Democrats say they created tens of thousands of jobs with laws passed this year, even as Republicans complain about a tax increase they say will be a job killer.
Some bills intended to get employers hiring failed. I wrote in today’s paper about a hiring tax credit that didn’t make the cut, along with the fate of other job measures.
HANS BONDS: Passed. Voters will decide in November whether to increase the state’s debt and extend a tax on bottled water, all to pay for energy-efficient upgrades to schools that Rep. Hans Dunshee says will create 30,000 jobs. Dunshee calls it a new-economy version of the New Deal; Republicans call it a raw deal.
TOXICS TAX: Failed. Environmentalists’ and labor’s request to raise the tax on hazardous substances couldn’t overcome opposition from the oil industry that would pay it. The money would have paid for stormwater pollution cleanup.
SERVER FARMS: Passed. A tax break aims to lure more data centers to Eastern Washington.
TAX CREDIT: Failed. House members thought it too expensive to give small businesses $2,000 to $4,000 for every new hire.
CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS: Passed.The capital budget contains more than $450 million in new projects, including $30 million for housing.
WORKERS’ COMP REFORM: Failed. Republicans wanted to privatize state workers-compensation insurance. Premiums for employers went up 7.6 percent this year.
FINANCING DISTRICTS: Passed. Communities like Puyallup and Lacey got dispensation to use special financing for infrastructure.