In the delicate balance between providing a good climate for business while simultaneously creating family-wage jobs, protecting injured workers and providing a livable minimum wage, Washington State is among the top performers in the nation.
In its fourth annual Enterprising States report, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce listed Washington among its “Strong Performers” and ranked our state’s business climate 11th in this year’s report. The Chamber, described on their web site as “the world’s largest business organization” singled out Washington for ranking “no worse than 17th on any list.” Those categories rank our state sixth in overall economic performance and export rank, seventh in innovation and entrepreneurship, 17th in vocational talent and 11th in infrastructure.
The U.S. Chamber’s positive report on doing business in the Evergreen State is just the latest glowing review our state has received from similar business-minded organizations:
- Washington’s business tax system was ranked fifth in 2012 by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
- Our state was ranked sixth by the Tax Foundation’s 2013 Business Tax Climate Index.
- Forbes ranked Washington 11th on its list of Best States for Business.
Washington, the only non-Right to Work state among the top 11 states on Forbes’ list, continues to successfully walk the tightrope between business and workers, despite having the most regressive tax system in the nation.
Republicans in the Washington Senate, however, ignore the above facts and continue to propose legislation that further erodes the rights of Washington’s workforce and would place more burdens on our state’s families and taxpayers. These excellent rankings by respected business organizations put the lie to Republican claims that we have to limit insurance protections for injured workers in order to have a competitive business climate.
When Senate Republicans did have a chance to help Washington businesses during the 2013 session, they rejected a transportation revenue package that was widely supported by Washington businesses. The package would have created 100,000 jobs and strengthened our economy for years to come.
Senate Democrats will continue to work to foster the flames of innovation and make our state a great place for businesses – large and small – to do business. It is indeed a delicate balance, and it can be achieved without coming at the expense of Washington’s workforce.