Lens LegiTrack Update: March 9, 2018

Lens LegiTrack Update: May 1, 2017
LegiTrack follows the movement of bills relevant to business over the past week. Photo: Jim Bowen

Future of work task force

SB 6544 (Chase) would establish the future of work task force. Read More. Under the measure, the task force would analyze and make recommendations on drivers which change industry and work in Washington. On Mar. 8, the Speaker of the House singed the bill, and it now awaits consideration by Governor Jay Inslee.

Statewide tourism

SB 5251 (Takko) would create the Washington Tourism Marketing Authority to manage statewide tourism efforts. Read More. The measure would require 0.2 percent of sales taxes on lodging, car rentals and restaurants to fund the statewide marketing plan. The Speaker of the House signed the measure on Mar. 8. It now awaits Inslee’s signature.

Managing individual providers

SB 6199 (Cleveland) would approve the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to elect a private third-party administrator to employ individual health care providers. Read More. During House floor debate, Republican lawmakers raised concerns that the proposal would place additional cost burdens on those providers. The bill was sent to Inslee’s desk on Mar. 6.

Harbor maintenance tax

SJM 8008 (Chase) would ask Congress to reform the harbor maintenance tax to not competitively disadvantage U.S. ports. Read More. The proposal also requests that donor ports, such as the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, receive more benefits for imposing the tax. On Mar. 6, the Secretary of State signed the measure, prompting copies to be sent to U.S. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and every member of Congress.

Career and technical course equivalency

SB 6133 (Zeiger) would expand equivalency options for career and technical education (CTE) courses. Read More. The bill directs the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to create a framework for counting more CTE credits for graduation requirements. The Speaker of the House signed the measure on Mar. 8. It now awaits Inslee’s signature.

Prevailing wage rates

SB 5493 (Conway) would establish prevailing wages based on collective bargaining agreements or other means if an agreement does not exist. Read More. Under the proposal, a Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) industrial statistician would adopt prevailing wage rates based on the local jurisdiction for occupations that include collective bargaining agreements. On Mar. 6, the bill was delivered to Inslee and awaits his signature.

Budget

SB 6032 (Rofles) would increase spending during the 2017-19 biennium by $1 billion but involves no new taxes. Read more. It was passed by both chambers Mar. 8 and awaits Inslee’s signature.

Broadband

ESSB 6034 (Rofles) creates a pilot program between the Kitsap Public Utility District (PUD) and private telecommunication companies to extend broadband access to the county’s rural communities. Read more. It was approved by the Senate 46-2 on Mar. 6 and awaits Inslee’s signature.

HB 2664 (Dye) would extend to urban districts a state policy adopted nearly two decades ago for rural port districts, which supporters say will hasten access to broadband. Read more. It passed the Senate unanimously on Mar. 6 and awaits Inslee’s signature.

Tax Reform

SB 5513 (Frockt) would revamp the process by which certain incentives are evaluated by lawmakers and make more information accessible to the public. Read more. It was referred to the House Rules Committee after passing the Senate but failed to advance to the House floor for a vote.

Aviation

HB 1656 (Dent) creates a low-interest loan program for the smaller airports, a move that proponents say will help maintain and improve the state’s local aviation facilities that are needed by both private owners and local businesses. Read more. It has been approved by both chambers and awaits Inslee’s signature.

Transportation

HB 2970 (Hudgins) creates a work group through the WSTC to examine the use of driverless vehicles on public roadways and recommend legislative action. Read more. The bill passed in both chambers and now awaits Inslee’s signature.

Taxes

ESSB 6614 (Mullet) cuts $.30 from the $1 state property tax rate increase passed last year – a total of $400 million in savings to taxpayers, but it also redirects money away from the rainy day fund. Read more. The bill narrowly cleared the Senate Mar. 8 and passed in the House that same day with a 59-39 vote. It now awaits Inslee’s signature.

This article is part of a weekly series. Read last week’s update here.

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