Status update on my bills

CaptureWhile many of my job-creation bills passed the Senate unanimously, it appears that some members of the House of Representatives are playing political games by holding certain bills hostage. And it’s not just my bills that are being affected…many of my colleagues are finding their unanimously-supported proposals held up by House committees. It’s certainly frustrating to see some members of the Legislature willing to sacrifice the best interest of the state’s residents for political trickery and horsetrading, but fortunately our system was designed to limit such tyrannical behavior. You can watch my latest video update for more on this and other issues.

I am currently putting together a package of ideas to present to Governor Jay Inslee and some of his agency and department heads. Along with some of my fellow state senators, we intend to show the executive branch that our job-creating bills will not only help streamline state government but encourage businesses to flourish in Washington. With his help, the House of Representatives may be willing to move our ideas forward…especially since many of them were approved with absolutely zero opposition.

Communicating Business Regulations

  • SB 5680 (my bill) would create a single portal for business licensing and would direct the agencies to provide      links to their particular permits, licenses and inspections on a single web portal so that a small business would be able to easily and completely comply with and obtain those licenses, permits, and inspections required for their particular business. This bill was generated by the September 6, 2012, report from the State Auditor’s Office, Regulatory Reform: Communicating Regulatory Information and Streamlining Business Rules.
    • Passed the Senate unanimously (47-0) on March 11.
    • Approved by the House Technology and Economic  Development Committee on April 2.
    • Awaiting passage by the full House of Representatives.
  • SB 5718 (my bill) would improve customer service to businesses by monitoring the business licensing portal. Designates one specific official (OCIO) to develop a plan and oversee implementation of a single portal for businesses to access the inspections, licenses and permits required by all state agencies.
    • Passed the Senate unanimously (47-0) on March 1.
    • Approved by the House Technology and Economic  Development committee on April 2.
    • Referred to the House Appropriations Committee – No hearing scheduled.
  • SB 5158 (sponsored by Sen. John Braun) would provide a good faith defense for wage and hour complaints. Employers should be able to rely on formal written guidance given by L&I and not be subject to litigation if the information is inaccurate.
    • Passed the Senate (25-24) on March 11.
    • Referred to the House Labor & Workforce  Development Committee – No hearing  scheduled.
  • SB 5656 (sponsored by Sen. John Braun) would revise business licensing systems. All cities that impose a business and occupation tax must have their general business licenses issued and renewed, either through the state’s Business Licensing System or a city managed system by July 1, 2016. Cities that do not impose a business and occupation tax must have their general business licenses issued and renewed, if renewal is applicable, through the state’s business licensing system or city managed system by January 1, 2019.
    • Passed the Senate (33-16) on March 11.
    • Approved by the House Local Government  Committee on March 28.
    • Awaiting approval by the House  Appropriations Committee.
  • SB 5688 (sponsored by Sen. John Braun) would commission a study to determine the impact of reducing the number of B&O-tax classifications to have one set of rules for employers.
    • Passed the Senate (35-14) on March 12.
    • Referred to the House Finance Committee – No hearing scheduled.
  • SB 5697 (sponsored by Sen. John Braun) would reduce the frequency of local sales and use tax changes. Currently local sales and use tax changes may be implemented four times per year: on the first days of January, April, July, and October. This bill allows such changes just twice annually, on the first day of January or July.
    • Passed the Senate (36-11) on March 11.
    • Approved by the House Finance Committee on April 1.
    • Awaiting passage by the full House of Representatives.
  • SB 5765 (my bill) would create a pilot business regulatory efficiency program administered by the Department of Commerce, the goal of which would be 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 would conduct multi-jurisdictional regulatory streamlining projects that impact specific industry sectors, beginning with the state’s manufacturing sector.
    • Approved by the Senate Trade  and Economic Development Committee on February 20.
    • Awaiting approval by the Senate Ways and Means  Committee.

Rulemaking

  • SB 5679 (my bill) would improve the business climate and stimulate job creation by requiring certain agencies to establish a formal review process of existing rules. Departments of Ecology, Health, and Labor & Industries must each annually perform a formal review process of existing rules with the goal of improving the processes for licensing, permitting, and inspection in a manner that reduces the regulatory burden on businesses without compromising public health and safety. This bill was generated by the September 6, 2012, report from the State Auditor’s Office, Regulatory Reform: Communicating Regulatory Information and Streamlining Business Rules.
    • Passed the Senate unanimously (49-0) on  March 11.
    • Approved by the House Gov’t Operations & Elections Committee on April 3.
    • Referred to the House Appropriations Committee – No hearing scheduled.

Click here to read the full Bridges update for April 12, 2013.