February 12, 2018
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Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note « All Categories

HB 2177: Rural county jobs program

An AWB-supported bill to help train rural workers for high-demand jobs passed the House unanimously last week. House Bill 2177 now moves to the Senate, where AWB will continue to advocate for the bill.

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HB 2338: Low-carbon fuel standards

A growing list of employers and advocacy groups is joining AWB in opposition to a low-carbon fuel standard proposal that would increase fuel costs and would import a shaky system that is still not yet fully implemented in California.

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HB 1298: House votes in favor of 'Ban the Box'

A proposal to delay when employers can ask about a job applicant's prior arrests and convictions has passed the House by a 52-46 vote.

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HB 6203: Carbon tax

The revised version of Gov. Jay Inslee's carbon tax will come up for a public hearing this Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Based on feedback from stakeholders, its Senate sponsors are developing another substitute draft.

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HB 1506 & SB 5140: Pay equity

AWB working to amend a pay equity bill being considered this year. The employer community is asking for four key amendments to ensure that workers in small towns are treated equally to those in urban centers.

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A Backdoor Gas Tax Increase


Inslee's carbon tax bill unfair to middle class

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

Senate Bill 6203 will burden some people more than others, and that isn't fair.

The proposal -- also known as the carbon tax bill -- would impose an additional $10 per metric ton on carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. The amount would increase over time to $30 per metric ton by 2029.

The money raised would go to clean energy efforts and projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also might encourage more people to buy vehicles that don't run solely on fossil fuel, Inslee said.

But adding that extra tax will mean gas prices will go up, and so will heating bills.

An analysis by the Washington Policy Center estimates the average family will spend $125 more on gasoline per year in 2019, and $375 more a year in 2029 if the tax is approved...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Supporting all Washington Manufacturers


Equal footing for economic growth

By The Kitsap Sun Editorial Board

On the whole our state's B&O is seen as a misguided tax by many, since its collections are based on gross rather than net profits, and cities, including here in Kitsap, have been working to minimize its impact on small businesses by gradually lowering local B&O rates. It's a particular tax reform that's generally helpful to small business without creating an unaccountable giveaway that hurts public coffers, when implemented wisely.

Last summer's state budget agreement included a provision to expand the lower state B&O rate beyond the aerospace sector, applying it to all manufacturers. The provision, pushed by the Republican caucus but agreed to by Democrats in budget negotiations, wouldn't have completely eliminated state B&O, but it would have put all manufacturers on equal footing. That's a fair request in a state where Boeing and aerospace receive a deserved share of economic credit but aren't the only engine driving our future.

The measure was vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee, who stated at the time he disagreed with being caught off-guard by its inclusion in a budget deal. In our view that was disappointing, given the work that went into the agreement, but this session the idea is back -- actually, two versions of it are. Competing Senate bills were in the Ways and Means committee as of Friday, both of which would gradually lower the B&O rate for all manufacturers to what's paid by the aerospace industry to the tune of about $64 million over the next four years...

Read the full editorial in The Kitsap Sun
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