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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

If the Legislature was graded by employers for its performance this year, the report card might read: Incomplete and needs improvement.

However, there are state lawmakers who are working to help employers and their employees. For example, House Republicans proposed a package of solutions that focus on workers’ compensation reform, streamlining government processes, creating accountability for rulemaking, and other reforms. House Bill 1403, which will provide a more user-friendly structure for businesses needing licensing information, is the only solution to be signed into law. You can learn more here: https://houserepublicans.wa.gov/files/uploads/HouseRepublicanEconomicSolutions2013.pdf

The biggest threat to employers in the ongoing special session is House Bill 2038. The centerpiece of the House Democrats’ plan to raise taxes by $879 million is to permanently extend the B&O surtax on service businesses. This includes a large category of Main Street employers.

House Republicans and the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus are united against these tax increases. We have shown how the operating budget can be balanced without raising taxes.

Here are some other bills of interest to businesses:

Good bills:

  • Work permits for the employment of minors | Senate Bill 5056 | signed into law
  • Changing unemployment insurance shared work program | House Bill 1396 | signed into law
  • Authorizing certain corporate officers to receive unemployment benefits | House Bill 1056 | signed into law
  • Mandating cities use the state business licensing service | Senate Bill 5656 | passed Senate, died in the House
  • Amending provisions governing structured settlements by removing age barriers and clarifying legislative intent | Senate Bill 5127 | passed Senate, died in the House

Bad bills:

  • Implementing family and medical leave insurance | House Bill 1457 | died in the House
  • Ensuring fairness to employers by protecting employees | House Bill 1440 | died in the House
  • Establishing minimum standards for sick and safe leave from employment | House Bill 1313 | died in the House

Please stay tuned. Hopefully by the end of the special session, the Legislature will have earned a better grade.

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen

State Representative Dan Kristiansen, 39th Legislative District
426A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000