Our Board of Directors held a series of productive meetings with a bipartisan group of state legislators during its annual in-session visit to the capitol last week.
Washington’s 60-day short session has now hit a mid-point and some of the priority bills most important to retailers moved rapidly past the second cut-off February 11 and continued to next steps in the legislative process.
The board took the opportunity to meet personally and thank Senator Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, for his diligent work on Senate Bill 6281, the Washington Privacy Act. Carlyle serves as chair of the Senate’s Environment, Energy & Technology Committee. The bill would seek to protect consumers’ personal information while still allowing retailers to responsibly use data to improve the shopping experience and offer customer benefits. The association has taken a position in support of this bill.
We also expressed support for Representative Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, and Senator Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, who are working to pass a bill that would curb organized retail theft by allowing store security and law enforcement to question shoppers known to be concealing merchandise before they leave a store. Though 36 other states have approved that authority, Washington has yet to do so.
Advocating for the retail industry is not a partisan game but instead requires bipartisan engagement to reach solutions that support Washington’s retailers and the customers we serve.
I want to thank Senator Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville; Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane; Representative Larry Springer, Deputy House Majority Leader, D-Kirkland; House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Roy; and Senate Republican Caucus Chair Randi Becker of Eatonville for also being on our guest list.
We enjoyed the opportunity to build relationships, understand legislative priorities and gain insight regarding the bills most important to our members.
As stewards of Washington’s retail experience, we will continue to seek workable solutions to the many issues impacting the retail industry.