Ensured the “temporary” tax increases passed in 2010 expired as promised
NFIB helped defeat proposals from Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative Democrats to make permanent the temporary 20 percent, Business & Occupations tax surcharge on service industries imposed in 2010. This tax affects 144,000 Washington businesses. As a result of our efforts, the surcharge expired in June 2013, as scheduled, saving Washington small businesses an average of $2,100 per year.
Worked to streamline health insurance prior authorization process
Some insurance carriers in our state force doctors to sift through nearly 100 forms to find the right one just to get approval to write a prescription. Small-business owners and the families whose health coverage they provide should not have necessary medical treatment or prescriptions delayed or denied due to needless paperwork hurdles. We expect this legislation will lead to a standardized form that can be submitted and approved electronically in hours or days, rather than the sometimes weeks under the current system.
Made progress towards real regulatory reform
The state operates three separate business web portals, and many of the 26 state agencies with jurisdiction over the 1,377 various licenses, permits and inspections required of small business also post some – but not all – of these documents on their own individual websites. NFIB supported several bills on the regulatory reform front, including requiring more state agencies to participate in the Business Licensing System, directing the departments of Ecology, Health and Labor & Industries to formally review existing rules every five years to improve licensing, permitting, and inspection processes to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses without compromising public health and safety, and making the state’s chief information officer responsible for coordinating a true one-stop online portal for businesses.
Once again defeated numerous workplace mandates
NFIB also assisted with the defeat of several bills that would have made it more difficult and costly to operate a small business in our state, including:
- a statewide sick-and-safe leave mandate, modeled on Seattle’s ordinance
- a new payroll tax to fund an expanded paid-family-leave mandate
- excessive restrictions that would nearly outlaw the use of independent contractors
- and severe new penalties, including jail time, on small business owners for their workers’ on-the-job injuries and workplace safety violations.