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Impact of WRA’s advocacy on legislation, regulation, and initiatives affecting retailers

Savings for Retailers

1. Stopped Initiative 517 which allowed signature gatherers at the entrances and exits of all retail stores. Savings in new store policy administration and protection of retailers’ customer service standards.

2. Stopped the elimination or alteration of the out-of-state resident sales tax exemption which would have cost retailers over $45 million in lost sales.

3. Stopped the unions attempt to reclassify independent contractors as employees, saving millions.

4. Stopped a Business and Occupation tax surcharge of several million dollars.

5. Stopped a $75 per studded tire fee bill.

6. Enacted a beer, wine and spirits tasting law.

7. Passed a law to punish criminals that rob pharmacies.

8. Stopped a bill that would have banned all plastic carry out bags.

9. Defeated an attempt to expand the recently adopted children’s safe product act and require costly alternative assessments by retailers and manufacturers.

10. Stopped a bill to impose a state “living wage”.

11. Stopped a bill to ban plastic water bottles.

12. Stopped a bill that would have required employers to provide paid sick and safe leave.

13. Helped pass a bill to allow 90 day dispensing of certain drugs.

14. Stopped a ban on credit card surcharges.

15. Defeated a bill to impose a new tax on pet food.

16. Stopped a bill requiring the recycling of paint.

17. Stopped a bill requiring the recycling of small rechargeable batteries.

Outcomes of WRA legislative priorities:

1. Tax and Fee Increases – There were no general tax increases.

  • We stopped an attempt to eliminate or alter the out-of-state sales tax exemption.
  • We stopped a massive B and O tax surcharge.
  • Unfortunately the legislature passed a bill to retroactively impose the state estate tax.

2. Unemployment Insurance – No significant UI legislation and no attempts to raid the trust fund.

3. Sales Tax Holiday for Back to School – Introduced legislation, met with key legislators and staff, had hearings in both the House and Senate which moved it out of committee.

4. Product stewardship –Defeated an expansion of the children’s safe product act. Defeated the batteries, CFLs and paint bills.

5. Health Care – Helped guide the funding provisions for the state exchange.

6. Mandatory leave laws – Stopped several attempts to adopt new and expand existing leave laws such as a Seattle style “safe and sick” leave and our state family leave law.

7. Minimum Wage and Living Wage – 4 pro-employer bills had hearings for the first time in years. All failed. Attempts to impose a high “living wage” were defeated.

8. Workers’ Comp – Stopped all attempts by labor and the trial attorneys to alter the existing system. Had hearings and votes on several pro-business workers’ comp bills. Unfortunately they did not move through the House.

9. Retro Claims Management – Had a hearing and moved the pro-business bill out of the Senate. Unfortunately the House refused to pass it.

10. Immigration Reform – No legislation moved on this issue.

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