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Republican lawmakers push business-friendly legislation to keep Boeing from moving away

OLYMPIA – In the wake of the machinists union’s rejection of Boeing’s contract offer, Sens. Doug Ericksen and Janéa Holmquist Newbry are calling for action to create a more business-friendly environment in Washington.

“I was very disappointed that the machinists rejected Boeing’s offer, putting in jeopardy the tens of thousands of jobs the state would gain from the 777X program,” said Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake.

“Now more than ever, we need to show not just Boeing, but all employers that Washington is serious about making this a state where private sector enterprises, large and small, can thrive.”

Holmquist Newbry has been a long-time advocate for reforming Washington’s expensive workers compensation system.

“Washington has the highest industrial-insurance taxes in the U.S.,” said Holmquist Newbry. “It takes twice as long as the national average to return an injured worker to work in this state. In part, the reason for this delay is because our workers compensation system restricts the option of voluntary structured settlements to claimants age 55 and older. We need to open this option up to all workers, regardless of age.”

Ericksen, R-Ferndale, agreed.

“Our state should not be in the position where we are in danger of losing our aerospace industry to South Carolina, Japan or Texas,” said Ericksen. “We need to take quick action if we care about holding onto this great industry and all the benefits it brings to Washington.”

Ericksen, who serves on the 777X legislative task force, wants the legislature to set water quality standards that are based on reality and are not unduly burdensome in restricting the amount of runoff companies are allowed to discharge into waterways.

“The state Department of Ecology is trying to set fish consumption standards far above the federal standard,” said Ericksen. “It is not realistic and it has big impact on the runoff a company is allowed to discharge. We need to prevent this needless burden on our employers. We can protect our environment and also remain competitive.”

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