Today marks the final day during the 2019 Legislative Session for opposing houses to cast votes on bills from the opposite house.
After today, basically only actions needed to pass a state budget and initiatives can be considered before the scheduled April 28 adjournment.
In the final days of the session, lawmakers are working on reconciling differing state budget proposals from the House and Senate. Once that is accomplished, they will forward a new state spending plan to Governor Inslee for approval.
Washington Retail remains opposed to several new tax proposals currently under consideration. WR also has been monitoring other key bills this session including:
- HB 2157 would convert a non-resident sales tax exemption to a yearly remittance program. WR opposes the bill because it would discourage sales at Washington businesses to qualified out-of-state residents.
- HB 2158 would increase the tax on various business services from 20 percent to 66 percent. WR opposes the increase due to steadily rising state revenues the past several years and the financial burden it would place on retailers.
- SB 5397 would have prohibited the sale of plastic packaging in the state without an approved recycling program. WR successfully arranged for the topic to be studied in greater detail during the interim before the 2020 session.
- SB 5323 would ban single-use plastic grocery bags in the state. The deadline for passage is today. Paper bag manufacturers have been objecting to fees that would be placed on their products.
- HB 1559 would create a sales tax holiday period for back-to-school shopping for clothing and supplies. WR supports the bill that remains under consideration as part of the budget-adoption process.
WR will issue a detailed report to members following adjournment on outcomes for all key bills related to the statewide retail industry.