Every biennium, the National Federation of Independent Business tallies votes on legislative issues vital to the survival of the small businesses in Washington state that employ the majority of private-sector workers. Small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses. They have different difficulties in remaining solvent. The Small Business Voting Record of 2015-2016 graded lawmakers on 17 issues, a few of which never made it into a second house for a vote.
“Our voting records supply us with the factual basis for our political endorsements, Guardian of Small Business award winners, and Outstanding Legislator Awards,” said Patrick Connor, NFIB’s Washington state director. “They are also viewed by many as the benchmark to measure claims by incumbents campaigning as ‘friends’ of the Main Street, mom-and-pop enterprises of our state that generate the majority of net new jobs.”
A description of each issue, and the votes taken by lawmakers on them, can be read here. A list of the Guardian of Small Business Award winners, the 38 representatives and eight senators, can be found here. The Guardian winners had either a 90- or 100-percent, pro-small-business voting records on the 17 issues used. The Leadership Council of NFIB/Washington, composed of small-business owners from around the state, sets the threshold for Guardian-winning votes. Each Guardian winner also has NFIB/Washington SAFE Trust’s endorsement for re-election. The Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust is NFIB/Washington’s political action committee. NFIB/Washington’s two Outstanding Legislators of the 64th Washington State Legislature will be announced next week.
“Several legislators who previously earned our Guardian award fell short mainly due to their vote for a nearly 12¢ per gallon gas tax increase (Senate Bill 5987),” said Connor. “When 88 percent of our members say ‘no,’ to a gas tax hike, and 62 percent remain opposed regardless of a prospective ‘reform’ package, lawmakers simply cannot feign surprise at election time when small-business owners hold them accountable for increasing the cost to do business.”
NFIB has 350,000 dues-paying members nationwide, including 8,000 in Washington state. The power of the small-business vote is a mighty one. You can read about it at this online press kit, Quick Information About Main Street, Washington. Follow NFIB/Washington on Twitter at @NFIB_WA and the Washington state page of the NFIB website, www.nfib.com/washington.
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
National Federation of Independent Business/Washington