From: Kenney, Rep. Phyllis <Kenney.Phyllis@leg.wa.gov>
Date: Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM
Subject: Legislative Update from Representative Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney
To: 46th Legislative District
Washington's Shared Work Program
2009-2010 School Year Begins
Investing in Our Future Workforce
For more news and resources, please visit my web site.
Legislative Update from Representative Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney
The end of summer is approaching and I'm preparing for the next
legislative session. Although we hear in the news that the worst of
the recession is behind us, many in our country are still struggling.
Here in Washington state, we've taken actions that have helped protect
families, jobs and businesses. With your help, I hope to build on
some of those successes.
Businesses avoid layoffs with Washington's Shared Work program
This past Labor Day - our nation's 127th - provided us all a moment to
reflect on the progress we've made as a country in respecting our
working class families, and the challenges we still face providing
ample opportunity to all who want to work, and to the businesses that
want to hire and keep their workers.
This recession has taken a heavy toll on jobs in our state. But some
companies are avoiding layoffs with the help of the Employment
Thanks to the state's Shared-Work Program, employers can temporarily
reduce the work hours of their full-time employees by up to 50
percent, while workers collect partial unemployment benefits to
replace some of their lost wages.
The employees receive more income than with unemployment benefits
alone, and they aren't forced to look for another job in this tough
economy. Businesses benefit by cutting payroll costs while keeping
their skilled workers until the economy improves.
Here in Washington, about 2,000 businesses and 42,000 employees are
participating in the program.
In a recent survey, 56 percent of participating employers said the
Shared-Work Program has helped them survive the recession, and another
22 percent felt it probably had. Eighty-eight percent said they'd
recommend it to other employers.
To learn more about the program, visit
http://www.esd.wa.gov/uibenefits/faq/shared-work.php or call
Back to school!
The passing of Labor Day also means that our children are back in
school. As you've dropped your kids off at school these past few days,
you may have noticed new classroom construction taking place. That's
not an accident.
We've made historic investments in our public schools earlier this
year, approving $877 million in the new state budget for school
construction, maintenance and repairs.
These investments pay dividends in many ways – creating jobs in our
communities as well as providing healthy, safe classrooms for our
children. None of us like seeing school kids walking into a
temporary, portable classroom, or hearing stories from parents and
teachers about schools with lead in the water pipes or walls filled
Every new school being built with state funds today will be green and
clean. Our state's Green Building law sets standards that make new
schools safer, better for the environment and better for the kids and
teachers inside, with more natural sunlight and cleaner air than the
old schools. The new schools also save taxpayers money, because they
cost less to heat and cool.
Here is a list of transportation and capital projects funded in the
46th Legislative District as a part of the 2009-2011 budget:
· WA-522/I-5 to I-405 (multimodal improvements) in Seattle - $544,000
· I-5 Reverse Express Lane to/from WA-522 (safety) in Seattle - $615,000
· I-5/5th Avenue to NE 92nd Street (Noise Wall) in Seattle - $4,601,000
· Concrete Rehabilitation Program (Nickel Funds) on I-5 in
Seattle - $7,237,000
Department of Community, Trade, & Economic Development
· Community Center for Sand Point Housing (Building
Communities Fund Grants) - $350,000
Improving colleges and universities
The 2009-11 capital budget also invests $732 million for our state's
public colleges and universities. That money will build and maintain
the new science labs and lecture halls we need to keep our state's
edge in brainpower.
Today's businesses rely on a highly educated workforce, and it's no
coincidence that Washington state is home to some of the nation's
finest research universities, highest educated workers and
world-leading companies like Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon.
Here is a list of projects benefitting the community and technical
college system funded in the 46th Legislative District through the
Community & Technical College System
· North Seattle CC (Facility Repairs "A") - $709,000
· North Seattle Community College (Minor Works - Preservation)
· North Seattle Community College (Minor Works - Program) - $702,000
· North Seattle Community College: Employment Resource Center
· North Seattle Community College: Technology Bldg Renewal - $2,976,000
I hope this information is helpful. Please keep sharing your thoughts
and ideas. Our democracy works because of active citizens like you.