Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Saturday, Feb. 17, Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, and I held our first town hall in Sultan and Arlington. I would like to thank everyone who attended and voiced their concerns, opinions and comments about state government.
Business bills in the Senate
The bills listed below were approved by the House and are now in the Senate awaiting further consideration.
House Bill 2661 states that it’s in the public’s interest victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking are able to seek and maintain employment without being discriminated. It is also up to the employer to have reasonable safety accommodations accessible at workplaces. This measure awaits a vote on the Senate floor.
House Bill 1298 would establish the Washington Fair Chance Act. This piece of legislation would prohibit an employer from including any questions on an application for receiving criminal history background check. This bill has been referred to Senate Ways and Means Committee where it awaits further action.
House Bill 2822 deals with the misrepresentation of a service animal. If a person with disabilities or the work performed by a service animal is not readily apparent, and enforcement officer may ask only two questions in order to verify the animal is a service animal. The officer may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the service animal has been trained to perform. The intentional misrepresentation of a service animal would carry a penalty of $500 and a requirement to remove the animal from the place of public accommodation. This measure has been scheduled for an executive action in the Senate Committee on Law and Justice.
House Bill 2208 would require all current and future state employees and contractors with the state that may be authorized in their duties to access federal tax information to have a criminal history record check through both Washington State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. State agencies will be responsible for covering the costs of these background checks. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, this bill had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on State Government and Tribal Relations and Elections.
House Bill 2639 would allow mobile food units to be exempt from all state and local requirements to operate a mobile food unit if they are able to meet certain requirements. The requirements ensure that the safety of the consumer and employer are not at stake while making it easier for these mobile food trucks to operate. This bill has been scheduled for an executive session in the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee.
I’d like to encourage you to get involved and voice your thoughts and concerns on these legislative proposals. As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me or my assistant, Brenda. I am here to serve you and hope to hear from you soon.