April 22, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note « All Categories

HB 1059: Governor signs bill extending B&O tax return filing due date for annual filers

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1059 on Friday. This AWB-supported bill extends the business and occupation filing date for annual filers. Contact Clay Hill, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy, to learn more.

HB 1403: Governor to sign local B&O tax apportionment bill on Tuesday

AWB members will be on hand Tuesday when Gov. Jay Inslee signs an AWB-supported bill on local business and occupation tax apportionment. House Bill 1403 will simplify the administration of municipal B&O tax. AWB members worked with other stakeholders to collaborate on crafting this bill through the work of the Local B&O Apportionment Task Force. The solutions in the bill are supported by both AWB and the Association of Washington Cities. Contact Clay Hill, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy, to learn more.

SB 5526 / HB 1523: 'Public option' health insurance bill is now in conference

The "public option" health insurance bill continues to be contentious. House Bill 1523 passed the House 57-41 but did not reach the Senate for a vote. Senate Bill 5526 passed the Senate 35-13 and the House 54-38. However, the Senate did not concur, and the bill is now in conference. Senators appointed to the conference committee include Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver; Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, and Sen. Steve O'Ban, R-University Place. The amended version of the bill provides reimbursement rates at 150% of Medicare rates, the ability for the state's plans to continue to offer non-standardized plans, and a B&O tax exemption for health care providers. AWB's health care committee voted to oppose this bill at the beginning of session and continues to oppose the bill because of concerns that premiums for employer-provided health care would increase while access to health care would not be expanded. Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for health care, to learn more.

SB 5135: Amendments address some AWB concerns with toxics bill

SB 5135, aiming to ban chemicals deemed by the Department of Ecology (DOE) to be toxic, passed the House last week 60-37 with amendments that address some of AWB's concerns about the bill. One of these, by Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia, incorporates some of AWB's concerns and adds some additional protections for business. Another amendment by Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, states that any listing of a priority chemical in a consumer product is a significant legislative rule under RCW 34.05.328. Two amendments by Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, were attached, one which requires the publication of the sources of information DOE uses to issue a ruling on a priority chemical and another which exempts shipping pallets. The bill now heads to the Senate for concurrence. Contact Peter Godlewski, AWB government affairs director for environmental policy, to learn more.

SB 5397: Management of plastic packaging bill passes House

Senate Bill 5397, which AWB supports, passed the House 75-23 on Tuesday. The bill creates a work group to examine ways to reduce plastic packaging. AWB worked with sponsor Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, and other stakeholders while the bill was in the Senate to amend the proposal to its current form. There were some additional amendments made in the House, so the bill now returns to the Senate for concurrence. Contact Peter Godlewski, AWB government affairs director for environmental issues, to learn more.

HB 1344: House concurs with Senate amendments on child care access bill

The House voted 75-19 last week to concur on the amended version of House Bill 1344 that had passed out of the Senate. This child care access bill, supported by AWB, would continue the Child Care Collaborative Task Force and study the industry, providing necessary data and information to develop a well-thought-out and strategic plan for addressing child care access and cost in Washington. Significant changes have been made to the legislation since it was first proposed, specifically in the number of official task force members, which was reduced from 40 to 23. Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for education and workforce policy, to learn more.

HB 1599: Multiple pathways bill passed Senate unanimously

A revised version of House Bill 1599 passed the Senate by a 48-0 vote last week, after originally passing the House 91-4. The bill provides a multiple pathway approach to high school graduation that requires students to complete a High School and Beyond Plan, earn required credits towards graduation (24 unless an Individual Education Plan (IEP) has been put into place), and successfully complete one or more pathways in order to earn a high school diploma. The amended bill is now on the House concurrence calendar. AWB continues to support the bill. Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for education and workforce policy, to learn more.

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Spring Meeting
Celebrating Employers

Kennewick company stars in statewide campaign

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington employers are entrepreneurs who build their companies for more than the product they make and the services they provide; they build them to fulfill their values of community, compassion and conscience.

That's the message behind Grow Here, the multi-media employer image ad campaign from the Association of Washington Business.

In its third year, Grow Here's goal is two-fold: to highlight the "why" that motivates Washington companies and share the employee experience within those businesses. And, to remind people that Washington state's competitiveness -- its ability to attract and retain employers -- is critical to an economy that works for all residents.

Read the full guest column in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
Road to Prosperity

Sparking Inspiration for Future Success -- Career Connect Washington Initiative Creates STEM Career Pathways

By Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington and Washington STEM board member

Our communities depend on STEM-related fields. Ensuring a consistent pipeline of students interested in pursuing STEM jobs is critical. We believe that early exposure to STEM is impactful for school-aged children. At a time when our state needs more than 94,000 health care professionals over the next three years, we need more students to pursue health care related careers. We need a sustainable plan to inspire and excite young people. And, we must ensure an equitable pathway into these high-demand, high-impact jobs.

Currently, thousands of Washington students are on track to graduate high school unprepared for these jobs and are often unaware STEM jobs even exist. In the next five years, an estimated 225,465 jobs that earn a family-sustaining wage will require credentials that many of our Washingtonian students are not on track to earn...

Nothing is more meaningful than careers born of out of a youthful spark of inspiration. When we engage more students from our diverse communities and share the deep impact of science and medical jobs, we support their future and ensure sustainability within the communities we serve.

Read the full commentary at the Washington STEM website
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