In both the public and private sector, providing family wage jobs with a safe and positive working environment is critical. A backbone of our communities are our small businesses and the jobs they create. As your senator, I have made it a priority to champion legislation that revamps our tax system in order to better support and promote our small businesses and makes the entire system more equitable. I was influential in ensuring the passage of legislation that will give small businesses a break on their Business and Occupation Tax. I was also the prime sponsor of legislation that eliminates the unfair double and triple taxation of some industries.
Another important economic driver for our communities are our public employees. These men and women create and maintain our infrastructure, teach our children and protect our quality of life. Like all other areas of the economy, public employees have shared in the cut-backs in an effort to balance our budget. However, public sector jobs represent thousands of family wage jobs for our friends, neighbors and families in our communities and, as such, are part of the solution to our long-term economic recovery. I have worked tirelessly to protect these jobs to the greatest extent possible and ensure that the important services they provide to the citizens of Washington are maintained.
Another critical component of long-term economic growth is the promotion of land use policies that encourage strong communities anchored by thriving small businesses. In recognition of this, I championed legislation that made our shoreline laws easier to understand and implement while still providing important environmental protections.