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WSAB State Legislative Bill/Issue Tracking Report

64th Washington State Legislature, First Regular Session
Bill Status as of April 4, 2016 
End of 2016 
Regular & Special Sessions

WSAB has represented Washington’s radio and television stations in the State Legislature since 1935. Each year, WSAB protects and promotes the interests of broadcasters on a variety of bills and issues.

Symbol Key:
Original (House/Senate) Bill
Substitute (House/Senate) Bill - Amendments were added by the committee and compiled into a Substitute Bill.
Engrossed (House/Senate) Bill - Amendments were added during consideration of the bill by the full House or Senate and consolidated before final passage into a new bill.

Cut-Off Dates:  The Legislature establishes "cut-off" dates to gauge the performance of bills.  A bill must meet a particular progress benchmark by each cut-off or it may no longer be considered and is deemed "dead" for the session.  Bills necessary to implement the budget are exempt from "cut-off" deadlines.  The are no further cut-off dates because the Legislature has adjourned..






HB 1114:  Internet Poker.  This bill would authorize and regulate internet poker.  The bill has a provision requiring any advertising, including broadcast advertising, to contain a disclaimer: “CAUTION:  Participation in gambling activity may result in pathological gambling behavior causing emotional and financial harm.  For help, call 1-800-547-6133.”  STATUS:  In House Commerce & Gaming Committee.

ESSB 5477: Regulating Vapor Products.  This bill as passed by the Senate would require advertising for e-cigarettes/vapor products to contain a warning of the harmful effects of the product and that it should be kept out of the reach of children.  STATUS:  Passed Senate in 2015; not considered by House prior to adjournment of the 2015 Regular Session; returned to Senate Rules Committee.

SB 5573/2SHB 1645:  Regulating Vapor Products.  These two identical bills would establish regulations for e-cigarettes/vapor products.  They would require the Department of Health to adopt rules regulating the advertising of vapor products.  STATUS:  SB 5573 in Senate Health Care Committee. E2SHB 1645 passed House; passed Senate Health Care Committee; referred to Senate Ways & Means Committee not considered by the full Senate prior to adjournment of the 2016 Regular & 1st Special Sessions; returned to House Rules Committee.

HB 2370:  Fantasy Sports Gaming. This bill would declare fantasy sports gaming illegal gambling and prohibit the advertising of fantasy sport gaming in Washington.  The sponsor of the bill agreed that if the bill moved forward, it would include an amendment clarifying that it would be illegal to sponsor an advertisement for fantasy gaming and that broadcast stations that carried a network feed that included an advertisement for fantasy gaming would not be liable.  STATUS: In House Commerce & Gaming Committee.

SB 6333:  Fantasy Sports Gaming.  This bill declares fantasy sports gaming to be a game of skill and authorized in the state of Washington.  It contains no advertising provisions.  STATUS:  In Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.

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HB 1086: Public Records Cost Recovery.  This bill would establish a mechanism for the recovery of the costs of copying public records where the purpose of the public records request is the sale or resale of all or part of a record.  STATUS:  Passed House State Government Committee; referred to House Appropriations Committee.

HB 1189: Hours of Availability Public Records.  This bill would exempt cities, towns and special districts that do not maintain office hours for a minimum of 30 hours per week from having to meet that minimum open office requirement, but must post on the agency web site directions on how to contact agency personnel to inspect or copy records.  STATUS:  Passed House in 2015; not considered by Senate prior to adjournment of 2015 Regular Session; returned to House Rules Committee

ESHB 1349:  Public Records Requests for Purpose of Obtaining Exempt Unemployment & Licensing Information.  This bill would prohibit a person from making a public records request for the names or nonexempt contact information of agency employees or volunteers in order to obtain information that falls under the employment and licensing exemption of the PRA to use for a commercial purpose or to harass, stalk, threaten, or intimidate any person. A person requesting employee or volunteer names or contact information must swear under oath that the information will not be used for such purposes.  STATUS: Passed House in 2015; not considered by Senate prior to adjournment of 2015 Regular Session; returned to House Rules Committee.

HB 1374: Disclosure of Public Agency Contract Information. This bill declares any clause in a contract between state or local agencies and private vendors that prohibits disclosure of the existence of the contract to be against public policy and unenforceable.  STATUS:  In House Judiciary Committee.

