What we are tracking — WR Legislative Hot List

Feb 8, 2024
Written by WR Communications


Washington Recycling and Packaging (WRAP) Act (HB 2049)

  • 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 our concerns that this program is too broad and uncertain to adopt in a short 60-day Session.
  • Referred to Rules 2/5/2024

Beverage Container Recycling — The ‘Bottle Bill’ (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 2/5//2024

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

  • 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 Placed on 2nd reading by Rules Committee on Feb 7, Executive Action Taken; HB 1934 in rules Feb 7.

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: Hearings held – awaiting votes.

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

  • Allows for striking workers to collect unemployment insurance benefits
  • WR is opposed to these bills
  • Status: SB 5777 placed on 2nd reading by Rules Committee on 1/24/2024; HB 1893 Referred to Rules on 2/5/2024

Retail workforce workgroup (SB 6296)

  • Objective: Establish a retail workgroup to promote training opportunities
  • WR supports this bill
  • Status: Passed to Rules Committee for second reading.

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

  • Changes: SB 5368 allows small businesses to partner with local nonprofits to provide light-duty return-to-work opportunities; HB 2127 increases the reimbursement rate for businesses that provide a light-duty return-to-work opportunity for an injured worker.
  • WR supports these bills
  • Status: SB 5368 passed Senate 44-4; In House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee. HB 2127 passed House of Representatives 2/7; referred to Senate Labor and Commerce.

Paid Sick Leave (SB 5793/HB 1991)

  • Changes: expand family definition to those with an expectation to care; eligibility includes when daycare closes due to health and emergencies
  • WR opposes these bills
  • SSB 5793 was amended on Senate floor and passed on Feb 7; HB 1991 was placed on 2nd reading 2/1/2024.

Repeat Offenders (SB 5056)

  • Proposal: Allows a court to sentence a habitual property offender to an additional 24 months for a Class B felony, and an additional 12 months for a Class C felony
  • WR supports this bill
  • Status: Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry Feb 14 (Subject to change).


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