Open Senate seat to determine control of the upper house.
NFIB/Washington State Director Patrick Connor reports from Olympia on the small-business agenda for the legislative week ending May 18.
Week Four of the first special session of the 2017 Washington State Legislature was largely uneventful, aside from a spirited work session on state labor contracts held by the Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee.
In addition, Gov. Jay Inslee signed several bills May 16, including two on which NFIB won amendments allowing us to be neutral: House Bill 1620, expanding local government background checks; Senate Bill 5835, pregnancy accommodation; and one we opposed, House Bill 1538, requiring prime contractors to bond subcontractor retainage on public works projects at the subcontractor’s request. The latter was NFIB’s only legislative defeat so far this year.
Special Session Ahead
The Legislature still has not reached agreement on an operating budget and is not expected to do so by May 23, the last day of the current special session. A second special session is certain; the only unknown is when Gov. Jay Inslee will call for it to begin.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Negotiations continue on a new paid family and medical leave insurance program. There is nothing new to report at this time. Negotiators are scheduled to meet again May 23.
Finally, it is candidate filing week. A list of who’s filed so far for state and local offices is available here. There have been no surprises in legislative special election races so far; filing ends at 5 p.m., May 19. Republicans appointed to fill state House and Senate vacancies in the 7th and 31st districts have each drawn one Democrat challenger. Democrat Senate appointees in the 37th and 48th districts, and the Democrat House appointee in the 48th, are all thus far unopposed. The marquee contest is the open 45th district Senate seat, between newcomers Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund and Democrat Manka Dhingra, for control of the state Senate.
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