AWB Statement on the 2014 Legislative Session
"While we appreciate the Legislature concluding its work in a bipartisan fashion within the bounds of the 60-day session, we are disappointed the conclusion did not include agreement on major initiatives like a transportation funding package," said Johnson. "Our transportation challenges are not going to get easier — or less expensive — with the passage of time. That is perhaps one of the greatest disappointments coming out of session this year. We were also disappointed the Legislature did not value the return on the R&D exemption, especially in a state that has, historically, been a hub for technology and pharmaceutical research and development. Additionally, the state's failure to act on the federal Title I waiver bill means thousands of students in our state's neediest schools will miss out on key funding to help them achieve their best in school.
"There were some small wins for private employers. Rep. Norma Smith's bill [House Bill 2192] will ensure greater transparency when it comes to permit processing by requiring state agencies to publicly post permitting times. We're also pleased the supplemental budget differences were resolved in a bipartisan manner, and that legislators found a way to put more money into K-12 education without arbitrarily closing tax exemptions or raising taxes," said Johnson.
"This year, legislators started on even footing. Next year, they will again face significant budget challenges, given the continued requirements of the McCleary decision. We look forward to working with lawmakers in the interim and again next session to find solutions to our state's economic challenges that create jobs and enhance the lives of all Washingtonians."
About the Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,100 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit www.awb.org.