Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Legislature adjourned on April 11. I hope you had the opportunity to read my end-of-session newsletter that hit the mailboxes last week. In case you missed it you can find my newsletter online here: https://houserepublicans.wa.gov/Condotta/Condotta_EOS_Newsletter_2012.pdf
I hope you also had the chance to read my column “Solutions are Nonpartisan” in the Wenatchee World last week. This last session was a perfect example that the best ideas do not necessarily come from the majority and they can be nonpartisan. I truly believe House Republicans have solutions, not based on partisanship, but what the citizens of Washington want to see out of their government. I hope you will read the column.
I want to remind you that because this is an election year, my legislative communications to you are restricted. After May 11, I am no longer allowed to send e-mail updates, such as this one. And after June 30, I am unable to initiate communications with constituents by mail or e-mail unless you contact me about an issue or a request for information. If you contact me, I can respond as a normal course of my work as your legislator. The mailing restrictions will remain in place until Nov. 30, 2012.
I encourage you to communicate with me, as I work for you and the 12th District throughout the year. I am happy to meet with you and your community groups to discuss important issues facing our legislative district and state. I look forward to seeing you during the interim.
As the lead Republican on business and labor issues, I will be focusing on Washington’s business climate this interim and what can we do to promote private-sector job growth and stimulate our economy. As I mentioned in my end-of-session newsletter, we passed some tax breaks for certain manufacturing companies and data centers, but they were used as a bargaining tool with the operating budget. The economy is still stagnant and many people are looking for work, yet we are playing politics with jobs. I would urge you to read “Data-Center Fumble Costs Jobs in Washington State – and Maybe Big Money” from the Washington State Wire. The article explains how we have missed out some opportunities, and politics is getting in the way of putting people back to work.
The other issue we need to focus on to improve our business climate is regulatory reform. During the session, I referenced a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce 50-state review of regulations and employment laws. If you recall, the report states, with an improved regulatory climate, 18,000 jobs could be added in Washington. Unfortunately, our state ranked “poor” for labor and employment laws and regulations – the lowest rating in the report.
The study also points out that part of the issue in our state is that we go beyond federal standards, not only in labor and employment mandates, but environmental regulations as well. It is important to protect the environment, but that must be balanced while maintaining a healthy economy. History has shown us that a strong economy and clean environment go hand-in-hand. Overzealous regulations are hurting existing industry and preventing new industry from locating in Washington.
It is important to remember when businesses are successful, people are working and revenue is generated to pay for education, public safety and services to care for our most vulnerable. It is far more productive to increase economic activity than to increase taxes, which does just the opposite.
Thanks again for the opportunity to represent you. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns during the interim.