Catching up: Senate acts to reduce UI taxes; AWB on transportation plan

Catching up on some issues of interest…

A. The state Senate has passed a bill intended to reduce unemployment insurance tax increases. The Washington Research Council reports

…the Senate passed ESSB 5873 by a vote of 48–1. As passed by the Senate, the bill would reduce the unemployment insurance (UI) cap on costs to be recovered by the social tax for 2022 and 2023. (For more background, see here.) In 2021, the social cost factor was limited to 0.5%. Under current law, the limit will rise to 0.75% for 2022 and 0.8% for 2023. Under ESSB 5873, the limit would be 0.5% for 2022 and 0.7% for 2023.

The WRC adds,

As I noted when the bill was introduced, these policies would help lessen the impact of UI tax increases on employers.

B. Statement by Association of Washington Business president Kris Johnson on the proposed transportation package. The link is to the full statement. It reads, in part,

We’re pleased lawmakers are talking about the need to invest in Washington’s transportation infrastructure, which is in poor shape. With more than $11 billion in state budget reserves, this is the right time to begin addressing the problem. And there are many things to like about this proposal…

With that said, we wish more voices were included in putting together the details of the package. Transportation funding has always been a bipartisan effort, balancing needs across the entire state…

Likewise, we are concerned about the proposed $4.4 billion in additional taxes and fees. Washington has historic revenue reserves right now, which means lawmakers have a unique opportunity to invest in infrastructure without raising costs for employers or families.