13th District State Rep. Matt Manweller had his first bill signed by Governor Jay Inslee yesterday and it is a bill that will benefit both employees and employers. House bill 1396 is a jobs bill that authorizes changes to the unemployment insurance Shared Work Program. As result, private-sector employers that use Shared Work during that period will not be taxed for those benefits. Also, government agencies, tribes and non-profits won’t have to reimburse the Employment Security Department (ESD) for every dollar of benefits paid out as they normally do.

Manweller explained the bill is good for both employees and employers because it provides shared work benefits for employees, but they are not charged to employers for a three-year period. “It is exciting that my first bill signed into law will benefit small businesses and protect employees,” said Manweller, R-Ellensburg. “I continue to see a lot of legislation and proposed taxes that could hurt our state’s economy and job growth. Anything we can do to assist our job creators and their employees is a step in the right direction.”

The shared-work program is a popular and agreed-upon program and is tied to the federal Middle Class Tax Relief and Creation Act of 2012. For the first time, reimbursable employers can participate because of the federal funding. Under current law, it does not make economic sense for reimbursable employers to participate because they pay wages and have to reimburse ESD for every dollar of benefits.

The bill takes effect 90 days after the regular session adjourns, which is scheduled for this Sunday, April 28.