GSBA Legislative Agenda GSBA Legislative Agenda

GSBA LegislativeTracker

As of 3/23/20

 

This page shows the bills that GSBA has taken a position on in the 2020 Washington legislative session. 

EXPLAINING THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
Like the federal Congress, Washington state has a bi-cameral (i.e. "two chambers") legislature. Bill can be introduced in either the House of Representatives (labeled HB and numbered between 1000-3000) or the Senate (labeled SB and numbered between 5000-7000).

Bills must be passed by both chambers to be signed into law by the Governor. This involves a bill being heard in a specific committee, then being approved by the budget committee if there is a cost, and finally voted on the floor of the chamber. Sometimes both chambers have their own version of a bill, known as "companion bills". Sometimes only one of these bills gets through the process, sometimes each bill passes its own side of the Legislature. To become law, one single bill must be approved by both sides. Therefore the Legislature will choose one version to agree upon and pass that one. In the list below, we have indicated in bold which of the two companion bills seems to be advancing.

 

GSBA-supported bills that passed this year

Bill

Description

Status

HB 1551

HIV modernization and decriminalization

Passed House 57-40
Passed Senate 26-23

HB 1687

Nikki Kuhnhausen Act; ban on trans-panic and gay-panic defenses

Passed House 90-5
Passed Senate 46-3

HB 1783

Establish WA Office of Equity

Passed House 56-41
Passed Senate 28-21

HB 2338

Prohibiting discrimination in health care

Passed House 93-5
Passed Senate 30-18

HB 2602

Banning discrimination based on hair

Passed House 87-10
Passed Senate 38-9

HB 2632

Anti-Swatting bill

Passed House 97-0
Passed Senate 49-0

SB 5395

Comprehensive Sex Education

Passed Senate 28-21
Passed House 56-40

SB 5900

LGBTQ veterans coordinator position in the Office of Veterans Affairs

Passed Senate 43-4
Passed House 87-10

SB 6037

Encouraging gender diversity on corporate boards

Passed Senate 32-14
Passed House 56-40


Bills that did not pass this year

The one bill that GSBA active opposed - HB 2201, which would have prohibited trans girls from participating in girls sports in K-12 schools - never received a hearing thanks to the pro-equality majority in the Legislature.

Several bills around small business, including the Small Business Bill of Rights, authorization of microenterprise home kitchens, and a bill to reduce triple-net expenses via a property tax exemption, sadly did not make it through the process. We look forward to building on the work we did this session to fight for them again in 2021.

Additionally, there was a tremendous amount of debate over two versions of a bill to enact an excise tax on King County businesses to fund solutions for the homelessness and housing affordability crisis. Neither version made it to the floor. GSBA actively shared the diverse viewpoints of our membership during the negotiations, and we remain optimistic that our local governments can work together for proactive solutions.
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Advocacy news you can use! 

Curated list of GSBA blog posts that focus on small business or civil rights issues from the realm of Public Policy & Government Affairs.