With less than two weeks left in the 2021 Legislative Session, lawmakers are busy working to agree on bills they can send to Governor Inslee for further action.
Adoption of a two-year state budget is the main agenda item but Washington Retail has continued to track bills of specific importance to retailers. The Governor has five days, excluding Sundays, to take action on any bill passed by the Legislature, provided adjournment does not occur within those five days. Adjournment of the remote session is scheduled for April 25.
Please note that Legislature action can be spontaneous and challenging to anticipate. Updates reported here were accurate at the time of writing.
WR has tracked:
- Senate bill 5062, Washington Privacy Act. The Senate approved the bill that would establish handling the security of online consumer information between retailers and sales processors. A House version under further consideration includes an additional way the law could be enforced. WR will update the bill’s status if it should change.
- Senate bill 5096, capital gains tax. WR opposes the bill that so far has been approved in the Senate. This bill is immune from cutoff until the April 25 adjournment. If approved and signed into law, a court challenge is expected on the grounds that the tax on income from the sale of personal assets including businesses is unconstitutional in Washington State.
- House bill 1091, low carbon fuel standard. The Senate and House have narrowly passed the bill. Governor Inslee is expected to sign the bill that directs the Department of Ecology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. WR opposes the bill because it would increase fuel prices for retailers and their customers without demonstrated effectiveness from other West Coast states that have approved similar regulations.
- Senate bill 5191, price gouging. Both houses of the Legislature have approved the bill to limit retail price increases during an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington Retail has expressed concerns and has worked to improve terms in the language.
- House bill 1076, allowing third-party lawsuits. After passing the House, the Senate failed to move the bill for further consideration. It would have allowed third parties to sue companies for alleged violations of employment laws. WR opposed the bill.
- Senate bill 5355, liens on property. The bill on the Governor’s desk for signature would allow wage liens to be placed on the property of businesses accused of non-payment of certain wages. WR opposed the bill.
In addition to weekly newsletter updates on the status of key bills, Washington Retail will produce a much more comprehensive report to members about the outcome of all retail-related bills tracked during the 2021 Session.