Senate Announces Jobs Now! Initiative – Passes Worker Recovery Act

Senate passes Worker Recovery Act and other job-creation bills
Legislators follow votes with announcement of ‘Jobs Now!’ plan to create, save jobs

Sen. John Braun, R- Centralia cosponsor of legislation aimed at reducing barriers for injured workers voted in favor of the Worker Recovery Act, Senate Bill 5127.

The Senate approved several bills aimed at making it easier for Washington employers to create and maintain jobs, led by the Worker Recovery Act, which would significantly improve the state-run industrial-insurance program for injured workers.


The Worker Recovery Act would increase the choices available to injured workers by expanding eligibility for structured-settlement agreements to all workers, regardless of age. Similar common-sense and even less restrictive settlement options are currently available to injured workers – without age restrictions – in 44 other states.


Calling it an opportunity for the Legislature to pro-actively support job creation and workers, Republicans from the House of Representatives and members of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus followed today’s votes with the formal announcement of their “Jobs Now!” plan – a package of bills aimed at helping private-sector employers create and retain jobs.


“Businesses need to know that we are working to give them the tools to be successful job creators. We are building a climate that protects workers and promotes a stronger economy for Washington,” said Braun.


  • Senate Bill 5656 would create a one stop shop for businesses to renew business licenses for all jurisdictions.


  • Senate Bill 5697 reduces the frequency of local sales and use tax changes.  Currently local sales and use tax changes may be implemented four times year.  This bill allows changes three times annually. Current sales and use tax system is too complex for small businesses and is continuing to grow. This legislation would cut in half the burden for employers when changing their systems to reflect new sales and use tax rates.


  • Senate Bill 6182would establish an annual B&O tax credit for employers that establish new apprenticeship positions where skills gaps exist.


  • Senate Bill 5727 exempts prevailing wage requirements for public works projects located in distressed counties. Projects would be exempt if at least 50 percent of the project funding comes from private sources. Distressed counties are defined as counties with an unemployment rate 20 percent above the state average for the previous three years.


  • Senate Bills 6175 & 6176 creates a tax tribunal to balance the relationship between tax payers and tax collectors to ensure fairness and efficiency.


  • Senate Bill 5647 establishes a stakeholder process for the Department of Revenue in publishing tax rulings and determinations. This bill seeks to balance tax payer confidentiality with open and transparent government and efficiency.