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. This past week, a number of measures with direct impacts on employers received public hearings in front of legislative committees.
Check back every week for new updates!
Bills Heard In Committee
Rural Broadband Access
–ESSB 5679 (Warnick) would allow rural ports to enter public-private partnerships with telecom companies to provide broadband infrastructure and services to communities outside of their taxing district. Read More. It passed in the Senate 48-1 last month and received a Friday, March 16 public hearing in the House Committee on Technology and Economic Development. No executive action has been scheduled yet.
Beer, Wine, And Spirit Licensing
–HB 1351 (Sawyer) would create a combined beer, wine, and spirits license for grocery store and specialty beer and wine store owners. Read More. The bill passed the House unanimously earlier this month, and on Wednesday, March 15 received its first Senate public hearing in front of the Commerce Labor and Sports Committee.
Small Business Bill Of Rights
–SB 5230 (Wilson) would require the Attorney General to review small business protections during a state agency audit and make recommendations to better educate those employers and improve the notice of their rights to the legislature. Read More. The measure passed the Senate 46-0 with three excused last month. On Wednesday, March 15 it received its first public hearing in the House in front of the State Government, Elections and Information Technology Committee. The bill is scheduled for executive session sometime this week.
–HB 1646 (Fitzgibbon) would place a tax on greenhouse gas emissions generated by fossil fuels and electricity, starting July 2018. Read More. On Tuesday, March 14, it received a public hearing in the House Committee on Environment, but no executive action is scheduled.
Personal Data Sales Tax
–HB 1904 (Smith) would place a 3.3 percent business gross receipts (B&O) tax on the sale of a state resident’s personal information. Read More. It passed out of the House Committee on Finance on Tuesday, March 14 and was referred to Rules Committee.
Serving Alcohol In Movie Theaters
–SB 5161 (Keiser) would allow movie theaters to sell alcohol without a tabletop, seating, or screen requirement. Read More. The Senate approved the measure last month in a 36-13 vote, and the bill was first heard in the House on Monday, March 13 in front of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.
This article is part of a weekly series. Read last week’s update here.