We're pleased to share good news about an issue that we’ve engaged on closely for almost a year: funding for the City of Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards (OLS). On February 13, the Seattle City Council started considering a proposal that finally puts this issue to rest
so that the City can focus on major pressing challenges, from transportation to improving coordination on homelessness. This agreement, which we reached in partnership with the Council and other stakeholders, avoids any new taxes on business
, a point that is consistent with our advocacy on this issue and is central to our city’s ongoing competitiveness as a place to do business. Instead of new taxes on business, the City will establish a dedicated account within its general fund and use existing revenue from the city’s business and occupation tax to fund OLS. The Seattle Metro Chamber supports this proposal
, and we extend our thanks to Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Lisa Herbold, Rob Johnson, and Debora Juarez for sponsoring this solution. The Council held its first committee hearing on the proposal yesterday morning, and will continue to consider the legislation over the next few weeks. Your support is important to helping the proposal get over the finish line.
Please take a moment to write to your Councilmembers
and encourage them to pass this legislation. We’ll continue to advocate for robust funding for business outreach and education on the city’s labor laws
to build on the additional funding we secured during last year’s budget process for this important function. The grants OLS makes to employer organizations, like the one we received last year to work with the Ethnic Business Coalition and Tabor 100, are crucial to ensuring that businesses—particularly small businesses and businesses owned by minorities, immigrants, and refugees—have the information and guidance they need to comply with the City’s complex labor laws.