HB 1691:  Public Records Action Remedies.  This bill would give a court the discretion to award attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party in an action regarding a public records violation.  It would also permit the court to impose a fine on the government agency if it were found to have violated the Public Records Act, and it would require the fine to be deposited into a fund to enhance the preservation of state public records.  The court could also order that the prevailing party be paid a portion of the fine.  STATUS:  In House State Government Committee.

SB 6014:  Remedies for Actions Under Public Records Act.  This bill would provide that a court could levy a fine against an agency for violating the Public Records Act.  The fine would be deposited in the public records efficiency account for the preservation of public records.  The prevailing party could be granted an award of up to 25% of the fine.  STATUS:  In Senate Government Operations & Security Committee.

SHB 1723:  Booking Photos.  This bill would make booking photos open and available to the public.  STATUS:  Passed House Public Safety Committee; in House Rules Committee.

HB 2290 Out of State Public Records Requests.  This bill provides that a person may request records under the Public Records Act if he or she resides in Washington, represents a business licensed and physically located in the state, or represents the news media.  "News media" includes newspapers, magazines, radio and television networks, and online news websites, among others. However, the news media exemption provides that a records requester from the media must provide information the name and circulation area or broadcast area of the news media represented by the requestor, which raises serious First Amendment press freedom issues. WSAB opposes HB 2290.  STATUS: In House State Government Committee.

HB 2576 Local Government Public Record Request Limitations.  This bill would authorize a local agency to adopt a policy limiting the number of hours it devotes to responding to public records requests; llows local agencies to impose a fee for the actual cost of providing a public record if the request is primarily for a commercial purpose ("commercial purpose" specifically does not include requests for records used by a news media outlet to broadly disseminate information on matters of public interest); establishes the Public Records Commission and authorizes local agencies and requestors to submit requests to the Public Records Commission for resolution of disputes by:  voluntary arbitration; voluntary mediation; or in the event that either the agency or requestor does not consent to arbitration or mediation, adjudicative proceeding.  WSAB opposes this bill because the limitation on the number of hours a local government agency will work on public records requests includes those requested by news media and would hamper investigative reporting.  STATUS: In House Rules Committee.

HJR 4208:  Public Records State Constitutional Amendment.  This proposed amendment to the State Constitution would require any legislation or regulation that limits the public’s right of access to records held by the executive branch of government to contain a section setting forth findings demonstrating the compelling government interest that necessitates the adoption of the limitation.  STATUS:  In House State Government Committee.

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HB 1425:  Open Meetings Applied to Advisory Committees.  This bill would make meetings of an advisory board, committee or other entity established by a public agency to provide formal advice or recommendations to the agency subject to the Open Meetings Act.  STATUS: In House State Government Committee.

SSB 5329:  Public Employee Collective Bargaining.  This bill would make collective bargaining contract negotiations between a public employee union and a public agency subject to the Open Meetings Act.  STATUS:  In Senate Rules Committee.



ESHB 1093: Unmanned Aircraft (Drones). This bill would establish limitations on the use of unmanned aircraft or drones.  A drone may be flown in Washington airspace only when the FAA has given specific permission; the drone has the name of the owner/operator; and, it does not have a sensing device (such as a camera) onboard.  This is not the bill drafted by the Governor’s Task Force on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.  STATUS: Passed House in 2015; not considered by Senate prior to adjournment of 2015 Regular Session; returned to House Rules Committee.

SHB 1639:  Drones.  This bill would regulate the use of drones by state and local government agencies.  STATUS:  Passed House in 2915; passed Senate with amendments; returned to House for concurrence; referred to House Rules Committee.

HB 1910/SB 5732:  Police Dash/Body Cams.  These two identical bills would govern the use of “body cams” and “dash cams” by law enforcement officers.  Certain recordings are subject to public disclosure under the Public Records Act.  STATUS:  HB 1910 in House Judiciary Committee.  SB 5732 in Senate Law & Justice Committee.

HB 2362 Body Cam Video/Audio.  This bill establishes Public Records Act provisions governing requests for and disclosure of certain body worn camera recordings made by law enforcement and corrections officers while in the course of their official duties; requires law enforcement and corrections agencies that deploy body worn cameras to adopt policies covering the use of body worn cameras; establishes a task force to review and report on the use of body worn cameras by law enforcement and corrections agencies, including a member representing the media.  STATUS: Passed House; passed Senate; delivered to Governor.

