Successes mark the near completion of the 2012 Legislative Session. The Chamber’s Legislative Agenda looks like a winner.
The state’s transportation budget contains key funding for three
Pierce County projects. The Legislature
passed a transportation budget (ESHB 2190) containing $5.8 million for an Interchange
Justification Report, providing the necessary match for committed federal funds
and positioning the Berkeley St., Thorne Lane, Martin Way and Marvin Road Interchanges for the next round of available Federal
highest impact project – SR-167, received $3.0 million for expected right-of-way
acquisition and NEPA EIS reevaluation. And, $2.5 million for the I-5 Federal
Way Triangle Improvements was also appropriated.
Another jobs producing accomplishment in the transportation
budget is in Sec. 804. This section, gives several firms greater access to a
heavy haul corridor. Beneficiaries
include Chamber members Targa Sound Refining and Schnitzer Steel. Said Louise
Bray, Govt/Public Affairs Mgr., Schnitzer, "We really appreciate the
support the Chamber gave us in working for passage of the bill to expand the
heavy haul corridor. The Chamber is a
great asset to the business community and this bill will help us reduce our
freight costs, reduce our environment footprint, and direct more cargo through
the Port of Tacoma."
Our area will see additional job growth with the passage of
several bills addressing regulatory constraints on small business
operations. ESB6155 places local small business Meracord, a
financial processor, under the proper state regulatory scheme, freeing the
company to expand its business within its hometown state. Said Linda Remsberg, CEO, “the Chamber walked
its talk, faithfully coming alongside Meracord throughout our recent successful
effort to change a law to protect jobs. I publicly thank Tom Pierson and
Michael Transue for their support in this critical win for our company.”
Also supportive of green energy development is ESB5575, recognizing the use of biomass for a renewable
energy resource. Simpson expects to
benefit and expand under the bill’s provisions and other provisions of the bill
will allow expanded use of options like clean construction and demolition
debris and pulping liquor as fuel for biomass energy facilities.
The community redevelopment efforts of Pacific Lutheran
University and businesses along Garfield
Street will take a big step forward thanks to SB6277, an act providing limited property tax
exemptions for multi-family housing projects.
Dr. Loren Anderson sent, “It is a brighter day in Parkland! Thanks for
your support of SB6277. So appreciate the Chamber’s support.”
Benefitting the entire metropolitan area is HB2326, necessary legislation supporting the local
efforts to return our community to a clean air status. Passage of the legislation retains local
implementation of solutions to achieve attainment rather than surrender the
authority to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Chamber is still active in the Special Session since key
goals are contained in final action on the state’s operating and capital
budgets. Funding for our local
universities and colleges as well as for the Pierce County Skills Center depend
on final action.
Chamber members have been involved throughout this process,
sharing their legislative priorities, ordering the Chamber’s legislative
agenda, walking the halls of the legislature and sharing phone calls, emails
and letters on behalf of business friendly bills. Thanks to all who have supported this highly