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Governor Gregoire Signs Legislation to Save Washington Businesses $10 Million Annually

For Immediate Release: April 17, 2007

Bill modifies the average unemployment insurance contribution rate; Governor also takes action on a bill to build eastern Washington veterans cemetery

OLYMPIA - Governor Chris Gregoire today signed into law a measure she requested to modify the average unemployment insurance contribution rates. Governor Gregoire’s proposal will save small Washington businesses approximately $10 million annually and won support from both business and labor organizations.

"Washington has taken enormous strides toward reducing costs in the unemployment insurance system and I requested this bill so that I can pass those savings on to Washington businesses," said Governor Gregoire.

House Bill 1278, sponsored by Rep. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma), passed the House with 96 votes and passed the Senate with 43 votes. The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the Legislative session.

Governor Gregoire Signs Legislation to Build Eastern Washington Veterans Cemetery

Governor Chris Gregoire today signed into law a measure to build a state veterans cemetery in eastern Washington. The cemetery will meet a long-standing need in eastern Washington, where a national cemetery would only be built if the veteran population in the region meets federal requirements. When the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs determined it was unlikely the federal government would build a national cemetery due to these requirements, the state began looking at establishing a state veterans' cemetery.

"For the 140,000 veterans living in eastern Washington, the closest national cemetery is located nearly 300 miles away," said Governor Gregoire. "With this new cemetery, we will be able to properly honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans in the inland northwest."

Under the proposal from Governor Gregoire, the federal Veterans Administration would provide grant funding for 100 percent of design, construction and equipment costs. The state would provide the land for the cemetery and be responsible for operation and maintenance.

House Bill 1292, sponsored by Rep. Don Barlow (D-Spokane), a veteran of the National Guard, passed the House with 96 votes and passed the Senate with 45 votes. The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the Legislative session.

Additional Bill Action Today

Governor Gregoire today also signed the following bills into law:

  • HB 1000 - Adding porphyria to the list of disabilities for special parking privileges. (Partial veto, Section 2)
  • ESHB 1024 - Phasing out the use of polybrominated diphenyl ethers.
  • HB 1042 - Modifying the share acquisition time period for engaging in a significant business transaction.
  • ESHB 1114 - Prohibiting the marketing of estate distribution documents by persons not authorized to practice law in this state or who are not a financial institution.
  • SHB 1144 - Providing a uniform method of transferring a municipal court judgment into district court.
  • HB 1185 – Extending the expiration date for reporting requirements on timber purchases.
  • SHB 1261 - Purchasing service credit for periods of temporary duty disability in the law enforcement officers' and fire fighters' retirement system plan 2, the teachers' retirement system, the school employees' retirement system, and the public safety employees' retirement system.
  • SHB 1262 - Addressing the public employment of retirees from the teachers' retirement system plan 1 and the public employees' retirement system plan 1.
  • HB 1305 - Repealing the statutes regulating food lockers.
  • HB 1349 - Authorizing the sale by spirit, beer and wine licensees of malt liquor in containers that are capable of holding four gallons or more and are registered in accordance with RCW 66.28.200.
  • SHB 1381 - Making changes of a technical nature to tax laws.
  • HB 1437 - Concerning fees for petitioners of sexual assault protection orders.
  • HB 1458 - Requiring notice to property owners before condemnation decisions.
  • HB 1475 - Adding members to the state board for volunteer firefighters and reserve officers.
  • SHB 1508 - Providing an exemption from business and occupation tax for the resale of natural or manufactured gas by consumers.
  • SHB 1513 - Modifying provisions relating to the excise taxation of forest products businesses.
  • HB 1793 - Removing the limit on the number of cities eligible for indigent defense grants through the office of public defense.
  • SHB 1848 - Requiring the department of social and health services and the health care authority to enter into data-sharing agreements with Oregon and Idaho agencies.
  • HB 1870 - Recognizing Juneteenth as a day of remembrance.
  • HB 1940 - Requiring state agencies to notify local governments of proposed land dispositions.
  • HB 1972 - Regarding proceeds from irrigation district foreclosure sales.
  • SHB 2008 - Creating a cooperative agreement relating to the timber harvest excise taxation of timber harvests within the Quinault Indian Reservation.
  • SHB 2147 - Providing vocational rehabilitation services for volunteer firefighters and reserve officers.
  • HB 2161 - Providing for consistency between code cities and noncode cities in the apportionment of investment funds.
  • SB 5228 - Revising provisions concerning actions under the consumer protection act.