It seems Democrat Governor Jay Inslee has found a new way to keep businesses neutered in his idea of a government-dominated state, by hindering those pesky entrepreneurs before they even get off the ground. Not content with shutting businesses down with draconian and capricious shutdown mandates, the Inslee Administration is now underfunding the business permit and approval process at the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), effectively preventing businesses from starting in the first place.
Inslee considers L&I his personal enforcement arm for his arbitrary rulings on whether a business is worthy enough in his eyes to stay open. Business owners, in addition to trying to survive the pandemic’s financial impacts, also have to survive visits from Inslee’s L&I bureaucrats, who can randomly show up and shut a business down for pretty much anything they want.
By underfunding the L&I permit process, Inslee is limiting a business’s ability to even start to make money in the first place.
Shift has obtained a whistleblower email detailing some recent examples of the lopsided focus from Inslee and the damage being caused by L&I, this time to the emerging food truck industry by L&I delaying permits for food truck construction.
The delay explanation email from the sole (yes, single) employee assigned for one day a week to approve Food Truck construction permits for entire State of Washington is a classic bureaucratic “it’s not my fault” explanation, pointing fingers at everyone but themselves. In the email, the employee offers little help, other than suggesting that L&I employees should receive a salary increase and maybe hire some more employees – “These are intended to be stopgap measures while we work to address our staffing shortages, including considering whether salary levels are hampering our efforts to recruit to this program.”
The backlog is over 1,000 permits deep and is increasing. Typical of an Inslee agency bureaucrat, the solution to the backlog is always more money for themselves and bigger government.
Inslee with his latest, bloated, $62 billion dollar mid-cycle budget proposal will be more than happy to oblige, once he has bought electric cars for all his lefty friends.
Meanwhile, recruitment is heavy on the L&I enforcement side of things since Inslee needs to enforce his dictates to shut businesses down if an employee went to work and forgot to pull their mask up appropriately.
Inslee could instruct L&I to move the enforcement employees to the permit approval department and solve the problem overnight, but that would be too simple for Inslee. That might actually get the permit backlog cleared and businesses back to doing, well, business. It’s that profit-seeking motive which lifelong government employee/campaign grifter Inslee doesn’t have a lot of experience with since he’s not drawn a private sector paycheck this century.
In the meantime, Inslee is working to take over the private medical market by requiring employers to violate their employees’ rights and create his idea of a safer Washington. All enforced by his order followers at L&I.
Labor and Industries has long been the agency which businesses in Washington dislike the most. L&I is supposed to be keeping employees safe at work but, in reality, these bureaucrats are just the ones that show up to harass business owners and charge monopolistic taxes/fees to grow their power.
Bigger, more intrusive government, all the time. Exactly Jay Inslee’s kind of people.