Seattle Metro Chamber President and CEO Maud Daudon issued the following statement on Mayor Ed Murray's proposal to use the general fund for the Office of Labor Standards, rather than a new tax on businesses or a dedicated source of funding:
“Mayor Ed Murray’s proposal for funding the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) reflects our long-held position that implementing the city’s labor laws—an important function that we support—is a general fund responsibility. This core responsibility does not warrant new taxes on business, nor a dedicated funding source."
“Seattle businesses have consistently stepped up and invested in what is best for the city, supporting $4 billion in new public investments over the last two years. We also generate 50 percent of the City’s tax revenue. If the Council can find money in the general fund to hire additional legislative assistants and to bail out a bike-share program, it should be able to find a similar amount of money to enforce its own laws. The Mayor’s funding proposal is a clear recognition of this fact, and we strongly encourage the Seattle City Council to support it.”
“With so many new labor laws being implemented over the past few years, outreach to employers needs to be significant. The Chamber will continue to press for allocating 50 percent of the proposed outreach funding for educating employers on Seattle’s labor laws, especially since employers have made 75 percent of the contacts to OLS so far.”
Chamber Action on this Issue
The Chamber has been a leading voice for using the general fund for the Office of Labor Standards. The work OLS does--implementing and enforcing labor laws--is a core function that should not require a special source of funding. We've shared this point of view in Crosscut as well as in the C is for Crank recently.
Dozens of Chamber members have written emails to their Councilmembers about this issue so far. You can join them, using our fast and easy advocacy tool.
For more information, please contact Meadow Johnson, our senior vice president of external relations.