, can be pulled from the floor and voted on at any time. Thank you to members who submitted over 750 letters to their legislators, urging them to act on the bill.

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BIAW Members Testify in Support of Energy Code Bill
January 31, 2020

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) and members from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, Olympia Master Builders, Master Builders Association of Pierce County, and North Peninsula Builder Association testified last Wednesday in favor of HB 2667, which seeks to delay the implementation of the 2018 Washington State Energy Code. Here is what BIAW and our members had to say about the bill:

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UPDATE: Bi-partisan Bill Provides Energy Code Relief for Homebuilders
January 24, 2020

UPDATE: HB 2667 is up for a hearing in House Local Government Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 8 a.m. This bill delays implementation of the 2018 Washington State Energy Code for residences. BIAW estimates the cost of energy code compliance will be an additional $7,000 per home. HB 2667 would not only delay implementation but direct the state building code council to find more cost-effective alternatives. BIAW has heard from all areas of the state that the upcoming energy code will impact housing affordability and it is nearly impossible to reach compliance.

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IBS Recap and Award Winners
January 24, 2020

Another year, another great show! 800 BIAW members from across the state headed to NAHB’s 2020 International Builders Show (IBS) Jan. 20-23. IBS was full of networking, new products, building trends and awards. Congratulations to Nick Scheel, Linda Mosier-Vaudt, and Joseph Irons on their big wins at IBS.

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One Size Does not fit all on Safety Training Bill
January 20, 2020

HB 2564, the requiring health and safety training for construction workers bill would require EVERY construction worker in the state of Washington to complete a 10-hour classroom safety program within two years of passage of the bill. That’s nearly 240,000 workers.

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Stop Double Taxation on Concrete Pumping
January 20, 2020

Thanks to BIAW and its member's efforts, in October we were able to successfully delay WA Department of Revenue’s (DOR) new guidance until April. This new guidance would require concrete pumpers to pay sales tax even if their concrete would be resold as a part of the whole building. DOR has indicated it will implement this rule unless the legislature acts and tells it to continue to collect these taxes when the final building is sold.

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Low-Carbon Fuel Standards will Increase Gas and Housing Prices
January 20, 2020

BIAW testified in the Senate Energy, Environment, and Technology Committee last week against the Senate version of a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), SB 5412. SB 5412 and the house version HB 1110 would require reductions in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. The costs of this increase for consumers, may not be workable and has a limited environmental benefit.

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BIAW Weighs in on HPA Rule-Making
January 17, 2020

The fallout from HB 1579, the Hydraulic Permit Approval (HPA) bill passed last session, has already begun. BIAW has filed a lawsuit to try to prevent the bill from taking effect, but that hasn’t stopped the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) from starting to put forward rules based on the new law.

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BIAW Opposes SB 5565 Direct Contractor Liability
January 17, 2020

BIAW opposes SB 5565, the so-called direct contractor liability bill which was killed last session. This legislation would make general contractors liable for all benefits, contributions, and payroll for employees of subcontractors on their projects. BIAW staff, lobbyists, and members testified in opposition to the bill at a hearing before the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee Jan. 16.

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L&I to Implement new Electronic OSHA 300 Recordkeeping Reporting Rules
January 6, 2020

What does the new DOSH rule do?
The new changes to DOSH’s rule are required in order to be at least as effective as OSHA.

Requires certain employers (depending on size and industry type) to annually submit electronic injury and illness records to federal OSHA that they are already required to keep under the recordkeeping regulations.

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Meet Your 2020 Senior Officers
January 3, 2020

President Sherry Schwab, HCS Construction Services Co.

Sherry Schwab has been a BIAW member for more than 25 years and heavily involved in leadership at BIAW, as well as her local association, the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS).

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Sherry Schwab to Lead BIAW in 2020
January 1, 2020

Sherry Schwab, owner of HCS Construction Services Company, has been elected President of the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) for 2020. Schwab will begin serving her term on Jan. 1.

