February 15 was the House of Origin cutoff. What this means is all bills that are not necessary to implement the budget must be out of the House they started in – in other words, all House bills have to move to the Senate, and all Senate Bills have to move to the House; otherwise they are pretty much finished for the session.
As with all rules, there are some maneuvers that can be deployed to breathe life back into a bill. For example, if a bill died, a legislator could try to amend the language onto another bill that has a broad enough title to hold it. Also, if a majority of members vote to relieve a committee of a bill, they can bring it to the floor for a vote – this rarely happens. And finally, the language of a dead bill can potentially be incorporated into the final budget.
With that said, hundreds of bills failed to pass cutoff, and hundreds passed. Here is a short rundown of bills WR has been working on.
HB 1614, online marketplace consumer product theft and safety protection, failed to be voted on. WR supported this measure.
HB 2019, increasing educational and training opportunities for careers in retail passed. WR helped write and supports this bill.
SB 5891, concerning regulating warehouse distribution centers employees, failed. WR opposed this bill.
HB 1763, concerning workers’ compensation independent medical examinations, failed. WR opposed this bill.
HB 1486, expanding the reasons to voluntarily quit and receive unemployment insurance, failed. WR opposed this bill.
SB 5873, reducing unemployment insurance taxes, passed the Senate. WR supported this bill.
HB 1837, allowing the Department of Labor and Industries to adopt ergonomics regulations, passed the House. WR opposed this bill.
SB 5801, allowing workers’ compensation court appeals to include attorney and witness fees, passed the Senate. WR opposed this bill.
HB 1896, battery disposal and recycling program, failed to pass. WR had concerns with this bill.
HB 1852, language requirements for prescription drug labels, passed the House. WR has concerns with this bill.
SB 5761, requiring wage and salary information to applicants, passed. WR has concerns with this legislation.
HB 1795, prohibiting nondisclosure agreements for certain acts, passed. WR has concerns with this bill.
SB 5781, adding multiple accomplices to the organized retail theft law, passed. WR supports this bill.
Now all bills have to be heard and voted out of their policy committees before the next cutoff: February 24, and if they have a fiscal impact, out of the fiscal committees by February 28.