Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In a Feb. 12 update, at the halfway point of the 2014 legislative session, I provided you a list of bills under consideration that would affect employers and their employees. I wanted to share an updated list with you to provide you the final outcomes on these measures. As you will see, the Legislature did not do enough this year to improve our state's business climate. Until our state has policies that encourage growth and hiring, there will continue to be unfinished business in the Legislature.
Since the afternoon of March 22, my attention has been focused on the victims and recovery efforts of the Oso mudslide. This event has devastated our local communities of Oso, Darrington and Arlington. I have spent a lot of time at or near the scene of the slide with local citizens and search-and-rescue teams. The collaboration, selfless acts of kindness and sense of community are truly inspiring and pushing back on the sadness that everyone feels.
I know some of you have been directly involved with the response and I just want to say, “thank you.” I really appreciate your generosity. There are several great volunteer and charitable causes. A good resource to stay updated on recovery and relief efforts is this Snohomish County website. This link provides you information on how to help. Snohomish County has a Facebook page for the coordination of various relief efforts. For those of you who use Twitter, some of the related hash tags are #530slide, #helposo and
Due to election-year restrictions, this is last chamber e-newsletter I can send out until Dec. 1. Thank you for your continued readership and staying involved in your citizen Legislature. Please contact me if I can ever be of assistance or if you have an idea to share.
Rep. Dan Kristiansen
39th Legislative District
Save the date: May 15
Rep. Elizabeth Scott and I will be hosting our final telephone town hall meeting of 2014 on Thursday, May 15, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. To listen in on this community conversation, all you have to do is dial 1-800-759-5313. From there, you can ask us questions or share your ideas if you'd like.
Bills considered by the Legislature that would affect employers and their employees:
- Senate Bill 5127 – Amending provisions governing structured settlements by removing age barriers and clarifying legislative intent (workers' compensation). Passed the Senate; died in the House.
- House Bill 1236 – Requiring state agencies to make permit decisions in 90 days or the permit is granted. Never received a hearing in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.
- House Bill 1313 – Establishing mandatory minimum standards for sick and safe leave from employment. Passed the House; died in the Senate.
- House Bill 1619 – Suspending Growth Management Act requirements in counties with persistent unemployment. Never received a hearing in the House Local Government Committee.
- House Bill 2147 – Concerning voluntary independent contractor certification. Passed the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee; died in the House.
- House Bill 2192 – Promoting economic development through enhancing transparency and predictability of state agency permitting and review processes. Signed into law.
- House Bill 2201 – Proprietary wage and employee information reporting requirements for businesses utilizing tax incentives. Passed the House; died in the Senate.
- House Bill 2204 – Reestablishing the rural county sales-and-use-tax exemption program. Received a public hearing in the House Finance Committee; died in the House.
- House Bill 2238 – Addressing mandatory paid vacation. Received a public hearing in the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee; died in the House.
- House Bill 2258 – Simplifying and providing clarity to independent contractor tests for the construction industry. Received a public hearing in the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee; died in the House.
- House Bill 2332 – Triple damages and added legal costs for employer wage violations. Passed the House; died in the Senate.
- House Bill 2333 – Punitive and complex “anti-retaliation” measures that allows unions to bring action against non-union businesses. Passed the House; died in the Senate.
- House Bill 2334 – Punitive anti-independent contractor legislation (would make it very hard for businesses to utilize independent contractors). Passed the House; died in the Senate.
- House Bill 2588 – Requiring employers to pay a penalty for all employees receiving state medical assistance. Received a public hearing in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee; died in the House.
- House Bill 2672 – Increasing the minimum hourly wage to $12 over three years. Passed the House Labor and Workforce Development Committee; died in the House.
- 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. Passed the House Technology and Economic Development Committee; died in the House.
- House Bill 2796 – Increasing the B&O tax rate paid by prescription drug wholesalers by 250 percent, imposing a 6.5 percent use tax on fuel from the refining process used on-site for energy, replacing the nonresident sales tax exemption with a remittance program, and eliminating the bottled water sales tax exemption. Passed the House Finance Committee; died in the House.
In your service,