Washington Legislative Week in Review: Bills Must Clear Committees Today

Washington’s state Legislature hits the halfway mark on Tuesday, and it’s an important milestone: It’s the final cutoff date for bills to clear committees, and exactly one week before the Feb. 18 deadline for bills to be considered in their house of origin.

Bills that don’t make those deadlines are considered dead for this legislative session. Look for a list of bills that don’t make each cut in upcoming Anthems.

Bills the NWCUA is Tracking

NWCUA-sponsored bills: House Bill 2140 and Senate Bill 6029 give Washington state-chartered credit unions parity with federally chartered credit unions regarding mergers.

  • House Bill 2140 was passed by the House on Feb. 12 by a unanimous 98-0 vote. The bill will now be sent to the Senate, where it will be referred to the Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance Committee. The bill had been pulled out of the House Rules Committee on Feb. 7 by Rep. Jeff Holy (R-6) and sent to the floor for a vote.

    “This unanimous vote by the House is a testament to the hard work of our credit union advocates, especially the 100-plus who canvassed the Capitol campus last week for our Credit Union Day at the Capitol,” says Mark Minickiello, the NWCUA’s vice president for legislative affairs. “I have no doubt that when our bill came up for consideration in caucus, there was a groundswell of legislators voicing their support.  That only happens when we are actively engaged.”

  • Senate Bill 6029 has passed out of its policy committee and is now in Rules awaiting floor action.

Collection of Unpaid Wages: House Bill 1467, addressing the collection of unpaid wages, passed the House on Feb. 7 by a vote of 92-2 with 4 excused. The bill modifies procedures for the collection of unpaid wages by the Department of Labor & Industries. As part of the bill, the department would be authorized to match its outstanding warrants against deposit accounts held by financial institutions registered in Washington. The Association worked to reduce the regulatory burden on credit unions, should the bill be passed into law, through an amendment that would allow the department to simply include its data in the process that the Department of Revenue currently uses to perform data matching with financial institutions.

Financial Literacy: House Bill 1173, regarding the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP), passed the House on Feb. 3 by a vote of 89-6 with 3 excused. The bill adds the state Treasurer as a member of FEPPP, provides that teachers who are members of FEPPP be reimbursed for travel expenses and allowed to attend official meetings, modifies the duties of FEPPP, requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to make financial education curriculum available to school districts, and requires school districts to provide courses with this curriculum.

Paid Leave: House Bill 1313, establishing minimum standards for sick and safe leave from employment, passed the House on a mostly party line vote of 52-45 with 1 excused. The bill was then referred to the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee. The bill would require employers with more than four FTEs to provide paid leave to employees for: (1) specified medical reasons relating to the employee’s or a family member’s health; (2) reasons permitted under existing law requiring unpaid leave for purposes related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; or (3) closure of the employee’s place of business or child’s school or place of care due to specified public health emergencies.

Minimum Wage: House Bill 2672, regarding the state’s minimum hourly wage, was scheduled for a hearing before the House Appropriations Committee on Feb. 10. The bill would increase the state minimum wage to $12 an hour over the course of three years.

Non-conviction information: House Bill 2545, prohibiting employers from asking about or using non-conviction information in initial applications for employment, was passed to the House Rules Commiteee for second reading on Feb. 5. The bill would prohibit an employer from: (1) inquiring about non-conviction information on any application of employment before determining whether the applicant is qualified for the position; (2) advertising job openings in a way that excludes people with non-conviction records from applying; or (3) implementing any policy or practice that automatically or categorically excludes all individuals with a non-conviction record from any employment position. The bill would not apply to: (1) any employer hiring a person who will care for children under 18 years of age, a “vulnerable adult” or a “vulnerable person,” as those terms are defined under current law; (2) any employer who is expressly permitted or required under federal or state law to inquire into, consider or rely on information about an applicant’s or employee’s arrest record for employment purposes; or (3) jobs that include law enforcement, policing, crime prevention, security, criminal justice or private investigation services.

Mark Minickiello will report from Olympia each week that the Washington Legislature is in session; look for his “Washington Legislative Week in Review” every Tuesday in Anthem. For more information, contact Minickiello at mminickiello@nwcua.org or 206.340.4812.

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News.