50 meetings, numerous testimony, draft legislation highlight busy first week
NFIB/Washington State Director Patrick Connor reports from Olympia on the small-business agenda for the legislative week ending January 13.
NFIB survived week one of the 2017 Washington State Legislature, including some 50 or so meetings with legislators. Yes, 50.
NFIB is excited to report that two of its recent Leadership Council members are prime sponsors of companion NFIB priority bills in the House and Senate. Based on meetings and discussions with various agencies (and members) during the interim, NFIB felt a need to draft legislation requiring selected agencies to review their enabling laws, rules, and applicable internal policy documents to identify what rights, if any, a small-business owner has when a state agent comes to the door asking to conduct an audit or inspection.
The draft legislation also asks the attorney general to review the administrative procedures act for that same purpose. Based on this information, the AG will report to select legislative committees how the state can improve the process of notifying small business owners of their rights, either in advance of or at the time of an audit, inspection, or other enforcement action.
NFIB has secured impressive, bipartisan support, and the affected agencies and governor’s office are neutral. It appears NFIB is very likely to get hearings during the third week of session in the Senate Commerce, Labor, & Sports Committee, and (NFIB hopes) the House Business & Financial Services Committee. The chairmen and ranking members of both committees are co-sponsors. Here are the sponsors; NFIB members are in bold:
- SENATE – 12 sponsors and counting … Lynda Wilson, Guy Palumbo, John Braun, Mark Mullet, Mike Baumgartner, Dean Takko, Sharon Brown, Karen Keiser, Curtis King, Mark Miloscia, Maralyn Chase, and Judy Warnick. Sen. Steve Hobbs will sign the bill Monday. Sen. Jan Angel has indicated she will sign the bill Tuesday.
- HOUSE – 27 sponsors and counting …Andrew Barkis, Mike Chapman, James Walsh, Matt Shea, John Koster, J.T. Wilcox, Gina McCabe, Mark Harmsworth, Eileen Cody, Gael Tarleton, Joel Kretz, Joe Schmick, Shelly Short, Brandon Vick, Paul Harris, Matt Manweller, Norma Smith, Drew Stokesbary, Drew MacEwen, Terry Nealey, Cary Condotta, Ed Orcutt, Kristine Lytton, Larry Springer, Steve Kirby, Brian Blake, and Michelle Caldier. Rep. Laurie Jinkins will sign the bill Monday.
Governor’s Tax Proposal
In addition to chasing down legislators for signatures, NFIB testified four times this week – twice in House Environment, once each in Senate Commerce, Labor & Gaming, and Senate Health Care. Gov. Jay Inslee’s record $4.5 billion tax proposal was the subject of our comments before the Senate Commerce panel. It was a lively discussion; here is a link to it. NFIB’s comments begin at 0:57:34.
Prescription Drug Costs
NFIB was also invited by the Senate Health Care Committee to discuss our work on the patient out-of-pocket prescription drug cost task force. Here’s the link. NFIB’s comments begin at 0:51.43.