On this, the third week of the 2019 state Legislative Session, more bills are being introduced of interest to consumers, retailers and their employees.
The 105-day session is scheduled to adjourn on April 28.
What follows are some of the higher-profile bills that Washington Retail is tracking for testimony or possible other work:
- House Bill 1491, regarding scheduling of employees. WR opposes this bill that would place scheduling regulations on retailers with more than 100 employees worldwide. The restrictions would compromise customer service and remove flexibility for managers and employees to adjust schedules when circumstances demand it.
- House Bill 1559 would allow a sales tax holiday period for designated back-to-school clothing and supplies. WR supports this bill because it would help stretch family budgets while attracting shoppers who would increase overall purchases including items not covered by the sales tax exemption.
- House Bill 1205 and Senate bill 5323. These bills would ban plastic shopping bags statewide, something that more than two dozen municipalities around the state already have done. WR is monitoring debate on the bills and will participate in amending language to try to improve them.
- House Bill 1159 and Senate bill 5248. The bills would allow store security or law enforcement authorities to question shoppers known to be concealing merchandise on their person with the intent to steal. Laws in several other states permit the practice but its lack in Washington State makes it more difficult to investigate retail theft. WR supports extending the investigatory power to law enforcement in Washington State.
- WR will support a bill still being worked on that would allow employers some relief when they unknowingly hire a previously injured worker who again becomes injured with the new employer.
- House Bill 1071 and Senate Bill 5064. WR has concerns with these bills that would impose tighter regulations on companies reporting suspected computer data breaches.
Please look for further updates in this newsletter on the status and outcomes for these and other bills as the session proceeds to adjournment. WR members also will receive a more comprehensive report of key legislative outcomes after adjournment.