Washington Legislative Update: Deadline for Floor Votes Approaches

The 2015 Washington State legislative session is quickly approaching its halfway point. Last week was the deadline for bills with fiscal impacts to pass out of their respective fiscal committees, as well as bills related to transportation.  

As a result, those committees were very busy.  The next week and a half will see both chambers focused on floor votes in advance of the March 11 cutoff.  Bills have until then to pass out of their house of origin or are considered dead.

NWCUA sponsored House Bill 1871 and Senate Bill 5757 addressing credit unions’ corporate governance and investments both await floor votes.

Other Bills We Are Tracking

Patent Trolling

Substitute Senate Bill 5059 is AG request legislation which creates the Patent Troll Prevention Act prohibiting a person from making assertions of patent infringement in bad faith.  The bill passed the Senate on February 24 by a vote of 41-6 with 2 excused. 

Unclaimed Property

Substitute House Bill 1551 is DOR request legislation which requires unclaimed property reports to be filed electronically beginning July 1, 2016.  The substitute version of the bill clarifies the notification requirement with respect to a holder filing a deficient application to seek a refund or return of property within the six-year period of limitations.  The bill received a do-pass recommendation from the House Finance Committee on February 23 and was referred to the House Rules Committee. 

ABLE Act

Substitute House Bill 2063 establishes a state ABLE program (Achieving a Better Life Experience) within the Department of Commerce to allow for the creation of tax exempt savings accounts for eligible individuals with disabilities, under the federal ABLE Act.  The substitute version of the bill specifies that the report submitted to the Legislature by the DOC must include a discussion of the feasibility and relative cost-benefit of using an agency or instrumentality other than the State Investment Board or contracting with another state to invest ABLE program moneys. The substitute bill also creates an ABLE advisory board consisting of 7 members who have demonstrated expertise and leadership in areas such as finance, actuarial science, management, business, or public policy to advise the DOC and other agencies in development and operation of the ABLE program. The bill received a hearing before the House Appropriations Committee on February 26 before receiving a do-pass recommendation and being referred to the House Rules Committee in February 27.

Small Business Retirement Plan Marketplace

Substitute Senate Bill 5826 creates the Washington small business retirement Marketplace, requiring the Department of Commerce to contract with a private sector entity to establish a program that connects eligible employers with qualifying plans.  The bill received a hearing before the Senate Ways & Means Committee on February 26 before receiving a do-pass recommendation and being referred to the Senate Rules Committee in February 27.

Look for the Washington Legislative Week in Review each week in Anthem during legislative session which runs January 29 – April 26, 2015. If you have questions or comments, please contact Mark Minickiello, mminickiello@nwcua.org, 206.340.4812.

Posted in Advocacy News, NWCUA.