Connor: Small business survived week one of the 2017 legislative session.
We survived week one of the 2017 Washington State Legislature, including some 50 or so meetings with legislators. Yes, 50.
I am excited to report that two of our recent Leadership Council members, Rep. Andrew Barkis and Sen. Lynda Wilson, are prime sponsors of companion NFIB priority bills in the House and Senate, HB 1352 and SB 5230, respectively.
Based on meetings and discussions with various agencies (and members) during the interim, we 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.
It also asks the attorney general to review the administrative procedures act for that same purpose. Based on this information, the attorney general will report to selected legislative committees how we 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.
We have secured impressive, bipartisan support, and the affected agencies and governor’s office are neutral.
SENATE – 22 sponsors
Sens. Lynda Wilson, Guy Palumbo, John Braun, Mark Mullet, Michael Baumgartner, Dean Takko, Sharon Brown, Karen Keiser, Curtis King, Mark Miloscia, Maralyn Chase, Maureen Walsh, Judy Warnick, Steve Hobbs, Jan Angel, Randi Becker, Bob Hasegawa, Brad Hawkins, Mike Padden, Steve O’Ban, Tim Sheldon, and Barbara Bailey.
HOUSE – 37 sponsors
Reps. Andrew Barkis, Michael Chapman, James Walsh, Matt Shea, John Koster, JT 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, Michelle Caldier, Laurie Jinkins, David Taylor, Liz Pike, Dave Hayes, Dick Muri, Jeff Holy, Larry Haler, Mike Steele, Christine Kilduff, and Steve Tharinger.
NFIB members are in bold.
In addition to chasing down legislators for signatures, we testified four times this week – twice in the House Environment Committee, and once each in the Senate Commerce, Labor & Gaming Committee, and the Senate Health Care Committee.
The governor’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.
We were 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.
Bill introductions are flooding in, and we are compiling tracking information for future updates.
For more information, contact Washington State Director Patrick Connor at (360) 786-8675. [email protected]