Smith’s bill to help employers with agency rules, regulations passes first hurdle

In an economy that has caused many of the state’s private-sector employers to cut costs to avoid layoffs and keep their doors open, Rep. Norma Smith believes now is the time to address state agency reforms to better serve businesses.

The Whidbey Island Republican introduced House Bill 2603 to assist employers with state agency rules and regulations. The measure would provide companies that are found out of compliance with a state agency rule or regulation two business days to come into compliance without a financial or civil penalty. The sideboard in the bill is that the violation must not endanger employees or the public. The bill passed the House unanimously.

“I appreciate the bipartisan support I received on this important piece of regulatory reform legislation,” said Smith, R-Clinton. “This bill would allow state agencies the ability to come alongside our small-business owners in a more customer-service role. I believe this step will go a long way to building respectful relationships between employers and government.”

Smith explained in her comments on the House floor the bill was the product of a small-business conference she attended last year.

“With the massive burden of agency rules and regulations, sometimes volumes of them, on small employers, minor items can fall through the cracks,” Smith said. “Our small businesses want to be good neighbors and do the right thing, but sometimes they simply do not know a new rule or statute has gone into effect. What my bill does is simply extend a little good faith to businesses that are trying to do the right thing, and allows them the ability to correct an infraction. House Bill 2603 is one small step to help our struggling employers.”

The bill will be forwarded to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications