Thank you to members for heroic
Committee votes against bill
effort on tax accountability
to tie tax breaks to jobs
OLYMPIA – The Washington State House Finance Committee recently voted against a bill that would have
tied more than $8.7 billion in state aerospace
tax incentives to jobs.
The action Feb. 5 denied the state’s House
of Representatives a vote on House Bill (HB)
2638, which means Boeing can continue taking tax breaks while simultaneously moving
jobs out of the state. (See related article).
SPEEA worked hand in hand with the
Machinists to push for legislation that incrementally reduced the full tax break based on
the number of jobs moving out of state.
The state legislature approved the tax incentives during a special session in November
2013 to “maintain and grow” the state’s aerospace workforce. Since then, Boeing has shed
4,057 jobs in Washington.
Other states, like South Carolina, Missouri and
Oklahoma, required a specific number of jobs
for Boeing to receive tax breaks. Washington
How they voted
House Finance Committee members voted on
HB 2638 to tie aerospace tax incentives to job
For the bill
• Rep. Chris Reykdal (D- 22)
• Rep. Cindy Ryu (D-32)
• Rep. Noel Frame (D-36)
• Rep. June Robinson – (D-38) –
• Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-40) –
Finance Committee chair
• Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-46)
• Rep. Sharon Wylie (D-49)
Against the bill
• Rep. J. T. Wilcox (R- 2)
• Rep. Cary Condotta (R- 12)
• Rep. Matt Manweller (R- 13)
• Rep. Terry Nealey (R- 16)
• Rep. Brandon Vick (R- 18)
• Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-20)
• Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R-31)
• Rep. Larry Springer (D-45)
Bill sponsor’s response
to more job cuts
OLYMPIA – State Rep.
June Robinson (D-Everett)
issued the following statement after The Boeing
Company announced it
will eliminate more jobs in
“I am greatly disappointed
that once again our state is
losing aerospace jobs. When
the legislature passed the historically large tax
break in 2013, it was done with the understanding that it would keep aerospace industry jobs in
“Unfortunately, since that time, the investment
that Washingtonians have made in Boeing in the
form of a tax break, has been met with announcement after announcement that Boeing jobs are
decreasing in our state. Whether the jobs are
moving to other states, overseas or just evaporating, the taxpayers deserve to see a return on their
“I introduced common-sense legislation to hold
Boeing accountable to the taxpayers of Washington
by requiring that job growth occur in order for
Boeing to continue taking advantage of the tax
exemption. But, under pressure from corporate
interests, the bill did not have enough votes to pass
out of committee.
“On behalf of all of Washington’s taxpayers and
families, we need to keep working to demand
tougher accountability measures for aerospace
The announcement came five days after the
House Finance Committee failed to advance
House Bill 2638 that would have tied the state’s
$8.7 billion tax incentives to jobs at the company. Robinson was the prime sponsor of House
By Chelsea Orvella
SPEEA Legislative Director
The defeat of aerospace tax incentive accountability measure House Bill (HB) 2638 in the House Finance Committee
Feb. 5 was hugely disappointing. The people of
our state lost out to corporate interests in a big
way that day.
This vote, as bad as it was, goes to show how far
we have come in Olympia. The session ended last
year without any vote on a similar bill. This year,
we gained bipartisan cosponsors, garnered an entire
hearing before the House Finance Committee on
this single issue, and heard from dozens of lawmakers who told our members they would vote for the
bill if it made it to the House floor.
We couldn’t have come this far without the heroic effort of our members, along with the machinists of IAM District Lodge 751, and lawmakers
and supporters who agreed that tax incentives
without ties to minimum job requirements and
good wages undercut our state.
For two years, current and laid-off Boeing workers have traveled to Olympia and elsewhere to
meet with legislators, testify, and rally. It takes
sacrifice to devote a day to grassroots lobbying,
and it takes courage to tell your story to elected
officials and the public.
I want to sincerely thank the hundreds of members, laid-off workers and retirees who have and
continue to talk to their legislators or allow us
to share their stories. It has made such a difference – our collective voice is louder and stronger
through those individual efforts.
Those experiences enrich and empower people in a
way that outlives even the legislative effort at hand.
They also leave lasting impressions on legislators.
The call to hold Boeing accountable for the
largest tax break granted by any one state in
U.S. history continues. For many, the call has
intensified with further layoff announcements in
Washington – less than a week after the House
Finance Committee voted down HB 2638.
I SUPPORT Tax Incentive Accountability
Some lawmakers want to pass a comprehensive
accountability bill addressing corporate tax
breaks, including aerospace. Stay tuned and
please keep contacting your legislators. They’re
listening. The legislative session is set to
adjourn March 10.
Shown here seeking support from Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D
37th district, on tax incentive accountability (from left):
Northwest Legislative and Public Affairs (L&PA) Committee
Chair Judy Mogan, Rep. Pettigrew, Stan Sorscher (SPEEA
staff) and Dennis Davaz, also a member of NW L&PA.