Legislative & Regulatory Issues

Public Safety, Retail Theft, and Organized Retail Crime

WR’s top priority is implementing a “multi-pronged” approach to increasing public safety, reducing retail theft, and increasing prosecution of ORC. Impact on Washington Retailers: Retail theft, often by organized rings,…
Continue Reading

Environment & Climate

Legislators have introduced a significant number of bills this session aimed at addressing climate and environmental concerns. WR is closely monitoring all relevant legislation that would affect retailers. The following…
Continue Reading

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been identified as a priority issue of the majority caucus in both the House and Senate. Over the interim, WR has participated in AI stakeholder meetings…
Continue Reading

Consumer & Business Practices

A package of bills targeting existing gift card laws was introduced in both the House and Senate. Gift Card as Unclaimed Property: HB 2095 & SB 5988 Would require certain…
Continue Reading


Several tax bills were introduced this session, including the re-introduction of the “Digital Equity Revenue” bill by Rep. Gregerson (D, 33rd LD). Digital Equity Revenue: HB 2327 Would implement a…
Continue Reading

Retail Workforce Development

SB 5958 – Establishing the Washington career skills grant program for retail micro-credentials – The grant program will incentivize the creation of short-term and micro-credentialing opportunities and programs relevant to…
Continue Reading

Employment Law

SB 5368 / HB 1137 Expanding access to Return-to-Work through off-site light duty options at nonprofits – Bringing injured workers back to work by offering light duty positions contributes to…
Continue Reading


Six initiatives were delivered to the legislature, meeting the deadline in December 2023. Of the six, WR has an interest in the following four: I-2124 would repeal the unfair, ill-fated,…
Continue Reading

Tell Us Your Top Issues
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our Impact

Our experienced Policy and Government Affairs (PGA) team is dedicated to advocating for the broad interests of the over 3000 storefronts represented in all 49 legislative districts across the state.  With effective lobbying strategies, the WR PGA team successfully secured amendments for several bills in favor of our members while stopping several unfavorable proposals in their tracks.  The results of the 2023 action-packed session produced several wins for WR members.

Organized Retail Crime Task Force Funding

WR has collaborated with the Attorney General for more than a year to establish the Washington State Organized Retail Crime Task Force. WR has played an active role in the three task force meetings—each drawing over 100 participants. Renée Sunde, President & CEO of WR, and AG Bob Ferguson have joined forces to address the top priority issue of public safety and retail crime at several Chambers of Commerce throughout Washington.

In addition, WR has been diligently advocating for the allocation of funds to the task force. With full funding, the AG will have the means to create an internal unit to provide the necessary resources to hire investigators, data analysts, and prosecutors to target major ORC crime rings. As a result of these efforts, the task force has been granted $2.265 million in funding as part of the final budget, which will greatly benefit retailers throughout the state.

SB 5286 – Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

WR worked with a strong coalition to navigate and work to pass this bill which adjusts the first program of its kind in the nation. The legislation modifies the premium calculation formula for the PFML program, ensuring employers and employees share the cost of premiums instead of the burden falling solely on employers as had been carefully negotiated.

HB 1656 – Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefit Appeals

This bill streamlines UI benefit appeals when there is no challenge to eligibility. It eliminates provisions stating that during a UI appeal, all issues related to a claimant’s eligibility for waiting period credit or UI benefits are considered, regardless of the reasons in the notice of appeal. It also eliminates the claimant’s work availability from being assessed independently from other matters. This will help small business employers, in particular, that are forced to lay off employees that need to receive UI benefits in a timely manner. It will also simplify for the employer the once complicated and time-consuming task of benefit appeals.

WR is a non-profit trade group that provides political strength to bring about change. Partner with an association that understands not only your industry, but your unique individual business requirements in Washington State.

Membership Requirements »

The Group Retrospective Rating Program (RETRO) is a safety incentive program. The program was developed to encourage safety in the workplace and drive down the costs of doing business in Washington State.

Learn More About Retro »