Senator Sharon Brown (R), has been selected chairman of the Senate’s Trade and Economic Development Committee for 2015.
“I am very honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to take on this important leadership role,” said Brown, R-Kennewick. “One of the key goals of our Senate coalition is to help the private sector create and maintain jobs and to get the people of Washington back to work.”
“Looking for creative ways to make Washington more attractive to employers and reviving our manufacturing base have not only been priorities for me since joining the Senate; they are some of my passions.”
“We must work together – in a bipartisan manner – to create an environment that encourages job and economic growth, allows new and small businesses to thrive, and sends a signal to the rest of the world that Washington is open for business. As chair of the Trade and Economic Development committee that is exactly what I plan to do.”
Brown has solid experience creating innovative new approaches to economic development with bipartisan support. Her “Reinvest in Washington Jobs Act” was praised as one of the most ingenious ways ever developed to promote economic development, by both Democratic and Republican senators during the 2014 session.
“The way this bill is crafted is quite ingenious,” said Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, of the bill. In addition organized labor also praised Senator Brown’s bill, saying it would lead to more manufacturing jobs in the state.
The measure stalled in the House of Representatives, but Brown plans to reintroduce it in January when the Legislature convenes for its 2015 session.
“I’ve been working for more than a year now with mayors and economic-development professionals on this new approach, which improves on the traditional business-and-occupation tax-relief model,” said Brown. “This exciting new economic-development plan was developed in collaboration with Kennewick Mayor Steve Young. For the first time, the state would be doing economic development in a way that gives employers ‘skin in the game’ so that they are reinvesting in Washington – in their business infrastructure and employees – and tightening their bond with the communities where they are located. And through that reinvestment, they will give the state a measurable way of helping them create jobs – which, of course, is what we really want.”
“There is a great deal of entrepreneurial talent across the board in our state,” said Brown. “Government can’t always identify the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but we can and should foster the type of pro-growth climate that will create opportunities for these talented individuals to flourish and be successful.”
Senator Brown was also selected to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, Healthcare Committee, and the Energy Environment & Telecommunication Committee.