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Thank you, Rick Hjelm and Chris Lockhart
December 31, 2019

As we prepare to welcome the new BIAW President and Second Vice President taking their seat on January 1, 2020, BIAW wanted to take a moment to thank our outgoing leadership for their hard work and dedication to BIAW and the home building industry.

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See What’s New for BIAW Education
December 16, 2019

A new year is starting and that means new BIAW classes! We know you’re as excited as we are, so here’s your guide to our most popular classes, newest classes, online classes, and recertifications to look forward to in the upcoming year.

 

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Who can File a Lien?
December 3, 2019

Let’s talk about Who Can File a Lien? Not just anyone can walk into the recording office and file a lien.

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Living in Your Home After Retirement
November 25, 2019

As baby boomers age, many are opting to stay in their homes instead of moving after retirement. If you are among the growing population of aging adults, it is important to make sure your home has both long and short-term solutions to ensure your safety and comfort throughout your golden years. Here are several tips to help make sure any environment is optimal for aging in place, a home designed for independent living.

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DOR Suspends Concrete Pumping Guidance
November 25, 2019

BIAW has positive news to announce regarding our efforts to prevent the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR) from enacting recent guidance around sales tax and concrete pumping. Friday, Nov. 22, DOR notified legislators that they will suspend implementation of the concrete pumping guidance immediately until April of 2020 to allow the Legislature time to consider legislative action.

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General Contractor's Liability Extended
November 22, 2019

BIAW was disappointed by the WA Supreme Court’s decision in Vargas v. Inland Washington, released yesterday, where the court expanded a general contractor’s liability (under Stute). BIAW filed an amicus brief to challenge the Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) broad interpretation of general contractor liability, arguing that a general contractor is not strictly liable for a subcontractor’s safety violations.

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Best BIAW Memories
November 18, 2019

BIAW has reached another milestone and in January we will be celebrating our 70th year. What better way to celebrate than to look back on previous years and reflect on happy memories, funny stories, and the friendships you’ve built over the years.

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Supreme Court Deals Blow On Property Rights
November 14, 2019

Today the Washington Supreme Court dealt a devastating setback for property rights in Washington state. Earlier this year, BIAW filed an amicus brief in a suit brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation against the City of Seattle against its First In Time (FIT) rule. In 2016, FIT was adopted and required landlords to rent to the first “qualified” rental applicant regardless of the relative qualifications of a different applicant or any other considerations. This morning, the Supreme Court sided with the City of Seattle, finding the FIT rule constitutional and overturning decades of established precedent.

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2019 Hall of Fame
November 11, 2019

The BIAW Hall of Fame welcomed its newest member, Larry Chimenti, during the Installation and Awards ceremony held at the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington. The posthumous award was accepted by his wife Pat, daughter Jennifer and grandson Sam.

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Fall Board Meeting Highlights
November 11, 2019

Over 175 guests and members gathered for BIAW’s fall board meeting at the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane. The annual Installation and Awards Ceremony honored the 2019 Builder, Associate, and Remodeler of the Year along with our newest Hall of Fame Inductee.

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Careers in Construction
October 29, 2019

Did you know that it takes an average of 22 different subcontractors to build a home?

October is Careers in Construction Month, and it’s a perfect time to recognize the contributions of all the professionals working in residential construction as well as highlight the rewarding careers available in the industry.

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Certified Builder Week
October 21, 2019

Last week, BIAW celebrated Certified Builders week. Nine Certified Builders came from across the state to add input in on a new class designed by PorterWorks, ‘Building your Business, Management for Residential Construction’. The class is designed for builders who have been in business for at least three years. BIAW’s Certified Builders helped add insight, gave feedback, and refined content for the future class.

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Meet Certified Builder Elizabeth Gomez
October 14, 2019

This week is BIAW's Certified Builder week. To kick off the festivities, BIAW wanted to feature our newest Certified Builder, Elizabeth Gomez.

