The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
Given the economic challenges our state faces, it comes as no surprise that legislators are busily discussing legislation and policy designed to boost our Washington economy. Leaders in Olympia are considering broad measures to help business and job seekers. Last week lawmakers passed legislation that cut unemployment insurance rates for business while also extending unemployment benefits to people out of work.
Bills have also been drafted to invest in job training, improve the state's tax increment financing program, and provide new tax incentives to encourage business expansion. According to New Vision's Dave McFadden: "Some of these bills have been around for a while. The tax increment financing bill, for example, is certainly not new but it has been tweaked to overcome some of its previous challenges.
Our office supports tax increment financing and related economic development legislation that provides Yakima County with better resources to support business growth. We also recognize that legislative and executive branch steps to streamline regulations and cut red tape can also help revitalize our economy.