Dear Friends and Neighbors,
According to The Economist magazine, two-thirds of jobs created in the United States in 2010 were done so in just 11 states. Twenty percent were created in Texas. Washington is not one of the 11 states. As an owner of multiple coffee shops, I am cognizant of the critical need for jobs. Creating jobs defines our state's challenge in the coming decade. As a race for jobs eventually builds, Washington must be poised and recognized as a great place for new jobs and economic growth.
Let's discuss some solutions. As I highlighted in my last legislative brief, the Legislature recently made some important changes to our unemployment insurance system. This will provide our employers rate relief and certainty. This is just a small and first step.
Now it's time to address our workers' compensation insurance system. Both employers and workers pay into this system, and benefits go to injured workers. Our system has the second highest cost per employee and third highest benefits package in the nation. Washington is just one of four states to have a state-run monopoly. These factors have led to escalating costs, large rates increases (average of 12 percent in 2011) and the risk of insolvency. There are two good measures that would begin to address these problems, House Bill 1872 and House Bill 1964, that I'm hopeful will move forward.
Last week, I told you about House Bill 1663. My jobs bill was unanimously voted out of committee on Monday and is likely headed to the House floor.
Please click on the picture to the right to watch a brief video. Note that this will take you to a YouTube Web site.
It is an honor to serve our communities. Please contact me if I can ever help.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000