Two ‘good, little bills’ could make a big difference for jobs in Pierce County

Measures sponsored by 25th District lawmakers, brought forward by local business owners who want to expand

 

There’s a popular saying in the Legislature that goes something like, “Good, little bill – vote yes.” Two good, little bills sponsored by Rep. Bruce Dammeier and Rep. Hans Zeiger could end up making a big difference for Pierce County when it comes to job creation and the expansion of two local employers.   

Under current law, it’s a gross misdemeanor to manufacture, sell or possess a spring blade knife in Washington state. This means National Guard soldiers are in violation of state law if they possess spring blade knives issued by the Army. House Bill 2347, signed into law March 29 (pictured below), will allow spring blade knives to be manufactured and used by law enforcement, fire and rescue, and military personnel in the state. 

“This bill is good for two reasons. First, it will provide our ‘save-and-serve’ personnel with a better tool as they protect our communities. Secondly, it will allow a local manufacturer to expand its operations and not be forced to relocate to another state,” said Dammeier, R-Puyallup. “This is an example of how a small bill can make a big difference when it comes to job creation in our communities – at no cost to taxpayers.”  

“This bill will greatly help us to create jobs here in the 25th District by removing some of the old restrictions that prevent new manufacturing. We are so thankful to Bruce Dammeier, Hans Zeiger and all of the bill’s supporters for helping us with this,” said Mike Vellekamp, owner and co-founder of Fox Knives USA. “We need to get rid of the stigma that these knives are weapons and start calling them tools – because that’s what they are. We are proud to have Fox Knives USA here in Puyallup and, thanks to this bill, we have no plans to move.”

Dammeier and Zeiger also sponsored House Bill 2383, which passed out of the House Business and Financial Services Committee on Jan. 31. Its companion, Senate Bill 6155, ended up being the legislative vehicle and was signed by the governor on March 19.

Senate Bill 6155 would clarify provisions around third-party account administrators and remove a conflict between a Federal Trade Commission rule and a recent state Supreme Court decision. This clarification of the law would allow a company in Pierce County to re-hire employees and likely expand its operations.

“This law will help an employer in Tacoma that has been around for thirty years to re-hire employees and boost our local economy,” said Zeiger, R-Puyallup. “We hope that the business will be able to expand and create even more jobs.”

“Senate Bill 6155 is a huge win for the state of Washington and, in particular, Pierce County. We fought hard for this bill because it affects business growth, results in more jobs for Washingtonians, and upholds protections for consumers needing debt reduction in this state,” said Linda Remsberg, owner and CEO of Meracord. “We couldn’t be happier and are so thankful for the many wonderful people – including Representative Dammeier, Senator Kilmer, Representative Zeiger, and many other Pierce County legislators – who helped us succeed in passing this bill.”

Pierce County’s unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in February.

The 2012 legislative session adjourned March 8. Without agreements on the supplemental operating and capital budgets, the governor called a 30-day special session the following Monday.

Governor Gregoire signs House Bill 2347

Pictured from left to right: Rep. Bruce Dammeier; Laurie DeMars; Gov. Chris Gregoire; Robert Allen (Pierce County Executive Office, Economic Development Specialist); Rep. Hans Zeiger; and Mike Vellekamp.

Photo courtesy of the Washington State House of Representatives.

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Contact: John Handy, Deputy Communications Director, (360) 786-5758