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

HB 1506 & SB 5140: Pay equity

House Bill 1506 (and its companion, Senate Bill 5140) would address workplace practices to achieve gender pay equity. The bill modifies the Equal Pay Act by defining "similarly employed” and modifying defenses. It prohibits discrimination in providing employment opportunities based on gender. It further prohibits retaliation for certain workplace discussions about wages and other matters.

AWB has been working with Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, and Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, to address our concerns with the bill and our proposed solutions, as laid out in four key amendments.

Those amendments failed on the House floor along party lines. HB 1506 then moved out of the House on a vote of 69 yes and 28 no. Both the Senate and House bills are currently on the Senate floor.

The business community continues to push for those four amendments to ensure uniformity throughout the state.

Contact Bob Battles, AWB government affairs director for workplace issues, to learn more.

« Back to Main
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
Upcoming Events