The Senate is tackling economic development today during its weekend work.
There are several bills on the docket that were highlighted last week by Senate Democrats as ways to promote job creation. For example, the Senate just passed a bill by Sen. Tracey Eide that would set up new state oversight of local governments’ permitting processes. It calls on the state Office of Regulatory Assistance to certify a permit process as “streamlined,” a designation that would move the local government to the front of the line when it applies for infrastructure funding.
This morning the Senate has already passed a couple of measures dealing with taxes and state ethics.
Sen. Craig Pridemore‘s measure would require the Legislature to put an expiration date on new tax breaks it creates, and define what the exemption is supposed to accomplish. The Seattle Times’ Andrew Garber wrote last weekend about how difficult it is for lawmakers to end tax breaks or even figure out what they’re for.
Sen. Mike Carrell’s measure encourages independent investigations of alleged ethics violations by state agency administrators. I wrote about it here. The bill has been changed to eliminate the requirement that agencies fire someone who commits a serious violation.
The House is also meeting today and plans to work late.