Dear Friends and Neighbors,
My time in Olympia has flown by. There are several important legislative deadlines this month. Policy cutoff was Friday, Feb. 2. This is the deadline for bills with no impact on the budget to be moved out of committee. Tuesday, Feb. 6 was fiscal committee cutoff. This is the deadline for any bill with a fiscal impact to be passed out of appropriations related committees.
Our next big deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 14, which is the last day to pass bills out of the original chamber they were introduced. These self-imposed legislative deadlines ensure each measure is fully scrutinized, and the process is kept on track. You can find an explanation of all legislative deadlines here.
Here is an update on bills that may be of interest to you and your business.
Update | Business bills
House Bill 2822: This bill penalizes the intentional misrepresentation of a service animal which is defined as an animal that is trained for the purpose of helping a person with a disability. Misrepresentation of a service animal would lead to a $500 penalty and a requirement to remove the animal from a public place. The bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and has been referred to House Rules Committee for review.
House Bill 2661: This measure would ensure victims of domestic violence have the ability to seek and maintain employment without discrimination. An employer may not refuse to hire someone based on the perceived notion that they are a victim of a sexual assault. The bill was unanimously approved by the House this week. It now goes to the Senate for further review.
Update | My bills
House Bill 2568: This bill would create a new form of liquor license, that would be issued to a business involved in art instruction activities. The licensee would be permitted to provide one six ounce glass of wine or one twelve ounce glass of beer, free of charge. This idea was brought to me by the Downtown Monroe Association in order to make the process of acquiring a liquor license easier for small businesses whose primary purpose is to offer “sip and craft” classes. These businesses are a creative outlet for people to sit and craft various art projects.
The new art activity license is widely supported throughout the Monroe area. Leslie Willmann, a local Monroe business owner, had this to say about the measure:
“I support this bill because it will allow small businesses and artisans to enhance their classes by providing wine or beer to customers, increasing our revenue and bringing new customers to the Monroe area.”
The bill has been passed out of the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming and has now been referred to the Rules for consideration. Thank you to Leslie and her husband for coming to Olympia to testify on the bill.
House Bill 2830: This measure would give employees 25 years or younger, or those reentering the workforce after five years of unemployment, an opportunity to work under a special training certificate. Restaurant and grocery store owners would be able to compensate employees at a reduced rate during this training period.
Thank you to Mike Trask, owner of IGA in Granite Falls, along with Sheila and Kevin Ashe, owners of IGA in Darrington, for coming to Olympia to support this bill.
Town Hall | Save the date!
Senator Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, and I will be hosting town all meetings in Sultan and Arlington, Saturday, Feb. 17. Residents are invited to attend, ask questions, and learn more about legislation being discussed in Olympia, as well as other topics of interest.
Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Sultan City Hall
Address: 319 Main St. #200, Sultan, WA 98294
Time: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Arlington's Hadley Hall
Address: 18513 59th Ave NE, Arlington, WA 98223
As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me or my legislative assistant, Brenda. I am here to serve you and hope to hear from you soon.