Inslee signs four more bills by local legislators

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Gov. Jay Inslee’s slate of signed bills from the 2022 Legislative Session continues to grow, as four lawmakers representing north Clark County had their bills signed in the past two weeks. 

Rep. Larry Hoff, R-Vancouver, had his second bill passed by the Legislature this year signed on March 24. House Bill 1641 reinstates a business and occupation (B&O) tax credit for custom farming services and a public utilities tax exemption for hauling farm products.

Initially enacted by the Legislature in 2007, both exemptions expired at the end of 2020, according to a Senate bill report. 

Proponents testifying in the house said that without the bill, a farm operation might have had to write multiple checks to employees who worked at various operations owned by a farm to avoid paying B&O taxes from transferring funds among the different operations. Multiple checks could become a financial burden for workers who use check cashing services in order to receive their pay.

“Without this bill, there will be additional paperwork, multiple paychecks, and unneeded confusion,” testimony in the Senate bill report stated.

The bill passed the House unanimously and the Senate by a 47-2 vote.

Sen. John Braun also had one of his bills signed on March 24. Substitute Senate Bill 5790 requires the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to establish a “School to Work Program” in all counties in the state for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

When students have access to the services, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are three times more likely to be employed after leaving school at the age of 21, a news release from Braun’s office stated after the signing. He said the law extends the services into rural counties.

Braun, who has been critical of many items approved this legislative session, called the legislation “one of the bright spots” for 2022 lawmaking in Washington.

“The goal of this new law is to make sure clients across our state have equitable access to these critical services, no matter where they call home,” Braun stated in the release.

The substitute Senate bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

Braun had an additional bill signed during a round of approvals by Inslee on March 30 with a similar focus. Substitute Senate Bill 5819 dedicates employees from the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), a subdivision of DSHS, to handle the “no-paid services” caseload.

Many individuals who start the eligibility process through the DDA do not have a current need for services, a Senate bill report explained. Beginning the process can make it quicker to access services when they are needed.

In 2011, the DDA stopped providing case management services to those in the no-paid services caseload due to budget constraints, according to the bill report.

The bill requires the DDA to hire two full-time employees to review and maintain the no-paid services caseload. Their duties will include updating eligibility numbers and identifying how many individuals may be interested in receiving the services in the next year. The bill also requires the administration to provide resource management services to those clients.

SSB 5819 also passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, also had one of her bills signed on March 30. Senate Bill 5612 ensures domestic violence survivors have the opportunity to make statements during sentencing hearings for all domestic violence convictions.

Although statements following a conviction are currently guaranteed for felony cases, the bill extends that right to any domestic violence conviction, Wilson stated in a news release.

“It’s not just important for victims and their families as part of the healing process, but it’s important for all of us to hear what victims have to say,” Wilson stated.

SB 5612 received unanimous support in both the House and Senate. 

Wilson related that support to momentum from her 2020 Tiffany Hill Act, which allowed electronic monitoring and real-time notification for domestic violence survivors if their attacker is nearby.

That law was named after Hill, who in 2019 was fatally shot by her estranged husband.

“I have no question that Tiffany Hill’s compelling story is behind the new level of resolve across the Legislature I’ve sensed when it comes to (domestic violence) issues,” Wilson said. “I’ll say it again: Tiffany may be gone, but she continues to serve.”



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