Office Hours

Washington Senate takes up unemployment tax reduction

Washington businesses would get a break on this year’s unemployment taxes under a bill headed for a floor vote in the state Senate. It’s projected to save Washington employers about $300 million by halting a planned increase in unemployment insurance rates, the Associated Press reports.

The bill’s a priority for Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire. She says it has to pass both chambers of the Legislature and be signed into law by Feb. 8 to have an effect on this year’s unemployment tax rates.

Lawmakers also have other issues to consider in the area of unemployment policy, but those topics have been split from the tax-relief bill and will be debated separately. Labor groups have advocated for a new $15-per-child payment for jobless families, but businesses are wary of adding more benefits.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.




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