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BIAW Informs Yelm High School Students about the Reality of the Trades
October 4, 2019

BIAW staff members Workforce Development Manager Al Audette, Membership Manager Karen Hall and Graphic Designer Brenda Kwieciak helped over 60 students at the Yelm High School Reality Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The reality fair is an event for junior and senior students to gain a better understanding of post-graduation costs.

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Back to Tools - Industry's Top Related Tools
September 24, 2019

In honor of kids going back to school, BIAW thinks adults should partake in some of the fun. We know that work is year-round, so BIAW decided to highlight some of the best-rated tools for our industry to help beef-up your back to work toolbox this September with …#BackToTools!

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Permitting Agencies are Liable for Damages
September 23, 2019

Government agencies that break the law are liable for the damages caused by those actions, according to a Washington State Supreme Court ruling announced Thursday, Sept. 19 in the Church of the Divine Earth v. the City of Tacoma. In the ruling, the Court adopted reasoning argued in an amicus brief filed in the case by the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW).

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3 Women in Construction Podcasts You Should Listen To
September 19, 2019

Podcasts have risen in popularity, so much so that according to the podcast production and hosting source Blubrry, there are around 2,000 new podcast shows launching every month and over 700,000 currently available for listeners. In honor of Professional Women in Building Week, BIAW has chosen three women-lead podcasts about the home building and construction industry to start listening to on your way to work.

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Five Reasons Why Women Should Work in the Construction Trades
September 16, 2019

The residential construction industry provides a rewarding career path for women. Builders and remodelers across Washington State are seeking skilled artisans and professionals, including carpenters, architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians, and painters. In the U.S., women make up about 50% of the workforce, but only 9% of women work in the construction/home building industry according to the United States Census. Here are some reasons why women should consider pursuing a fulfilling career in the trades.

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Remembering Rob Stewart
September 16, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that BIAW announces the death of Rob Stewart. Rob started Stewart Construction/Greacen Construction, Inc. in 1973 and provided leadership in our association for the past four decades, including serving as President of MBA King-Sno in 1982 and BIAW in 1997. He was a Hall of Fame member at both BIAW and the MBA of King and Snohomish Counties and most recently served as an active member of the MSC Board of Directors.

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Back to Tools - Industry's Top Related Tools
September 10, 2019

In honor of kids going back to school, BIAW thinks adults should partake in some of the fun. We know that work is year-round, so BIAW decided to highlight some of the best-rated tools for our industry to help beef-up your back to work toolbox this September with …#BackToTools!

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BIAW Buys New Building
September 9, 2019

Since the purchase was approved at the summer board meeting in June, BIAW has been taking steps to buy a new building to house daily operations. The McCleary Mansion, where BIAW currently resides, cannot meet the current needs and size of the staff so a building just one mile south is the right fit.

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EAP Comment Period Extended
September 4, 2019

Driven by a high level of interest, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is extending the public comment period on its proposed changes to the state’s overtime rules. Comments will now be accepted through Friday, Sept. 20.

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Back to Tools - Industry's Top Related Tools
September 3, 2019

In honor of kids going back to school, BIAW thinks adults should partake in some of the fun. We know that work is year-round, so BIAW decided to highlight some of the best-rated tools for our industry to help beef-up your back to work toolbox this September with … #BackToTools!

Check back every Tuesday on our blog this month to see the top-rated tool of the week.

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Update on BIAW Headquarters Purchase
August 28, 2019

As many in the association are aware, after a lengthy evaluation process, the BIAW Board of Directors at the summer board meeting in June voted to approve the purchase of a building in Tumwater as BIAW’s new headquarters.

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BIAW Legal Wants Your Help in the HPA Suit
August 26, 2019

BIAW’s Legal Department needs your help in its suit against the governor and Fish and Wildlife to block enforcement of recent legislation. The lawsuit alleges that the bill, HB 1579, was unconstitutionally drafted and vetoed. The bill as written applies to any project in which a hydraulic permit was required, including any residential project involving construction or repair of marine bulkheads.

