We are now in our third week and things are moving right along. Members are rushing to introduce their bills and committees have been working long hours to hear testimony on as many important ideas as they can.
This session is short — only 60 days — and next Friday marks a major deadline for the House, as all non-budget bills must be passed out of their policy committee.
Boeing tax break bill considered in Finance Committee
Last week we heard testimony on Representative June Robinson’s (D – Everett) bill to require Boeing maintain certain job levels in order to continue to receive the full benefits of tax incentives extended in 2013. The baseline it sets is 83,295 jobs — which is the number of jobs the company reported when the legislature extended its tax break. If employment falls between 4,000 - 5,000 jobs below this, tax breaks would be partially repealed, resulting in the company paying more in taxes.
Boeing’s latest workforce report shows that this threshold has already been crossed. It reports that the company employed 79,238 individuals were employed in Washington as of December 31, which is 4,057 fewer than when its tax breaks were extend.
Recently, the Puget Sound Business Journal asked its readers whether they think Boeing should have to keep jobs in Washington in exchange for tax credits. An overwhelming 84 percent responded that tax breaks should be connected to employment numbers.
What do you think about this issue? Feel free to call or email me and let us know what you think.
Bills are going into the Hopper
It’s a phrase you’ll hear a lot within the legislature: “putting a bill in the Hopper.” What does that even mean?
Every piece of proposed legislation that’s introduced goes to the Code Reviser’s Office, where it is stamped and then examined by Code Reviser staff to make sure it’s in the proper format to become a law. The place where bills are dropped off for Code Reviser staff is a wooden box called “the Hopper.” These days, the Hopper is pretty busy as legislators from the House and Senate submit bills for consideration in the 2016 session. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on how a bill becomes a law. And if you want to find out about or track a particular piece of legislation, here’s where you can access the info you’re looking for.