Bad bills

2019 legislative session • March 1, 2019 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend:  

It's hard to believe that it's already March. This week in the House concluded with fiscal committee cutoff, floor action and a Rules Committee meeting today. 

With two deadlines behind us and several bills headed to the House floor next week, the Democratic agenda is coming into focus. As I discuss in my weekly video update, our members are ready for the upcoming debates.  

One-party control

Many of us feared larger Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, with a push from the governor, would shift our state hard to the left. It appears that's happening. 

A list of bills below illustrates this point. While not all of these measures may advance, they do reveal policies that are not supported by many of the people and communities Republicans represent. These measures also show what is possible if we don't fight for our values and let our voices be heard.

It's also important to note this list does not include many of the major tax and fee increases that Democrats are considering. We will share more information on these proposals soon.

Sources of information

Next week will be filled with House floor action as we work toward our next deadline, House of origin cutoff, on March 13. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep updated on the important issues and debates. Our website, and member email updates, are also great sources of information. 


Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader
(360) 786-7912

Rep. Maycumber

Floor Leader Jacquelin Maycumber answers questions from reporters on Tuesday. Watch our Republican media avail here

Bad bills

Here are bad bills that have advanced in some capacity in the Legislature this year. Opposite chamber companion bills are noted in some instances.    

Bills that would increase your cost of living

House Bill 1110 would create a new low carbon fuel standard program similar to California's model. This program would: add to the price of gas and goods; not significantly improve our environment; and not generate any new funding for transportation infrastructure.

Senate Bill 5116 would require to phase out fossil fuel electricity generation and move to 100 percent clean energy resources by 2045, and create penalty and incentive structures to move off of fossil fuel resources. The costs of this plan would fall on families and employers through higher energy bills. (House Bill 1211). Learn about the Republican alternative: Carbon Free Washington Act.

Senate Bill 5313 would raise local K-12 property-tax authority, which could result in a property tax increase of $2.5 billion per year. This would lead to huge inequities in taxpayer levy rates and result in meaningful disparities in educational enrichment opportunities for students in less-wealthy areas. Sen. John Braun highlights this bill in his recent Economic Sense newsletter.     

House Bill 1105 would impose a new property tax to pay for a government-sponsored hotline to help property owners facing foreclosure. (No Senate companion)

House Bill 1590 would give councilmanic authority to local jurisdictions to raise sales and use tax for affordable housing and homelessness projects. (No Senate companion) 

Bills that are bad for employees and employers

House Bill 1515, in its initial form, would have changed the criteria for being classified as an independent contractor for wage, tax and benefit purposes. While this measure was amended to create a work group on employee classification, the results of this group could be used in support of the initial policy in the future.

House Bill 1491, which has been called restrictive scheduling, would require food service, hospitality and retail establishments with more than 250 employees worldwide to provide employees 14 days’ notice of work schedules and compensate employees for schedule changes, along with several additional requirements. (Senate Bill 5717)

House Bill 1575 would make it easier for unions to deduct union dues from public employees. It would also make it harder for employees to exercise their right to not join a union and opt-out if they join and then later want to get out. (Senate Bill 5623)  

A bill that takes away local control for school districts   

Senate Bill 5395 would require every public school to provide comprehensive sexual health education that meets certain requirements. This approach would take control away from local school boards and their communities. (House Bill 1407)

Bills that are bad for our state health care system

House Bill 1523 would require the Washington Health Benefit Exchange to develop standardized health plans and expressly limit choice over time in favor of one-size-fits-all plans meeting specific government requirements. This approach would: result in providers leaving networks and shifting the cost of health care to self-funded plans; make health care for many Washingtonians more expensive; and destabilize the marketplace. (Senate Bill 5526) Watch Rep. Joe Schmick's video on this legislation here

House Bill 1870 would codify Obamacare in state statute. This would lock our state into a health care system that continues to struggle and has since its inception. (Senate Bill 5805

Senate Bill 5822 would direct the Health Care Authority to convene a work group to study the establishment of a universal health care system in Washington. (House Bill 1877)

A bill that infringes on Second Amendment rights

House Bill 1068 would prohibit high capacity firearm magazines over 15 rounds. You can find a list of all gun-related bills introduced in the House at this website.

A bill that is offensive to agricultural communities

Senate Bill 5693 -- While the bill title says, creating transparency in agricultural supply chains, this article's headline explains the measure more clearly: "Bill would require Washington farmers to report slaves." Those who testified against this measure are right: It's offensive to our farmers and agricultural communities. (No House companion) 

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