Statement from Rep. Cary Condotta on today’s unemployment insurance legislation


The Washington State House of Representatives today voted on House Bill 1906 to address unemployment insurance payments to out-of-work Washingtonians. The bill passed 91-2. Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, voted in support of the bill.

“Today I cautiously supported the bill because I have concerns, not about helping our out-of-work citizens, but about how we address all sides of the unemployment insurance issue.

“We cannot forget the reason we were able to pass this bill today is because of the generosity of the employer community that funds the unemployment insurance system. Businesses have over-paid into the system that accumulated the $4 billion surplus we have now in the trust fund. This over-payment has removed about $2 billion from the economy through the current system design. While this allows us to give the extra benefits, it presents the challenge to us to address the other side of the equation so that employers have money to grow their businesses and keep folks employed.

“This measure is not a major stimulus bill that will help the economy recover, so much as it is something we can do right now that might slow the bleeding. Coupling this policy with the employer portion will be more effective.

“I supported the bill with the hope that the commitment made to address the employer side of the unemployment system is addressed so that the over-taxation situation doesn’t happen again. I have been assured by the chair of the House Commerce and Labor Committee the Legislature will address employer issues shortly.

“We need this part to have an approach that is balanced. As a small employer myself, I know firsthand that we need immediate help. Payroll taxes are a good place to start. We have some of the higher payroll taxes in the nation. I certainly hope we address this half of the issue with the same urgency as House Bill 1906.

“Today’s bill was modest enough to maintain the integrity of the fund while providing needed help to families. I support this effort and look forward to working with all involved to tackle the remaining fix to the system as soon as possible.”

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Washington State House Republican Communications