Business group names Kilmer ‘Star Legislator’

Enterprise Washington’s “Business Institute” recently honored Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor for his pro-business leadership during the 2008 Legislative Session.

“Senator Kilmer has taken a bipartisan approach to the economic vitality of our region, and made sure that economic development and business success are factored into legislative discussions,” said Erin McCallum, President of Enterprise Washington.

Formed in 2006, Enterprise Washington’s Business Institute is designed to encourage active participation by employees and business in the government process.

Kilmer, who serves as vice-chair of the Senate Economic Development, Trade and Management Committee, was recognized as a “Legislative Business Star” for his sponsorship of legislation to help diversify and strengthen business opportunities in Washington.

“I came to Olympia because I felt that we needed to be more strategic about growing jobs in this state and supporting the small businesses that are really the backbone of our economy,” said Kilmer. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the business community for the progress we’re making to help Washington’s employers be successful. I’m motivated by the work that still needs to be done.”

This year, Kilmer prime sponsored several bills to assist businesses and employees in their efforts at improved workforce development, including Senate Bill 6295 to expand partnerships between colleges and employers so they can work together to offer more workplace-based training programs; Senate Bill 6261 to reduce unemployment among those age 18 to 24; and Senate Bill 5254 to expand efforts between employers and educational institutions to partner in addressing our state’s workforce needs.

Kilmer has also sponsored bills to help improve the effectiveness of state funds invested in economic development and to encourage development in economically depressed areas. Senate Bill 6855 reforms the Community Economic Revitalization Board program to ensure state infrastructure investments result in the creation of significant private sector jobs or capital investments. Senate Bill 6626 encourages major corporations to locate their headquarters in economically depressed areas by providing an exemption from the Sales & Use Tax that would normally be incurred in the course of constructing a headquarters.

Kilmer also sponsored Senate Bill 6690 to simplify regulations and make government more transparent and responsive.

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