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President’s Letter February 2013

    A Day on the Hill!


    February 1, 2013 is your chance as an HR professional to be heard.  A Day on the Hill in Olympia has, for some time now, been our forum to get in front of our legislators and voice our concerns over issues that affect the employers we work for and have a direct impact on how we can continue to do our jobs.  Topics this year will cover everything from teaching you how to lobby to education to working with labor unions.  Many of you may remember when we had Kris Tefft speak at one of our Chapter meetings. He will be available from 8:00 to 10:00 in the morning to help kick off the day.  It would be great for him to see his constituents from the HR community support him and get to know him better.  Other speakers include Fred Rumsey, Political Committee Chairman for Hanford Atomic & Metal Trades, Arun Raha, PHD, Chief Economist for the State of Washington and others.  If you need more information you can visit our website at  Let your voice be heard.     



    Section 127 Passed!

    When I attended the Capitol visit last November, many of us met with Senator Maria Cantwell and voiced our concerns for continuing Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code.  I’m pleased to say that on January 1, 2013, President Obama signed into law a permanent extension to the tax break for employer-provided education assistance.    This provision allows employees to exclude up to $5,250 per year from taxable income in employer-provided tuition assistance.  Section 127 has had many temporary extensions in the past and SHRM has been instrumental in lobbying for the permanent extension.  Their behind the scenes efforts are incredible.  If anyone has a chance to visit SHRM headquarters, I would highly recommend it so that you have a better understanding of the support that they provide our Chapters.  

    A few other issues that were decided upon were the tax relief package that extends the increase for exclusion for employer-provided transit and vanpool benefits through 2013 and also a reversal of a $600 deduction the $3,000 credit for child and dependent care that was set to take place January 1st.

    We’re off to an exciting start of 2013.  Hold on for the rest of the ride!!                                                                                   

    Until then, stay positive and when you can….pay it forward. 

    I hope to see you at the next Chapter lunch, Thursday, February 21st at 11:15 AM.  The topic is The Employee/Independent Contractor Misclassification Issue—How to Manage and Prevent Litigation.                       

    Rhonda R. Kelly, PHR

    Chapter President