Brown-supported business bills signed into law by governor

Senator Sharon BrownGov. Jay Inslee signed another business-reform bill backed by Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, and sponsored by Puget Sound Republican Rep. Norma Smith. Brown and Smith worked together to write the legislation that furthers the goal of regulatory reform in Washington.

“I’m very glad Norma sponsored the House versions of my bills,” Brown said. “In the Legislature, addressing an issue from both sides effectively doubles the chances of a bill getting passed, and this is one that businesses in Washington have been wanting for a long time. Two of those bills have now been signed by the governor.”

Brown sponsored Senate Bill 5765, a bill identical to Smith’s HB 1818, which the governor signed today. It would create a pilot-scale program to be administered by the Department of Commerce, the goal of which is to improve the regulatory environment for businesses in Washington. Together with the Office of Regulatory Assistance and the Office of Accountability and Performance, the commerce department must conduct multi-jurisdictional regulatory-streamlining projects that impact specific industry sectors, beginning with the state’s manufacturing sector.

“It is essential that we create ways to bring manufacturing back to this country, and what better place to start than right here in our own state,” Brown added.

Additionally, Smith’s HB 1403 – signed by the governor on May 1 – is the companion bill to Brown’s Senate Bill 5680, which would promote economic development by reforming the Business Licensing Service that is the state’s primary business-licensing portal. BLS registers businesses, renews licenses and provides related services for approximately 40,000 businesses monthly, and has more than 115 state licenses available through its website. The bills introduced by Brown and Smith would remove two agencies and add 16 to the list required to provide all their licenses online through the BLS website. Each agency would also provide an annual report to the state Department of Revenue.

“These bills are about streamlining government’s interaction with businesses in Washington, and creating an opportunity for those businesses to hire more employees and get people back to work,” Brown said. “Our state’s economy needs a jump-start, and more people bringing home a paycheck is the right way to do that.

“These two bills are a great start toward that goal, but there is much more work to be done. I’m looking forward to the governor signing more regulatory-reform bills to make Washington more attractive to businesses both in-state and from around the country.”

The laws created by the two Brown-backed measures take effect July 28.

HB 1818