deserve more credit
State legislators may not receive the same amount of attention as their federal breth- ren, but they should. I recently attended
the National Conference of State Legislatures
(NCSL) and was impressed with what I saw.
The state lawmakers asked
thought-provok-ing questions of
understood complex processes
and had historical knowledge
of legislation to
to today’s policies. They had a
genuine desire to
do right by state
The conference provides state legislators throughout the country a place to convene and learn the
latest about such issues as health care, retirement,
taxation and fraud prevention. They also create
policy positions that reflect their states’ interests
and send those to their federal counterparts.
I listened to panel discussions ranging from the
wild west of bit-coin transactions to the monitoring of state programs with results-based processes.
Though discussions were public-sector related,
they touched on issues concerning us – such as
retirement. For instance, workshop panelists discussed the cost-effectiveness of defined benefit
retirement plans (pensions) compared to defined
contribution plans (401(k) and how those plans
were made more common by the federal government trying to protect employees’ retirement
funds from corporate raiders.
Following the conference, legislators took with
them information from other states’ legislators
and stakeholders. Although they often hear primarily from lobbyists, SPEEA delegates to NCSL
spoke on behalf of labor and aerospace issues.
The conference provided legislators with the
technical side of legislation, but not the human
perspective. For that, we need to make sure they
hear from us.
Everett Council Rep and Northwest Legislative
and Public Affairs vice chair
Labor statewide stands
with SPEEA/IAM on accountability
Among the many resolutions voted on at this year’s Washington State Labor Council (WSLC), AFL-CIO, convention, hundreds of delegates voted unanimously
to support tax incentive accountability.
The resolution, initially passed unanimously
last year, supports efforts by SPEEA, IFPTE
Local 2001 and the International Association of
Machinists (IAM) District Lodge 751 to secure
good family wage jobs.
This year’s resolution also calls for adding tax
accountability to the WSLC candidate questionnaire.
See the complete resolution below.
Shortly after the state voted in 2013 to extend tax
breaks in return for 777X work, Boeing started
announcing mass layoffs.
SPEEA and the IAM teamed up to initiate legislation that would require state aerospace tax
incentives to generate the jobs and good wages
that were intended.
Resolution in support – Aerospace Tax
Incentives Accountability Measures
WHEREAS, the Washington State Legislature
passed ESSB 5952 during the November 2013
special session, an act relating to incentivizing a
long-term commitment to maintain and grow jobs
in the aerospace industry in Washington state; and
WHEREAS, ESSB 5952 legislation states that
“The legislature further finds that the industry
continues to provide good wages and benefits
for the thousands of engineers, mechanics, and
support staff working directly in the industry
throughout the state. The legislature further
finds that suppliers and vendors that support
the aerospace industry in turn provide a range
of well-paying jobs”; and
WHEREAS, ESSB 5952 also declares, “It is the
legislature's specific public policy objective to
maintain and grow Washington's aerospace indus-
try workforce. To help achieve this public policy
objective, it is the legislature's intent to condition-
ally extend aerospace industry tax preferences until
July 1, 2040, in recognition of intent by the state's
aerospace industry sector to maintain and grow
its workforce within the state”; and
WHEREAS, hundreds of aerospace companies,
receiving millions of dollars in aerospace tax
incentives, are paying thousands of aerospace
workers less than $15 per hour; and
WHEREAS, after the November 8, 2013
Legislative Special Session passage of ESSB
5952, The Boeing Company eliminated over
3,000 engineering and other jobs from their
Washington state payroll, moving many of those
jobs to Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama and
Oklahoma City; and
WHEREAS, the states of Missouri, South
Carolina, Alabama and Oklahoma have enacted
aerospace tax incentive packages contingent on
the aerospace industry producing certain job
WHEREAS, Washington’s lack of job require-
ments in exchange for tax incentive eligibility
puts our state at a competitive disadvantage for
aerospace jobs when compared to Missouri, South
Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma and other jurisdic-
tions which require job growth and job retention
in exchange for tax incentives; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, the WSLC work with its
affiliates for passage of legislation to be
referred to as the Aerospace Tax Incentive
Accountability Act ensuring the tax breaks
given to the aerospace industry provides the
stated intent of the original aerospace tax incentive legislation with the stated outcome of preserving jobs; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC will work for passage of aerospace tax incentive accountability legislation requiring living-wage jobs for employees
in exchange for companies receiving the benefit
of aerospace tax incentive; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the WSLC will add a question
to its candidate questionnaire addressing the tax
incentive accountability issue; and, be it finally
RESOLVED, that WSLC prioritize passage
of the Aerospace Tax Incentive Accountability
Act legislation in the 2016 legislative session.
Take action – tell your legislators these issues are
important. See how at www.speea.org.
SPEEA delegates join hundreds of other labor representatives at the Washington State
Labor Council convention at Sea Tac.
David Fritz addresses a panel
ISUPPORT TaxIncentive Accountability
District Lodge 751