From the Capitol with Steve Firman

posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 in Government Affairs

January 20, 2022 Legislative Update

The first week of the 2022 Legislative Session was largely ceremonial, with little actual legislative work performed.  The highlight of the week was the Governor’s State of the State address.  In it, Gov. Reynolds outlined her priorities for the session. 

Grow Cedar Valley’s top legislative priority deals with talent attraction, recruitment and retention.  We view placemaking – creating attractive places for people to live and work including quality of life projects that are transformative – as a key ingredient in addressing our workforce needs. We listened carefully to the Governor’s address for insights into how she plans to meet these challenges. 

Gov. Reynolds offered a two-prong approach to dealing with workforce issues.  The first part put a number of issues together – increasing childcare accessibility and affordability, creating some workforce housing , instituting apprenticeship programs for healthcare workers and educators – along with meddling two tort reform bills from last year into one and putting it together with the workforce issues. 

Her second initiative under the workforce banner focuses on unemployment reform as a way to stimulate workers to take jobs sooner.  The Governor said that a growing part of the workforce shortage is because in some cases “the government has taken away the need or desire to work.  The safety net has become a hammock.”  She wants to shorten the benefit period from six months to four months, create a re-employment division, and to not allow unemployed workers to turn down any suitable work.

GCV hopes that, as the session continues, more emphasis will be placed on attracting workers and helping businesses keep current employees; there are sure to be a number of bills introduced by legislators that will more directly address childcare, housing and other workforce issues.  Stay tuned.   

Steve Firman, Director of Government AffairsSteve is the Director of Government Affairs for Grow Cedar Valley and serves as the CEO of Pharmacy Marketing Group, Inc. (PMG) and President of FPCI, an administrative management and public policy consulting firm,