After approving two tax-preference bills designed to bolster the state’s aerospace industry, longtime state Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Yakima, said he’s looking forward to continuing the trend of growing the state’s business community by offering tax incentives.
“The governor called us into a special session in order to pass two bills to keep Boeing in Washington, in exchange for retaining up to 56,000 jobs and creating tens of thousands of new jobs across the state,” said Honeyford, who represents the state’s 15th Legislative District. “That’s not an opportunity that we can just sit on, but I’m concerned about the appearance of the state playing favorites. Now that it’s been widely accepted that certain tax incentives can grow businesses in Washington and in turn provide jobs, I’m going to pursue expanding that policy to other areas beyond aerospace, such as agriculture and small businesses, and I already have a commitment from Boeing that it will help us work to expand these policies.” Continue reading →
On April 19 the Senate Transportation Committee approved a bare-bones, no-new-taxes transportation budget for 2013-15. Three days later the House Transportation Committee adopted a separate bill that would impose a 10-cent hike in the state portion of the gas tax over three years, and create or increase an array of other transportation-related fees.
The no-new-taxes nature of the transportation budget didn’t change as it sailed through the Senate (with a 46-1 vote) and the House (vote: 72-25) and on to the governor, who signed it May 20. Although the governor is still cheerleading for more transportation revenue, at least publicly, the reality is this: The Legislature can adjourn for the year without another word about transportation because we already have a new transportation budget in place.
The governor has signed two bills sponsored by Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, dealing with mosquito-population control. Senate Bill 5002 will update state law to allow local mosquito districts more flexibility in their operations, while Senate Bill 5324 will encourage municipalities to use state Department of Ecology design guidelines when constructing stormwater-retention ponds in an effort to reduce the mosquito population.
“West Nile virus is – and will continue to be – a serious public health risk,” Honeyford added. “In the past ten years, the number of reported cases of West Nile virus has increased steadily, so I’m thankful the Legislature and the governor saw fit to support these bills; hopefully they’ll go a long way toward keeping the public safe.” Continue reading →
Gov. Jay Inslee signed two bills Tuesday that will benefit businesses in Washington and hopefully put more people to work. Senate Bills 5056 and 5770, both sponsored by 15th District Sen. Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside, make it easier for businesses to hire minors and reduce the clerical burdens of small conservation districts.
“Employers shared with us when they came to testify in support of these measures that they have to fill out an entirely new master business-license application just to hire young people,” said Honeyford, the top Republican on the Senate’s rural economic-development committee. “This bill pares the required information to only what is essential, thereby allowing businesses to create more opportunities for young people to find work and develop lifelong employment skills.” Continue reading →