Washington Retail board members met with state legislators Wednesday to discuss high-priority legislation that could affect association members.
The talks centered on concerns over various proposed new taxes; data protection and privacy; proposals to regulate employee scheduling; and WR support for establishing career training programs in addition to the state’s four-year and community college systems.
The board met with members of Gov. Inslee’s staff, Chief of Staff David Postman and Drew Shirk, Executive Director, Legislative Affairs; Representative J.T. Wilcox, (R-Roy) and Senator Mark Schoesler, (R-Ritzville).
Shirk encouraged WR to emphasize solutions for any concerns retailers may have about certain bills. With one-party Democrat control of both houses of the Legislature, Shirk said simply opposing proposals would not be an effective lobbying strategy.
House Minority Leader Wilcox shared the board’s concern that increasing costs on retailers poses immediate challenges as well as longer-range issues once the economy slows down. He also noted that one-party control means that legislators are less inclined to compromise on bills.
Despite concerns, board members expressed their support for Gov. Inslee’s proposal to establish career training options for students who might aspire to work in retail. Inslee’s budget proposal would provide varied career training for up to 100,000 students statewide by 2027. Click here to read more about the training initiative.
The WR board meets as a group in Olympia every session for face-to-face meetings with legislators about issues of impact on retailers. WR will report updates and developments in the weekly Inside Washington Retail newsletter and on its website, www.washingtonretail.org.