SHB 1917:  Video or Sound Recordings Made By Law Enforcement or Corrections Officers.  This bill would exempt from public disclosure any video or audio recording made by a law enforcement of corrections officer.  STATUS:  In House Judiciary Committee.

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SHB 1689:  Broadcaster B & O Tax.  This bill would update the B & O Tax structure for radio and television stations.  It would reinstate the “standard deduction” and modernize the terminology in the provision detailing the method for calculating the station’s signal coverage area for purposes of the out of state audience deduction.  The Substitute Bill would create a separate section of law that would outline the updated metrics for reinstating the standard deduction and the out-of-state audience deduction.  STATUS:  In House Finance Committee.

HB 1796/SB 5641:  Broadcaster B & O Tax.  These two identical bills contain the same provisions regarding local broadcaster B & O Tax provisions as HB 1689.  They also include separate provisions that apply the broadcaster B & O Tax structure to out-of-state broadcasters, such as Disney Channel, ESPN, CNN, HBO, Cinemax, etc.  STATUS:  HB 1796 in House Finance Committee. SB 5641 in Senate Ways & Means Committee.

HB 2150:  Reforming B & O Tax.  This bill would make substantial changes to the way in which B & O Tax is assessed against many businesses.  The effect on broadcasters’ B & O Tax would be to increase the tax rate from .484% to 3.75%.  It provides for a choice of deductions from the gross revenue taxable amount of either 1) a flat 30%; 2) an annual or monthly amount that is equal to an exemption of the first $500,000 of gross revenue; or, 3) compensation paid to employees, not to exceed $200,000 per employee annually.  The bill also would restructure the method of apportionment of out of state revenue, and would set the tax rate for retransmission consent revenue at 1.6%.  STATUS:  In House Finance Committee.

SSB 6665: Television Program Providers B & O Tax.  This bill would establish a B & O Tax framework for “television program providers,” such as national television networks and syndicators.  It does not change local, free, over-the-air television broadcasters B & O Tax structure.  STATUS:  In Senate Ways & Means Committee.

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HB 1577:  Non-Competition Agreements.  This bill would make a noncompetition agreement unenforceable if an employee is non-exempt; earns less than $39,500 annual wages; is restricted from competing for an unreasonable time, which the bill defines as six months or longer; or, is terminated without just cause or laid-off.  STATUS: In House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee.

HB 1926:  Non-Competition Agreements.  This bill would make non-competition agreements unenforceable, except when the agreement is entered into as a part of the contract for the sale of a business.  STATUS:  In House Rules Committee.

HB 2406:  Non-Competition Agreements.  This bill would make non-competition agreements unenforceable in several specific occupations.  It does not affect broadcast employer.   STATUS:  Re-referred back to House Rules Committee.

HB 2931: Non-Competition Agreements.  This bill would make non-competition agreements unenforceable as applied to temporary or seasonal workers, or to an employee who has been terminated without just cause.  It does not single out non-competition agreements in broadcast employment contracts.  STATUS: Re-referred back to House Rules Committee.

SB 6625:  Non-Competition Agreements.  This bill would apply only to hourly wage workers subject to a non-competition agreement longer than six months.  STATUS: In Senate Commerce & Labor Committee.

E2SHB 1763:  Music Licensing Agencies.  This bill would require BMI, SESAC and ASCAP to file with its various contract forms with the Secretary of State, obtain a business license and pay a fee of $1,500 annually.  It would also require any agent of the organization to identify themselves when they enter a business establishment for the purpose of determining whether the establishment is required to have a music performance license.  It applies the Consumer Protection Act to music licensing organization activity and directs the Attorney General and the Department of Licensing to conduct a public information campaign to educate business proprietors of their rights and obligations regarding the public performance of copyrighted music.  STATUS:  Passed House in 2915; not considered by Senate prior to adjournment of 2015 Regular Session; returned to House Rules Committee. In 2016 passed House; passed Senate; delivered to Governor.

HB 2057:  Light Pollution.  This bill would require the State Department of Ecology to conduct a study that analyzes the current extent of light pollution that adversely affects the quality of the environment, value of property and the health and well-being of the public. The study must be reported to the Legislature by January 1, 2017.  In the past, light pollution bills have not taken into account broadcast tower lighting and could have had severe consequences for the broadcasting industry.  WSAB will be watching the study and its conclusions to ensure that they do not adversely affect broadcast tower lighting.  STATUS:  In House Environment Committee.

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