The WSLC agrees with Sells and Gregoire that rates shouldn't rise so sharply, especially during a recession, but the coalition would prefer a more holistic approach that targets relief not only at businesses, but at struggling families as well. WSLC's proposal includes a weekly $15 per child benefit (maximum $50 per week) in addition to lower UI tax rates on business over the next three years. Marshaling a coalition of labor and social groups, the WSLC hopes that the new tax package would target benefits at those who need them most.
According to the WSLC, the children's benefit provision would affect 167,000 Washingtonians and cost the UI trust fund $202 million dollars from 2011-2017. The WSLC wrote in a memo this morning, "[that] the best way to stimulate the state economy is to use our UI Trust Fund to maximize relief and recovery for businesses and for working families."
Rep. Sells, chair of the Labor & Workforce development comittee and a labor ally told PubliCola that as the bill currently stands, there is no child benefit. Sells did not speculate on the fate of the provision during tomorrow's 8 AM hearing.