Top bills nearing cutoff deadline

Feb 3, 2022
Written by WR Communications

HB 1614 is the Consumer Product Theft and Safety Act aka INFORM Act, which would require online marketplaces to require high-volume third-party sellers to provide information, including bank account numbers and contact details. HB 1614 is currently in the Rules committee and next step is a floor vote.

HB 1656 would modify the definition of theft by adding the term concealment. WR supports this bill because it would provide another tool for loss prevention agents and police officers to help de-escalate crimes involving theft and the apprehension of suspects. After a very robust and positive hearing on January 27, an executive session held earlier this morning at 10:00am.

HB 1837 would restore the state’s ability to address and regulate work-related musculoskeletal injuries. WR is opposing as there is no federal set of standards from OSHA and it’s difficult to determine if an ergonomic injury was caused by personal or work-related activity. This bill passed committee on a party line vote and referred to Rules for review.

HB 1850 establishes data privacy protections to strengthen a consumer’s ability to access, manage, and protect their personal data. WR has concerns with 1850 which contains a private right of action. This bill creates a new commission and places additional burdens on businesses. WR opposes this bill.

HB 2018 the Sales Tax Holiday Act, creates a three-day shop local and save sales and use tax holiday to benefit all Washington families for certain items $1,000 or less during the month of September. WR supports this bill which includes clothing, school supplies, over-the-counter medication, medical equipment, and energy star appliances and backfills to local governments so that they don’t lose their much-needed revenue.

HB 2019 increases educational and training opportunities for careers in retail. WR helped introduce this bill as an action item under our JEDI Initiative. The bill intends to promote credentialed training for students, job seekers, incumbent workers, and ex-inmates with the goal to lead them to multiple career pathways within the retail industry. This bill passed the House with 94 yea votes on Feb 2.

SB 5559 concerns verification for use of paid sick leave. Currently, employers may require employees to obtain a statement from a health care provider to ensure authorized use. For employers who do not provide healthcare insurance and pay at least 85% of the cost of the insurance, this bill will limit verification of authorized use to merely oral or written statement by their workers. This adversely affects smaller employers. The Senate Committee heard this bill on Jan 24 with no further movement as of Feb 3.

SB 5697 the RENEW Act, concerning plastic packaging and purposed to renew Washington’s recycling system and reduce waste. WR has concerns about this bill and its timeline for implementation. A revised version of the bill is expected to move out of committee this week.

SB 5781 concerns organized retail theft. This bill says if a criminal uses an accomplice to steal, they could be held to a higher degree of penalty. The prime sponsor is a former judge and attorney. WR testified in support at the hearing and is seeking letters of support or testimony from members as well. The bill is scheduled for executive session in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice at 10:30am today.