Legislative Update

Jan 19, 2023
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Written by Washington Retail
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Today marks the 10th day of the 105-day session, and WR is continuing to review bills closely. As of today, 1,320 bills have been filed.

This week, WR is engaging on the following bills:

HB 1363 and SB 5352 will allow vehicle pursuits by law enforcement if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a person in the vehicle has committed or is committing a crime. WR supports this bill and will testify to its merits. These revised provisions to the current laws will help make the public safer, protect the community, and assist in efforts to apprehend retail thieves and members of organized retail crime syndicates. Both bills are waiting for hearings to be scheduled.

HB 1155 and SB 5351 are purported to protect health data privacy relating to collecting, sharing, and selling consumer health data, which WR supports. However, WR has significant concerns about these bills as currently written because their language—especially as they define covered data—are too broadly written, will likely lead to unintended consequences, and will be difficult to comply with and enforce. Both bills are awaiting hearing dates.

HB 1131 and SB 5154 would enact the Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility—also known as the WRAP Act—and create a beverage container reimbursement (BCR) program. WR appreciates the sponsors’ willingness to work with stakeholders on improving the legislation. In particular, the definition of who is a producer is key to retailers’ interest in the WRAP Act. Under the BCR program, WR supports the voluntary nature of the takeback sites. Both bills were heard yesterday and WR testified with suggested improvements.

HB 1137 and SB 5368. These bipartisan bills provide broader and more equitable access to Return-to-Work programs by injured workers. Options for temporary light-duty jobs would be extended to include volunteering at approved non-profit organizations. WR enthusiastically supports this bill which would benefit the employee, employer, and community non-profits, a triple win. Prime sponsors for HB 1137 are Rep. Gina Mosbrucker (R-14) and Rep. Liz Berry (D-36), and SB 5368 is prime sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33) and Sen. Curtis King (R-14). The House bill was heard yesterday and WR testified in support. The Senate version is waiting for a hearing date.

    

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