Parker helps save businesses providing furniture for state colleges

Constituent contacted Parker saying action by agency would ‘force us to lay off most of our staff’


In late January, Spokane resident Kurt Wood contacted Rep. Kevin Parker regarding a letter from the Office of Financial Management (OFM). It said an exemption allowing higher education institutions to purchase furniture from private companies would be rescinded.

“If the exemption for higher education were removed, it would force all of the colleges to buy their goods and services solely from the corrections industry. It would severely cripple our business by 65 percent and force us to lay off most of our staff,” Wood said.

“Mr. Wood and his company were given just seven days notice before they would lose most of their business, endangering 12 jobs in Spokane,” Parker said. “I immediately got on the phone with him and asked him what I could do.”

Parker introduced House Bill 3166 in order to reverse the decision and continue to allow higher education institutions to purchase furniture from private companies like Wood’s on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

Just yesterday, OFM notified state representatives the exemption would go back into place until June 30, 2011. Correctional industries will still receive two percent of business from higher education institutions.

Dozens of companies currently sell to colleges and universities throughout the state.

“Today was a victory for both employers and the state, because more than one hundred jobs were saved in Spokane and across the state,” Parker said.

Parker said he intends to push for a permanent exemption for these public-private contracts.


Contact: Sarah Lamb, public information officer, (360) 786-7720


Washington State House Republican Communications