On March 3, the state House passed a bill from Rep. Mari Leavitt (D-University Place) to extend a tax credit for businesses working with students in employment training programs. The legislation, HB 1033, passed in a 97-0 vote with strong bipartisan support.
The bill would extend the Washington Customized Employment Training Program B&O tax credit to July 1, 2026. By partnering with community and technical colleges, businesses use this program to increase job opportunities and expand employees’ skills.
“With so many working families and small businesses struggling right now, we need to do everything we can to support them,” Leavitt said. “Workforce training uplifts our economy, supports small businesses and provides workers with opportunities for professional development. This bill will give businesses and workers a boost.”
Today’s vote comes after the House passed Leavitt’s bill, HB 1166, on Friday to expand housing and assistance to college students experiencing homelessness and college students who were in foster care. HB 1166 also passed in a bipartisan vote.
“Too many students are struggling with food and housing insecurity. HB 1166 will help homeless and foster care college students get the support they need to finish their studies and land good-paying jobs to provide for themselves and their families,” Leavitt said.
HB 1166 expands pilot programs at community and technical colleges and four-year institutions that provide assistance to students facing homelessness and students who were in foster care when graduating high school. Housing and essential needs can be a struggle for students right out of high school, adults going back to school and workers seeking retraining.
This assistance includes access to laundry facilities, locker rooms, showers, technology, reduced-price meals, housing and case management services.
The programs are currently located at Eastern Washington University, Edmonds College, South Puget Sound Community College, Walla Walla Community College, Western Washington University and Yakima Valley College. HB 1166 would expand these programs to four more community and technical colleges and two more four-year institutions.
Both bills advanced to the Senate for further consideration.