Legislation to establish a small business bill of rights was signed into law Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
House Bill 1352 directs the attorney general to work with state agencies and identify the rights of small businesses that face inspections or audits. The attorney general will then report his findings to the Legislature so lawmakers can find ways to streamline the process by which the state educates small business owners about their rights.
“As a small business owner, I know how difficult it can be to navigate and abide by Washington’s various rules and regulations,” said Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby, co-sponsor of the companion legislation to HB 1352 in the Senate. “We have a patient bill of rights, an airline passenger bill of rights – it’s long past time that we had a small business bill of rights.”
Small businesses are the backbone of Washington’s economy, noted Palumbo. He added that small businesses in Washington employ nearly 1.2 million people and make up 98 percent of all employers in the state. Additionally, there are more than 400,000 small businesses in Washington without employees.
“Small businesses don’t have high-priced legal teams at their disposal like the big corporations do,” said Palumbo. “I know from personal experience how costly and burdensome it can be when you are faced with an enforcement action by the state.”
Palumbo also said that he plans to continue to work on additional legislation that supports small businesses in upcoming sessions so they can continue to drive our state’s economy.