The state Senate Democrats released a job creation plan today. It mainly focuses on aiding small businesses.

The most tangible proposal in the package was an idea that Gov. Chris Gregoire pitched in her State of the State speech two weeks ago—a tax break for small businesses (under 10 employees) that hire a new worker, including health care coverage.

Eastside Seattle suburban Rep. Ross Hunter (D-48), chair of the House Finance Committee, has been skeptical of the tax break ever since Gregoire announced it. (Employers would get a $4,000 break on the B&O tax for a new hire who makes more than $40,000.)

"When we design tax credits to incent new job creation, it’s important to make sure that the credit works at the margin," Hunter says. "We don’t just give money to people who were going to create jobs anyway."

It's hardly an FDR-style investment plan—the only appropriation I found among the seven bills (including a worker retraining program,  a weatherization program, and allowing local districts to create special taxing zones to fund infrasturcture projects) was $500,000 for Covington-area Sen. Claudia Kauffman's (D-47) bill to help small businesses get tech grants and efficiency consulting.
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