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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As we enter the final three weeks of the 2016 legislative session, scheduled to adjourn March 10, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a brief update on legislation that could be of importance to businesses across the state. For additional information, please click on the links to the bill, scroll down and click on the links to the “Bill Reports.”
Please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or comments on any of these bills.
Business- and employer-related legislation
House Bill 1336 – Requiring applicants for any private security guard license to undergo national fingerprint-based background checks. This is a measure supported by retailers that would help them make hiring decisions for important security positions. The bill passed the House Business and Financial Services Committee, but did not advance out of the House Rules Committee before the Feb. 17 cutoff.
House Bill 1647 – Abortion and contraception insurance mandate. The bill would require all private, state-regulated health plans to provide coverage for abortions, if it provides coverage for maternity services. Federal health care reform legislation states that a health insurer inside the Exchange cannot be required to include abortion coverage in health plans. The federal law would likely preempt this bill and could result in the loss of federal funds. This measure is anti-choice because it would not allow individuals to choose whether or not to have a health plan without abortion coverage. The measure passed the House last year on March 10, 51-46. I voted no. This year, the measure did not advance out of the House, so presumably it is dead.
House Bill 2305 – Permits the owner of a self-service storage facility to tow any vehicle, boat, trailer, recreational vehicle or camper in lieu of sale. Passed out of the House Committee on Business and Financial Services. Failed to make it out of the House Rules Committee before the Feb. 17 cutoff.
House Bill 2307 – Requiring reasonable accommodations in employment for pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related health conditions. Laws are already on the books protecting pregnant women from being fired, having a pay cut or having health benefits denied because of the pregnancy. A vast majority of employers already provide requested accommodations. Additional laws add confusion. The measure passed the House Feb. 4 with a vote of 52-45. I voted no. It has been referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, but a public hearing has not been scheduled at this time.
House Bill 2356 – Concerning employer agreements to reimburse certain employee costs for the use of personal vehicles for business purposes. The bill would exempt employee vehicle mileage and repair reimbursement plans from regulation as insurance. The measure passed the House unanimously on Feb. 16. It is scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 24, in the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.
House Bill 2433 – Relating to certified public accountant (CPA) firm mobility. This measure would authorize out-of-state CPA firms to perform attest and compilation services without an in-state CPA firm license. The measure passed the House unanimously on Feb. 11 and has been referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
House Bill 2505 – Prohibiting financial institutions from charging telephone and Internet balance inquiry fees and certain maintenance fees on payroll deposit accounts. The measure passed the House Business and Financial Services Committee, but failed to make it out of the House Rules Committee before the Feb. 17 cutoff.
Other legislation – Dead or Alive
For a look at other important legislation, download our House Republican “Dead or Alive 2016” list.
In your service,
426A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7967 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000