Inslee’s State of the State: Labor, Business, Trade & Ag React

Don’t penalize Washington’s trade industry, businesses and workers

OLYMPIA—Members of Keep Washington Competitive, a coalition of business, labor, agriculture, and trade organizations and leaders, responded today to new taxes proposed in Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2015 State of the State address.

Larry Brown, a KWC board member and legislative and political director for the Aerospace Machinists Union District Lodge 751 said, “I agree with the governor that Washington state is at a crossroads and that we need policies that work for all Washingtonians. Labor needs assurance priorities in our state are in line with supporting workers as we preserve and increase the vital jobs in Washington related to exports.”

KWC board member Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, said “Washington’s employers need a transportation network that gets products to market in this trade-dependent state, and gets people to their jobs in a safe, efficient manner. So we share the governor’s desire for progress on this issue. But as the governor and lawmakers embark on a new legislative session, it’s important they remember that despite some positive economic signs, the recovery is still fragile and it has not reached all parts of the state.

“Now is not the time to abandon fiscal responsibility and adopt a tax-first approach to governing.”

“Trade means everything to the future growth of Washington’s agricultural community,” added John Stuhlmiller, a KWC member and CEO of the Washington Farm Bureau. “Expanding capacity and improving our transportation infrastructure is vital for all product shippers, including farmers,” said Stuhlmiller. “Washington Farm Bureau members look to leadership in Olympia for viable solutions and justifiable investments that benefit all exports and avoid harming our state’s competitive advantage in trade.”