Column: 2013 Business Outlook in the Washington State Legislature
Special to the Yakima Valley Business Times
Mark Twain once said, “No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” With the Legislature returning for session January 14, taxpayers and small businesses must keep a close watch on what happens in Olympia.
The budget will again be the focus of the session, facing a $1 billion shortfall this time. We will see another struggle between those afraid to see their funding cut, and those who cannot afford to pay more to sustain that funding.
Fortunately, revenue will continue to grow for the state budget, and we have many opportunities for growth in our economy. This all depends on whether the Legislature chooses to make businesses feel welcome, or continues to tie their hands with additional regulations and tax burdens. Our next governor highlighted green jobs as a solution to stabilizing and growing our economy. How that is defined will dramatically affect various industries in our state.
I'm supporting an agenda to get Washington working, in all sectors of our economy. It includes better management of state agency rulemaking, improved turnaround for permit decisions, and expanding reforms to workers' compensation and unemployment insurance to help reduce the tax burden for employers. You can read more about these proposals at: houserepublicans.wa.gov/our-solutions/jobs-economy.
As we navigate the upcoming 105-day session, I am focused on creating a stable environment in Washington for businesses that offers better opportunities for citizens to prosper. I welcome all ideas to do this, and I am honored to represent you in Olympia.
Rep. Bruce Chandler represents the 15th District, which includes east Yakima County. He will serve on the House Business and Financial Services Committee and owns and operates a commercial fruit orchard in Granger. He can be reached at (360) 786-7960 or by e-mail at email@example.com. You can also sign up for his periodic e-mail updates at houserepublicans.wa.gov/chandler.