After a series of Occupy-style bills occupied the house ways and means committee this morning—a bill for a capital gains tax; a bill to wipe out tax breaks; and a bill to limit a research and development tax credit for big companies, tailoring it for startups while making the Fortune 500 types invest in higher education—the Association of Washington Business, the business lobby in Olympia, sent an aggressive letter to House Speaker Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Seattle) letting him know they were watching.
After asking Chopp to support a number of bills—including the annual attempt to gut the voter-approved renewable energy law that requires utilities to use more renewable energy and the teacher evaluation bill that passed out of the senate earlier this month—Gary Chandler, the AWB's lobbyist, writes:
As for others, we believe that if these pieces of legislation pass, they will create more regulations on businesses that are struggling to survive in this economy. We also believe they will foster a less competitive environment for job providers in the state of Washington. We would accordingly ask you not to move these bills off the House floor.
At the end of each session, AWB members make recommendations on legislation the association has worked on to include in our annual vote record. These bills may be considered for inclusion because of their significance and involvement by AWB staff. Other bills may be considered as the session progresses and we intend to communicate clearly our position to you and your caucus as these bills move through the process.
We remain committed to working with you and the House Democratic Caucus to ensure a climate where business can succeed.
The three bills I already mentioned were on the list of bills the AWB opposes, as was a Democratic bill the Republican house has already signed off on to close the B&O tax exemption for big banks for interest earned on first mortgage loans, and a Paul Krugman-style jobs bill to fund a half billion dollars in capital projects.