The "Hirst fix" is in on the state budget
NFIB/Washington State Director Patrick Connor reports from Olympia on the small-business agenda as of July 6.
Due to the Independence Day holiday, the Legislature was not in formal session this week. Although, it did reach a milestone, setting a record for most days in session in one year, with 178 … and counting. The third special session must adjourn by July 20.
The Legislature still has some work to do, namely resolving the impasse on the two-year capital budget, which is being held hostage to secure a “Hirst fix,” reversing an adverse state Supreme Court decision on exempt water wells.
The last-minute budget deal received substantial press coverage, last week. NFIB is monitoring Gov. Jay Inslee’s vetoes of budget line items and possibly part of the related tax package. Twenty-five House Democrats wrote the governor asking him to veto the unexpected 40 percent reduction for manufacturers in what the Democrats erroneously referred to as the “business and occupancy tax rate.” As their letter points out, there was no public notice or hearing about this provision.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
The other big news was Governor Inslee signing the paid family and medical leave bill, Senate Bill 5975, Wednesday, July 5. NFIB received some coverage due to its opposition to it, including Q-13 FOX TV and web article, the Spokesman-Review, NPR, a Washington Policy Center blog post, and a website called INQUISITR. In most cases, comments from readers have favored our position.
NFIB took some hits from legislators, lobby groups (both business and labor), and at least one member, for standing firm on principle. Fortunately, aside from some social media posts, the back-biting has not been public.
Sen. Joe Fain has posted this handy Family Leave Benefit Calculator. Please note it provides estimates only.
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[Tile photo courtesy of the Washington State Legislative Support Services]