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Labor Shortage Affects Housing Market
August 23, 2019

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a poll last month that covered 15 specific construction-related occupations and found labor shortages in each category.

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MBA Pierce Membership Appreciation Event
August 19, 2019

Master Builders Association (MBA) of Pierce County held a membership appreciation event at the Tacoma Rainer’s Game Thursday, Aug. 15. The well-attended event started at 5:30 p.m. on the party deck.

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BIAW Successfully Defends Workers’ Compensation Fund
August 15, 2019

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) reached an agreement in its lawsuit with the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) that prevents the agency from using Workers’ Compensation Funds to implement the governor’s Clean Energy Bill. Under the agreement announced today, BIAW will stay the case to give L&I and the legislature time to correct the budget in the 2020 legislative session.

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Water Restoration Field Trip
August 14, 2019

The eight watershed restoration enhancement committees, created by Hirst legislation were directed by the legislature to come up with a list of projects to offset future water use from household wells.

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BIAW Strategic Planning
August 12, 2019
BIAW's board of directors recently adopted an aggressive and ambitious strategic plan. Developed over the last six months with the involvement of members representing every local association, the strategic plan is a comprehensive document that reflects the mutual priorities of the membership.

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Meet 2019 Scholarship Winner Colby Tucker
August 5, 2019

BIAW is proud to award outstanding students in construction-related fields, apprenticeships and continuing education with scholarships. This year 18 recipients were chosen based on the applicant’s field of study, extracurricular activities, and building industry work experiences. Meet one of the recipients, Colby Tucker!

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July/August Building Insight Preview
August 1, 2019

The July/August Issue of Building Insight is full of big news, lawsuits and great pictures from the board meeting and events that happened in the last two months. Before your Building Insight gets to your house, here is a little sneak peek to what is inside...

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EIR Award Winner Deacon Band Q&A
July 30, 2019

At the annual reception on June 19th at the BIAW Summer Board meeting in Yakima, BIAW announced 27 winners and four honorable mentions for the 2019 EIR Awards. One of the winners and a first-time EIR Award applicant, Deacon Band, owner of Band Construction, did a Q&A with BIAW to talk about his experience.

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Meet 2019 Scholarship Winner Julian Garcia
July 25, 2019

BIAW is proud to award outstanding students in construction-related fields, apprenticeships and continuing education with scholarships. This year BIAW has 18 recipients who were chosen based on the applicant’s field of study, extracurricular activities and building industry work experiences. One of this year’s winners is 19-year-old Julian Garcia.

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Home Building Industry adds $8.4 Billion to State's Economy
July 23, 2019

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) commissioned the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to create an economic impact report examining the impact on the construction of 24,000 single-family homes built in Washington State in 2018.

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2019 BIAW Scholarship Award Winners
July 18, 2019

After 31 applications were received, BIAW is proud to announce the 18 recipients of the 2019 Education Scholarship.

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State to Mandate Overtime for Salaried Employees
July 17, 2019

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has proposed changes to the executive, administrative and professional overtime exemptions. Among the changes is an increase in the minimum salary threshold that affects all employers who will be required to pay salaried, overtime-exempt workers. The current threshold to be exempt from overtime pay set by the U.S. Department of Labor is $23,660 per year.

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BIAW files suit against Governor Inslee and State due to violations of State Constitution
July 16, 2019

BIAW filed suit against Governor Jay Inslee, the State of Washington, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) because the governor and legislature overstepped their constitutional authority in legislation that created new fines for builders.

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Housing Forum Highlights
July 11, 2019

BIAW joined forces with the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and eight other partners to hold a Housing Forum July 8 at the Hilton Bellevue that covered the necessity of increased market-rate housing supply across the state at all price points. Participants heard from local elected officials, home builders, legislators, economists, attorneys, realtors and many more about issues facing our industry from supply to permitting.

