What we are tracking — WR Legislative Hot List

Feb 1, 2024
Written by WR Communications


Artificial Intelligence Bills (SB 5838)/(HB 1934), (HB 1951)

  • Progress: Senate version heard, waiting for a vote; House hearing imminent.
  • WR’s Stance: More information is needed before the state begins regulating.  Supports retail inclusion in a task force, seeks timeline extension; high-priority concerns.  Believes a national solution would be preferable.
  • Status: SB 5838 had hearing 1/30/2024; HB 1934 had executive session 1/31/2024; HB 1951 had hearing on 1/19/2024

Washington Recycling and Packaging (WRAP) Act (HB 2049)/(SB 6005)

  • Focus: Defines ‘producer’ to put manufacturers at the top of the responsibility chart and retailers at a lower position, preventing them from paying for packaging and recycling for every item on their shelves.
  • Status: In committee waiting for a vote.  Facing opposition from many stakeholders, WR expressed concerns that the program is too broad and uncertain to adopt in a short 60-day Session.
  • HB 2049 hearing scheduled for 2/1/2024 and executive session 2/3/2024; SB 6005 had hearing 1/23/2024.

Beverage Container Recycling (HB 2144)

  • Features: Similar to Oregon’s long-time program, optional retailer take-back, and mandatory redemption kiosks in larger stores.
  • Concerns: WR worries about kiosk requirement, Department of Ecology biased oversight, and rural infrastructure challenges.
  • Status:  Executive action taken 1/18/2024; scheduled for hearing 2/1/2024

Organic Food Management (SB 6180)/(HB 2301)

  • Objective: Reduce methane production through statewide food waste mandates.
  • Position: Support intent with concerns for mandates’ feasibility.
  • Status: Both 6180 and 2301 Hearing on 1/23/2024; Executive action taken on 1/30/2024

Unemployment Insurance (UI) for Striking Workers (SB 5777/HB 1893)

  • Removes UI disqualification based on a lockout of employees in a multi-employer bargaining unit
  • WR is opposed to these bills
  • Status: SB 5777 passed out of Rules 1/17/2024 with second reading 1/24/2024; HB 1893 Executive session on 1/24/2024 and referred to Appropriations 1/30/2024

Retail Workforce Workgroup (SB 6296)

  • Objective: Establish a workgroup to standardize retail credentials and degrees as recommended in a 2023 report.
  • Position: Strong support, aligns with workforce initiative.
  • Status: Hearing on 1/26/2024 and executive session 1/31/2024; referred to Ways & Means

Gift Certificates as Unclaimed Property (HB 2095/SB 5988)

  • Proposal: Unused gift card balances remitted to State after three years.
  • Concerns: Privacy issues, operational challenges; WR actively opposing.
  • Status:  HB 2095 and SB 5988 hearings on 1/16/2024.

Consumer Protection on Gift Certificates (HB 2094/SB 5987)

  • Changes: Increase ‘cash-back’ limit, assign cash value to loyalty rewards, payment flexibility.
  • WR’s Involvement: Actively engaged, sharing concerns in coalition.
  • Status:  SB 5987 hearing on 1/16/2024; executive session on 1/30/2024 but no action was taken. HB 2094 hearing on 1/16/2024.

Incentives for Return to Work (HB 2127/SB 5368)

  • Changes: Increases maximum employer reimbursements for Stay-at-Work programs; offers employers with 100 or fewer employees to offer offsite light-duty work with non-profits
  • WR supports these bills
  • Status: HB 2127 referred to rules 2 for review; SB 5368 awaiting 2nd reading by rules committee

Concerning penalties related to eluding police vehicles and resisting arrest
SB 6200/HB 2930)

  • Proposal: Allows for the seizure of vehicles used when eluding police; places criminal on electronic  monitoring, and mandatory community service
  • WR supports these bills
  • Status: Executive action taken and 1st substitute bill passed


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