OLYMPIA – Seventh District Representative Jacquelin Maycumber of Republic received the Legislator of the Year award from the Rural Jobs Coalition November 22. Presenting her the award was former Colorado Majority Leader Mark Scheffel, now director of the Rural Jobs Coalition (RJC).
The RJC, national nonpartisan organization, states it was formed for small businesses by small businesses to highlight to lawmakers the message that the rural economy matters.
“This is a great, humbling distinction. The rural economy and jobs for our area is the reason I am in Olympia, and that has been my priority,” said Maycumber. “Our local children need the opportunity to survive and thrive in rural areas with the ability to provide for future generations. That starts with investing in their businesses, innovation and creativity. I'm tired of exporting our greatest commodity, our children.”
Maycumber said the RJC is recognizing her for work on House Bill 1324, a bi-partisan B&O tax credit bill; and her work to bring broadband to rural areas.
“I am super proud of Jacqueline's work on those issues, when you think of the district we represent,” said Senator Shelly Short, adding Maycumber's number one issue when she was first elected was to make sure the Seventh District could get jobs back into the communities, as well as needed infrastructure.
Maycumber said HB 1324 is a tax credit for the timber industry, while helping the environment at the same time.
“The B&O tax credit, part of that tax that you pay actually goes to the Fish and Forest Board, so it helps tribes work with increasing fish production and it helps environmental causes like making sure you have the right culvert, and helping provide those funds,” said Maycumber. “So it's two-pronged. It has a tax reduction so we can have businesses like our Colville Laminated Timber Plant, which benefitted from that piece of legislation.”
Maycumber said the other part of the bill, which the RJC specifically mentioned, was the rural economic zone.
“The governor (Jay Inslee) vetoed that part of the language, so we weren't able to benefit completely from it, but it allowed you to get funding for businesses in rural areas,” said Maycumber. “It allowed public and private partnerships to invest in the rural areas to get businesses off the ground where banks don't normally invest. Because a lot of banks, as risk management, don't invest in rural areas. Part of it was vetoed by the governor. If you need to go get a loan, it's a little more difficult in those rural areas.”
Maycumber said she just met with the bipartisan bill's other co-sponsor, Mike Chapman a Democrat from Port Angeles, and they are looking to continue the legislation into the future to hopefully benefit from the language.
“The governor did veto that language to stop private investments through that process. We're hoping to get that language that the governor vetoed passed for rural areas,” said Maycumber. “Because the economic zone, federally, is really hard to take advantage of. We're hoping as a state we can come in and really help our rural areas. I think it's really important that we do that.”
Without access to needed growth capital for small businesses, metro employment has rebounded from the 2008 recession, while rural employment continues at near-recessionary levels. According to the RJC, politicians unknowingly modify urban policy to fit non-urban settings, which puts rural communities at risk of being no longer viable economically, socially or politically. The inability of rural small businesses to access capital not only threatens the survival of rural economies and the middle class, but also impedes small business growth, economic expansion and job creation; concentrating rural poverty.
“Policy makers have an immediate opportunity to encourage capital formation in rural communities before their core employers – small businesses- leave, taking ideas and jobs with them,” states the RJC on their website. “ America's future depends upon a vibrant, diverse economy throughout the entire country.”
“Jacquelin is being recognized for something she is passionate about and something that connects her with the Seventh District,” said Short. “I am really proud of her.”
“I'm really excited about getting the award,” said Maycumber. “It was quite the honor.”