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2019 Excellence in Remodeling Award Winners Announced
July 3, 2019

The Excellence in Remodeling Award (EIR) Program recognizes the outstanding remodeling projects throughout the state with categories including bath updates, historic renovations, entire home transformations and many more.

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Housing Forum - July 8, 2019
July 2, 2019

BIAW has partnered with the Association of Washington Business to host a crucial discussion on housing attainability and availability to identify solutions that will deliver affordable workforce housing in communities all across our state.

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Legislative Session Wrap Up
May 21, 2019

While the 2019 legislative session was one of the worst sessions for the business community in decades, BIAW had a moderate number of legislative wins. On the downside, we will see all of the harmful bills that were killed again next year.

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Urban Density Capacity Bill Signed
May 9, 2019

BIAW joined Governor Jay Inslee as he signed HB 1923 - addressing urban residential building capacity - into law today and added that, “If you care about ending homelessness, build more houses.” The bill encourages cities to choose from a menu of options to “get to yes” on projects. If a city chooses to take two “get to yes” development regulation code changes, such as up zones or cluster lot development, they are eligible for up to $100,000 in planning grant dollars, and these newly adopted ordinances would be protected from State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) appeal.

Amicus Brief Filed in Contractor Liability Case
May 2, 2019

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) filed an amicus brief on May 2, 2019 in Gildardo Crisostomo Vargas, et al. v. Inland Washington, LLC, et al. pending the Washington State Supreme Court to challenge the Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I’s) broad interpretation of general contractor liability. Read more »

Condo Liability Reform Bill Signed
April 30, 2019

Condo Liability Reform, SB 5334, was signed into law on April 30, will help revise overreaching condo warranty liability from the 90s and allow for new condo construction. It’s not a silver bullet to the housing crisis, but it is another option for consumers seeking a path to affordable homeownership, by increasing supply and options for families of all sizes and incomes.

BIAW Offers Amicus Brief in Church of the Divine Earth
April 29, 2019

BIAW filed an amicus brief in this case because the Court of Appeals decision effectively gutted the statute that provides damages when a builder is wronged by a permitting body. Specifically, the Court of Appeals said Tacoma was not responsible for damages as the City did not know it was violating constitutional law. This is wrong because ignorance is no excuse for violating someone’s constitutional rights” stated Jackson Maynard, General Counsel for BIAW. Read more »

Good News Out of Olympia
April 26, 2019

BIAW would like to thank Senator Jamie Pederson (D-Seattle) and Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) for their leadership on SB 5334, the Condo Liability Reform bill, which has passed the House and Senate unanimously and is headed to Governor Inslee for signature. This bill helps revise overreaching condo warranty liability from the ‘90s, which will allow for new condo construction in Washington State. Read more »

Latest Session Update
April 19, 2019

With 10 days remaining … taxes increases still await.

Wednesday was opposite house of origin cut-off, which means the legislature will be focused primarily on fiscal matters, including a new mix of taxes. In the days winding down to the end of regular session, constitutionally mandated to be April 28th, rumors abound about the need for a special session again this year. One thing remains clear, it’s not a question of when taxes will be raised, but by how much. Read more »

Surviving Bills From Cutoff
April 12, 2019

Tuesday was opposite house of origin fiscal committee cutoff, which means budget negotiations have started and legislators are moving from the committee rooms to the floors.
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Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
April 12, 2019

With the House and Senate passing record-setting budgets that spend 18% more than the previous budget, committees continue to evaluate new taxes and tax increases that could be as high as $1.4 billion needed in new revenue -- in addition to $5.6 billion in windfall revenue.
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Seattle First-In-Time Rule
March 7, 2019

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) filed today an amicus brief supporting a suit brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a property rights. Learn more »

TVW's Interview with BIAW
February 20, 2019

BIAW Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh filmed a segment for TVW's The Impact about the affordable housing crisis impacting Washington on February 20. Watch interview here »






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