Washington Governor's Race
6:30 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Wash. Governor Candidate Inslee Announces Jobs Plan

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee has laid out his jobs plan for Washington state. It’s the first of several policy proposals Inslee plans to announce in the coming weeks.

The jobs plan focuses on six key industries. Those are aerospace, life sciences, the military, agriculture, information technology and clean energy.

Inslee wants to boost hiring in those fields by giving small businesses more tax breaks. He also wants to expand worker training and apprenticeship programs.

Inslee declined to put a price tag on his jobs plan. But he proposes to cover part of the costs by closing some state tax loopholes.

“You know, this one where we’re giving tens of millions of dollars to Wall Street bankers who aren’t creating one single job in the state of Washington," Inslee says. "We ought to close that loophole and hire some first-grade teachers and try to get some R&D in this state. Now that’s a program for our state.”

Inslee says funding would also come through more government efficiencies, like reducing state health care costs. He points to recent health care reforms in King County that have yielded big savings. Inslee wants the state to follow suit. He says that could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Inslee is vying to replace Democratic governor Chris Gregoire. She is not seeking another term.

The top Republican challenger is State Attorney General Rob McKenna. He’s also proposing several tax reforms as a way to boost jobs.

McKenna is currently leading Inslee in campaign funds and in recent polls.

Copyright 2012 KUOW