Rep. Cary Condotta statement on unemployment insurance legislation
The House of Representatives yesterday approved two measures that would provide unemployment insurance tax relief for employers. Senate Bill 5135 was passed unanimously and is headed to the governor's desk for her signature. It would provide employers a much-needed tax reduction this year and prevent a sharp tax increase. House Bill 1091 provides a more stable and long-term fix by recalculating the unemployment insurance tax rates for employers. It also passed unanimously, but still needs to be considered by the Senate. Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, and the ranking member on the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee issued the following statement:
“Getting SB 5135 passed and on the governor's desk is a good example of what we can do working together in a bipartisan manner. I look forward to the governor signing this bill and providing an immediate tax reduction for employers. Without this bill, employers' UI taxes are expected to increase about $366 million in 2011. They increased about $360 million in 2010 or an average of 42%.
“However, I hope this bill isn't needed. While SB 5135 gives us a measure to fall back on, it would provide only temporary relief. Under HB 1091 we would be able to provide stability to our employers beyond 2012. This bill would give them the certainty they need to retain existing jobs and transition into economic recovery.
“While HB 1091 takes both parties out of their comfort zone, it provides a reasonable solution to an issue we are faced with because of the unusual situation of our economy. We are assisting our employers, but this bill would also provide extended benefits for those who would lose them this spring and training benefits for workers who have been displaced.
“I am hopeful we can get HB 1091 through the Senate. Our unemployment insurance fund is flush because employers have been overpaying into the system. Instead of continuing to pay high UI tax rates, let's get that money back into our state's economy and keep folks employed.”
Kurt Hammond, Public Information Officer, (360) 786-7794
###Washington State House Republican Communications