The 2019 Legislative Session just about reaches the halfway point of the 105-day schedule today. In one more week, most bills that originated in one house must be acted upon and sent to the opposite house (House or Senate) by March 13 for further review or drop from consideration this year.
As of last week, lawmakers had introduced more than 1,000 bills for consideration since the start of session on January 14. Washington Retail’s focus remains on bills that could affect retailers.
Here are updates on key bills WR is following:
- SSB 1491 and SSB 5717 that address retail scheduling practices failed to move out of their respective committees. WR opposes the requirement to post schedules two weeks in advance and continues to monitor the bills for any possible further activity.
- SB 5513 and HB 1515 to reclassify independent contractors as employees of retailers appears headed to a committee for further study before the 2020 session convenes. WR opposes the bills.
- HB 1159 that would add “concealment” to the definition of retail theft has advanced to the floor of the House of Representatives for possible approval. It then would go to the Senate for further consideration. WR supports the bill as another tool for law enforcement to address the growing problem of theft from stores.
- WR is monitoring SB 5397 that would eliminate various forms of plastic packaging. It had advanced to the Senate Rules Committee for possible further action. WR opposes the bill that would impose huge recycling costs on retailers and prefers that the matter receive more study in the interim before the 2020 session.
- HB 1559 would approve a back-to-school sales tax holiday for parents and teachers for the purchase of clothing and supplies. WR supports the bill. Because it is related to the adoption of a state budget, it will remain under consideration until the end of session on April 28.
- The House passed HB 1071 that expands the definition of personal information and establishes public reporting requirements following a breach of computer data. The bill goes to the Senate for further consideration. WR will continue monitoring the bill in hopes of making workable improvements to its requirements.
WR will continue reporting updates in this newsletter and follow the session with a detailed summary of bill outcomes for members following adjournment.