The state Senate today made it clear that helping private businesses create jobs in Washington remains a top priority, passing two comprehensive economic-development reform bills sponsored by Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick. Senate Bill 5679 and Senate Bill 5718 will help reduce the regulatory and clerical burdens faced by private business owners when interacting with state government.
“I’m very pleased to see my pro-jobs bills held in such high regard, because thriving businesses will ultimately help our current budget situation,” Brown said after both bills passed unanimously. “It’s not the state’s business to grow government; it’s government’s business to help private businesses grow. These bills go a long way toward streamlining government’s interaction with businesses and any resources freed up because of that can now be redirected back into the business, thereby creating more employment opportunities.”
SB 5679 would help improve the state’s business climate and stimulate job creation by requiring the Department of Ecology, the Department of Labor and Industries and the Department of Health to annually perform a formal review of their rules and establish a process for effectively retiring rules when applicable. The bill originated from the state auditor’s 2012 findings that those three agencies’ rules were not consistent with the review process established by Executive Order 06-02.
SB 5718 would require the Legislature to monitor the progress of an action plan for creating a single online location through which all businesses in Washington may interact with state government. Brown says it would give the state Office of the Chief Information Officer until November to establish performance benchmarks for the implementation of an online business portal.
“When I was mayor pro tem of Kennewick, we set up a similar one-stop shop for contractors and builders to easily access the forms, permits and applications required for their projects,” Brown said. “It has proven to be a hugely successful and very valuable resource in the Tri-Cities, and my bill would do roughly the same thing at the state level. We’ve received a lot of feedback from businesses around the state, and all of it has indicated an online business portal will help create jobs.”