Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, joined with 11 other state legislators today to ask Gov. Jay Inslee form a task force to study make recommendations to the Legislature on the need for tax incentives to encourage innovation.

“Next January, for the first time in two decades, our state will no longer support research and development through our tax policy,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Inslee. “We believe that this is short-sighted, and we believe that the costs of inaction are too grave to allow this to happen.”

The group cited the example of Texas, which encountered immediate and negative consequences after suspending tax incentives for innovation; after reinstating incentives, Texas went on to build a successful innovation sector.

Washington’s new task force would be based on a proposal in Senate Bill 6430, which passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support.

A bipartisan mix of lawmakers joined Liias in signing the letter: Sens. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver; Joe Fain, R-Auburn; and Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell; and Reps. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island; Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland; Cyrus Habib, D-Kirkland; Chad Magendanz, Issaquah; Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg; Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle; Larry Springer, D-Kirkland; and Gael Tarleton, D-Seattle.

“Our state’s past investment in innovation and global leadership in health and technology has fired our economy, created new industries, and generated family wage jobs for Washingtonians,” Liias said. “We need to make sure we continue to invest in our future, and the task force can map out the best ways to accomplish that.”