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Lawmakers were pressed Monday to quickly pass a couple of bills that Gov. Chris Gregoire's office says will cut taxes to businesses and help spur the state economy.
One of the measures temporarily caps the amount of taxes businesses pay into the state's unemployment insurance fund. The governor's office says that tax cut would mean about $300 million in savings for businesses in the next year.
To save that money, Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause says the Legislature needs to approve the bills by Feb. 8 because those taxes are due soon.
The bills also ensure the state receives federal money for
unemployment benefits and restructures worker retraining.
A coalition of labor organizations spoke against the measure at a committee hearing, saying that they prefer some of the money in the insurance fund to be used to give cash assistance to families.
Many business organizations, though, showed support for the proposals, but do so as long as benefit payments are not increased.
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