The following article was compiled by the Lens staff.
Each week, the Lens staff puts together a compilation of bills important to the business community, and their movement through the legislature. On Thursday, March 23, the Washington State Senate approved a $43 billion two-year state budget proposal by a narrow majority.
Check back every week for new updates!
Bills Heard On Senate or House Floor
Senate Budget Proposal
SB 5048 (Braun) would enact the 2017-19 operating budget that includes the Senate Republican’s basic education funding plan and mostly rejects Governor Jay Inslee’s $1.7 billion collective bargaining agreements (CBA) with public sector labor unions. Read More. It was approved by the state Senate Thursday, March 23 in a 25-24 vote.
Bills Heard In Committee
Natural Resource Workforce Study
–SB 5285 (Wilson) would require the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to perform a workforce study of the agriculture, natural resource, environmental, and outdoor recreation sectors to determine how to fill skilled mid-level worker spots. Read More. On Wednesday, March 22, the measure passed the House Higher Education Committee.
Hydroelectric Energy Bills
–SB 5232 (Brown) would allow the hydroelectricity produced by those dams as the result of efficiency improvement projects to qualify as a renewable resource under the state’s Energy Independence Act created by the 2006 voter-approved Initiative 937. Read More. It passed the Senate 32-17 on March 7 and received a Wednesday, March 22 public hearing in the House Committee on Technology and Economic Development.
Skilled Worker Outreach
–SB 5713 (Palumbo) would create the Skilled Worker Outreach, Recruitment, and Career Awareness Training Program, which would distribute public-private matching grants for recruiting skilled workers. Read More. The measure received its first public hearing in the House on Tuesday, March 21, and is scheduled for executive session sometime next week.
Small Business Regulations
–HB 1120 (Smith) would require state agencies to better comply with the Regulatory Fairness Act, and better protect small businesses from cost burdens. Read More. Last week, the bill received its first public hearing in the Senate, receiving strong support. The measure is not currently scheduled for executive session.
This article is part of a weekly series. Read last week’s update here.