As the Washington Legislature nears the last quarter of its scheduled 105-day 2019 Session, attention turns to proposals to adopt a new two-year state budget.
While most of the time may be devoted to adopting a budget, several bills key to retailers remain under consideration. Here’s a summary of some of the most important bills to Washington Retail and the membership:
- WR opposes HB 1343 and SB 5129 that would adopt a 9 percent capital gains tax and increases a Business and Occupation tax on various services from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. WR is monitoring an outcome for both bills that are related to the adoption of a new state budget.
- WR is monitoring HB 1965 that would allow individuals to bring actions on behalf of the state for alleged violations of workplace protections. The bill has been referred to a Rules Committee but was not voted upon by the House.
- WR is neutral on SB 5223 that would ban reusable plastic shopping bags statewide. The bill would pre-empt local communities from passing similar bans.
- WR has been monitoring several versions of SB 5376, which deals with the handling of private customer information and HB 1071 that addresses when retailers must publicly report breaches in computer data. The Senate has passed 5376, which awaits possible further action in the House. The House has passed 1071 which awaits possible Senate action.
- WR has been monitoring SB 5397 that would prohibit manufacturers of plastic packaging, starting in 2022, from selling items in the state unless they were participating in a recycling program approved by the Department of Ecology. Though the Senate has approved the bill, it may be the subject of further study before the 2020 Session of the Legislature.
- WR supports HB 1559 that would allow a back-to-school sales tax holiday in August for parents and teachers who need to buy clothing and school supplies. The bill remains under consideration because it is related to pending adoption of a new state budget.
The Legislature is scheduled for April 28 adjournment. WR will follow adjournment with a detailed report for members of the outcome of bills related to retailers.