Lawmakers’ words are welcome, but now it’s time to back them up | Editorial

With the announcement this week that The Boeing Company will move as many as 1,200 of its research jobs out of Washington state, lawmakers, including Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, are saying enough is enough.

Boeing said Friday it is shifting those research jobs in Washington state and California to Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina

Smith and fellow Republican JT Wilcox, R-Yelm, say Boeing’s announcement is part of a much bigger problem for Washington’s economic climate as a whole.

And they’re calling for action.

“It is absolutely essential that we recognize the serious nature, and wider implications, of Boeing’s decision — this goes across all sectors of our economy,” Smith said in a statement Friday.

Wilcox said he believes that much of the problem lies with the state piling on costly rules and regulations that drive up costs of manufacturing in Washington, and that needs to be reversed.

“Even as we speak, for example, Gov. Inslee seems intent on imposing a carbon tax on Washingtonians that could add up to a dollar to the cost of a gallon of gas,” Wilcox said.

“It is incumbent on us as state policymakers to send a strong message that we are aware of Washington’s competitive disadvantages and will enact policies to improve our business climate,” Smith said.

“And likewise, that we will protect our state’s competitive advantages.”

“We need to fight for every job,” Smith said.

While Boeing’s announcement is part of a larger, state-wide issue, it promises to have direct ramifications to residents beyond the urban hubs of Seattle and Everett.

With Boeing’s plant in Everett just one short ferry ride away, the job losses will likely have an impact on Island County as well.

Many Boeing employees live on Whidbey Island. These workers shop locally and pay property taxes.

Island County cannot afford any more of these kinds of hits to its economy.

We applaud Smith and Wilcoxs’ words. Now we want to see all state lawmakers — Republican and Democrat alike — work together to find ways to keep these jobs from exiting Washington state.


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