Washington Legislature Heading Into Triple Overtime

Date: June 09, 2017

Preliminary revenue forecast dimming hopes of avoiding a tax increase; spending is still expected to rise

NFIB/Washington State Director Patrick Connor reports from Olympia on the small-business agenda for the legislative week ending June 9.

It was another quiet week in Olympia with no formal action to report. Next week, the last full week of the second special session, the Senate will hold a few committee hearings. The House is not expected to meet until a replacement is named to succeed Rep. Jessyn Farrell, who resigned to focus on her Seattle mayoral campaign.

It has long been expected that the Legislature would wait until the June 20 report from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council before finalizing the 2017-19 biennial operating budget, with the hope that economic growth would allow more state spending without substantial tax increases. This week’s preliminary report actually predicts a mild economic downtick, although state revenue was “$44.4 million (1.6%) above expectations” since the March update. It appears unlikely a rosy forecast is forthcoming to help bridge the divide between House and Senate budgeteers.

Given that the last day allowed for this special session is the day after the next revenue forecast will be released, triple overtime is a near certainty.

Paid Leave

Meanwhile, paid family and medical leave negotiators continue to meet with a goal of enacting a new program, complete with a payroll tax to fund it, before the Legislature adjourns for the year. While the negotiating materials are confidential, NFIB remains opposed to a paid family and medical leave deal because of supporters’ insistence that the program apply to small businesses and require a tax on employers to finance it.

There is a high likelihood paid leave backers will file a ballot initiative if a legislative bill is not passed.

Previous Reports and Related News Releases, Editorials

June 1 Report—That Second Special Sound—Crickets

May 26 Report—Inslee Declares Capital Gains, Property Tax Proposals Dead

May 19 Report—Another Special Session of the Washington Legislature Expected

May 12 Report—Inslee Signs Small Business Bill of Right Inventory Into Law

May 5 Report—Governor Expected to Sign NFIB-Crafted Bill Into Law

April 28 Report—Bill Simplifying Crowd Funding Signed Into Law

April 21 Report—NFIB Victory: Regulatory Fairness Act Signed Into Law

April 7, 14 Report—NFIB Victory: Ban The Box Bills Dead—For Now

March 31 Report—Labor Threat: Paid Family Leave Legislation or Ballot Initiative

March 24 Report—‘Get NFIB on Board’ Orders Senate Committee Chairman

March 17 Report—Legislators Challenged on Their Ban-The-Box Hypocrisy

March 10 Report—Major Legislative Deadline Passes in Olympia

March 3 Report—NFIB Agenda Bills Passing by Big Margins in Olympia

February 24 Report—Key NFIB Legislative Bills Advancing in Olympia

February 22 Editorial—Good News Can Come Out of Olympia

February 17 Report—NFIB Making Long Strides in Regulatory Reform

February 16 News Release—Small Business Seeking to Toss I-1433

February 16 News Release—New Poll Shines Light on Big Small-Business Headache

February 10 Report—NFIB Only Business Group to Testify for Right to Work

February 3 Report—Competing Employer Mandates Take Center Stage

January 27 Report—Small Business Bill of Rights Inventory Legislation Advances

January 20 Report—Bill Introductions Begin in Earnest in Olympia

January 13 Report—Opening of Legislative Session Sees NFIB Charging Ahead

[Tile photo courtesy of Legislative Support Services]

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