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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 105-day legislative session is underway, with state lawmakers sworn in on Jan. 12. Last week, the governor gave his state of the state address. As you may know, the governor has proposed a 15 percent increase in state spending and $1.5 billion in new tax increases — including a new capital gains tax and a new carbon tax.
Rep. Norma Smith of the 10th District (Island County and parts of Skagit and Snohomish counties) provided the Republican response to the governor's speech. You can watch it here and read it here.
The House Democrats also held a news conference last week to announce their minimum wage legislation. House Bill 1355 would raise the state minimum wage to $12 over four years — $10 in 2016, $10.50 in 2017, $11 in 2018, and $12 in 2019. It would then be indexed to the Consumer Price Index thereafter.
Another piece of legislation, House Bill 1356, would require different levels of sick leave accrual depending on the size of business and hours worked.
Below you will find more House bills that would affect employers. I'll let you evaluate how these measures might impact the business community. I welcome your feedback and questions.
- House Bill 1006 – Would establish triple damages and added legal costs for employer wage violations.
- House Bill 1038 – Would extend apprenticeship utilization requirements.
- House Bill 1099 – Would provide consumers the option to cancel contracts over the Internet when entered into by the same means.
- House Bill 1204 – Would limit the enforcement of policies of the state Department of Ecology.
- House Bill 1223 – Would allow the use of lodging taxes for financing workforce housing.
- House Bill 1241 – Would provide a B&O tax credit for businesses that hire veterans.
- House Bill 1254 – Would create a pilot project to determine the prevailing wage of certain trades.
- House Bill 1279 – Would modify the definition of legislative authority for purposes of local tourism promotion areas.
You can track these bills here. Please contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.
Join me for a telephone town hall on Tuesday, Feb. 3
I will be hosting a telephone town hall meeting with Rep. Elizabeth Scott on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and last an hour. To join the community conversation, please call (360) 350-6256. We look forward to hearing from you!
In your service,
426A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000