AGC-Backed Unemployment Insurance Bill Signed into Law

Workers and employers scored a big win when Gov. Inslee recently signed AGC-backed Senate Bill 5355. This bill sponsored by Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry R-Moses Lake brings Washington’s unemployment insurance system into conformity with federal regulations which is expected to save the state and employers millions per year.

“I am extremely pleased to see the Legislature finally deal with this important issue for the business community and the working men and women of our state” said Holmquist Newbry chair of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. “My bill will help us reach compliance with federal law ensure that struggling employers will not be penalized and protect $300 million per year in federal employer tax credits that might have been lost.”

The changes enacted by this new law must be in place by October in order for Washington’s unemployment compensation system to remain in conformity with federal law. Employers in states where the unemployment insurance system is in conformity with federal law receive a lower federal tax rate (reduced from 6 percent to 0.6 percent). Passing this legislation preserves federal tax credits for Washington employers valued between $200 million and $300 million per year.

“Washington employers pay the sixth-highest unemployment insurance taxes in the country and are the fifth-highest in the distribution of benefits” said Holmquist Newbry. “This bill maintains the benefits and solvency of the UI trust fund while protecting workers and employers.”

For more information contact AGCs Legislative Counsel Van Collins 360-352-5000.