Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2014 legislative session began on January 13 and will run through March 13. During the 60 days, state lawmakers will consider hundreds of bills. Some of them, like a proposed transportation tax package, would impact nearly every Washingtonian in some way. Some legislation would affect very few people.
Below are some of the bills that would impact employers and our economy. I'll let you be the judge on how they might affect the business community and their employees. As always, I welcome your feedback and questions.
- House Bill 1097 – Amending provisions governing structured settlements by removing age barriers and clarifying legislative intent. (Its companion, Senate Bill 5127, passed out of the Senate on January 29)
- House Bill 1236 – Require state agencies to make permit decisions in 90 days or the permit is granted.
- House Bill 1313 – Establishing mandatory minimum standards for sick and safe leave from employment.
- House Bill 1619 – Suspending Growth Management Act requirements in counties with persistent unemployment.
- House Bill 2112 – Allowing incremental electricity produced as a result of efficiency improvements to hydroelectric generation projects whose energy output is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration to qualify as an eligible renewable resource under the Energy Independence Act.
- House Bill 2147 – Concerning voluntary independent contractor certification.
- House Bill 2192 – Promoting economic development through enhancing transparency and predictability of state agency permitting and review processes.
- House Bill 2201 – Proprietary wage and employee information reporting requirements for businesses utilizing tax incentives.
- House Bill 2204 – Reestablishing the rural county sales and use tax exemption program.
- House Bill 2238 – Addressing mandatory paid vacation.
- House Bill 2258 – Simplifying and providing clarity to independent contractor tests for the construction industry.
- House Bill 2332 – Triple damages and added legal costs for employer wage violations.
- House Bill 2333 – Punitive and complex “anti-retaliation” measures that allows unions to bring action against non-union businesses.
- House Bill 2334 – Punitive anti-independent contractor legislation (would make it very hard to for businesses to utilize independent contractors).
- House Bill 2588 – Requires employers to pay a penalty for all employees receiving state medical assistance.
- House Bill 2672 – Increasing the minimum hourly wage to $12 over three years. (My colleague, Rep. Matt Manweller, discussed the minimum wage issue on TVW recently. You can watch it here.)
- House Bill 2693 – Amending the definition of commercial airplane for specific tax preferences to include other types of commercial aircraft to encourage the migration of good wage jobs in the state.
To learn more about these bills, please go to this website and enter the four-digit bill number: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/
Staying connected to your citizen Legislature
It is easy to be a part of the legislative process. If you would ever like to get a hold of me or any state lawmakers, you can call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Here are some useful links:
- My legislative website | Please consider bookmarking my legislative website at: representativedankristiansen.com
- TVW | The state's own version of C-SPAN, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live online | tvw.org
- Legislature's website | Bill reports, committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature | leg.wa.gov
- State agencies | A list of all state agencies, boards and commissions here | access.wa.gov/agency
- The Capitol Buzz | A weekday round-up of online news stories | houserepublicans.wa.gov/capitol-buzz/
- The Current | An online legislative publication from the Washington House Republicans | houserepublicans.wa.gov/the-current/
In your service,