Unbeknownst to me five years ago, an employee of mine was charged with first-degree felonies for crimes allegedly committed away from work. DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services) ordered me to fire the employee and I readily concurred, since we work with vulnerable adults.
Surprisingly, Gov. Inslee’s ESD (Educational Service District) department rewarded her $9,700 in unemployment benefits and required me to pay for them. Sen. Mike Padden reviewed the case and fashioned a bill in the legislature to deny such benefits until an employee is cleared of the charges, but Gov. Inslee opposed it. Working with Inslee’s office, Sen. Padden and I forged a compromise which would still award the employee benefits but spread the ESD charges among all employers, relieving the employer victimized by the discharge of the direct costs.
Mr. Padden effectively stepped up and reached across the isle to forge a solution. It wasn’t an optimal solution as I disagree with Gov. Inslee that arraigned criminal behavior should be so rewarded, but it was a solution and Mr. Padden did an excellent job of steering the bill through the Democrat-controlled Legislature and governor’s office to become law.
Mr. Padden is the senator for legislative District 4, where my small business is, whereas I live in District 9. While my District 9 legislators were supportive and helpful, it was Mr. Padden’s efforts that made it happen. He is an extraordinary senator who I quickly learned is highly respected in the legislature. We are fortunate to have a man like him representing Spokane.