Sen. Derek Kilmer leading the way for job creation

Kilmer -
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Senator has two bills approved by Senate.

As tough economic times are taking root in Washington state with major companies like Microsoft and Boeing announcing layoffs and job cuts, 26th District State Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) has already pushed two job bills through the state Senate just weeks into the 2009 legislative session.

Kilmer, who represents parts of Kitsap and Pierce counties, has a background in economic development, which Senate leaders tapped into to create legislation that will create jobs and improve the state’s business climate.

One of those bills, Senate Bill 5042, provides regulatory relief for small businesses.

“During these tough economic times, our small businesses should be able to focus on remaining competitive and keeping people employed. By providing some flexibility for employers who make minor paperwork mistakes, this bill can help them maintain jobs,” Kilmer said. “This is about focusing on outcomes rather than being punitive. If a small business makes an honest, first-time paperwork violation, I think it’s appropriate for them to be let off with a warning instead of having to pay a fine. Let’s let them focus on growing their business.”

The bill has been endorsed by a variety of business groups, including the Association of Washington Business and the National Federation of Independent Business. It passed the Senate on a unanimous vote.

Kilmer also sponsored Senate Bill 5554, which strengthens the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges’ Job Skills Program.

Kilmer’s bill directs the state’s training programs to be coordinated, with an emphasis on high-demand and high-growth job fields. The bill also insists training dollars be used where they will make the most impact –prioritizing training applications that involve collaboration by industry and by training institutions to garner the most “bang for the buck.”

“This bill is about jobs,” Kilmer said. “During tough economic times, businesses sometimes are forced to scale back their investments in training for their workers. But during these tough times, it’s all the more important to up-skill workers — to help them learn new skills and be more effective on the job. By strengthening our state’s investments in worker training and focusing on efforts that help more businesses and more workers, we can better weather this economic storm.”

SB 5554 was endorsed by business and industry groups, including the Association of Washington Business and won the unanimous approval of the Senate.

More information on the Economic Stimulus Package is available on the Web site of the Senate Democrats at

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