Rep. Vick’s bill to help grow manufacturing in Washington state unanimously passes the House

Rep. Brandon Vick's bill aimed at finding new channels of growth for manufacturing businesses in the state of Washington was handed over to the Senate, Wednesday, after being unanimously passed by the state House of Representatives.

“I'm very appreciative this bill has passed unanimously,” said Vick, R-Vancouver. “The time is right to help the manufacturing industry be as successful as they possibly can. This bill will help us determine what's working and what isn't, and how to fix it.”

House Bill 2879 would foster economic growth in the state by supporting in-state manufacturing. The bill would investigate all relative factors that could potentially help long-term job growth in the industry.

 It would also establish a limited-time study on manufacturing that would be assisted by a private sector advisory group. Vick noted that manufacturing jobs are an important part of the state's economy and vital to countless other industries.

Manufacturers are responsible for more than 287,000 jobs in the state and they add more than $58 billion to the state's economy. Additionally, more than 80 percent of all products exported from Washington are manufactured goods.

“Washington's economy has seen incredible growth recently, but that economic increase has not helped everyone,” noted Vick. “The manufacturing industry is doing well, but it hasn't had the same type of growth as many other industries.”

“We want to get all of the relevant manufacturing stakeholders together and ask them what they need from the Washington State Legislature in order to add jobs, grow their industry, and contribute even more to the state's economy?” added Vick.

The bill received bipartisan support, including from Rep. Shelley Kloba, D-Kirkland.

“The Commerce Department is involved in some ongoing efforts to improve and increase jobs in Washington state and facilitate business development in numerous industries and sectors,” noted Kloba. “This bill expands that work into the manufacturing sector, helping to diversify the economy and share the wealth with everyone.”

The purpose of the study would be to promote economic development in every one of Washington's counties. The overall goal would be to improve regulatory conditions, infrastructure, and workforce development resources that would help grow and sustain the manufacturing sector.

Rep. Brandon Vick poses with Tommy Gantz of the Association of Washington Business (AWB), who testified in support of House Bill 2879 during a public hearing in the House ITED Committee

The study would include input from members of the House and Senate from both parties, as well as a non-voting advisory group. Additionally, the advisory group would include members from nearly two dozen industry sectors.

The bill now awaits a hearing in the Senate.

The 2020 legislative session is scheduled to end March 12.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov