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WFIA Off the Shelf Podcast

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Week 4 WFIA Off the Shelf Podcast

February 4, 2022

Week 3 began on January 31st! Today is policy cutoff and Monday is fiscal cutoff. Bills moved to the floor this week to be voted out of their house of origin with the deadline approaching. This week Tammie Hetrick, WFIA President & CEO updates us on the status of the Retail Theft bill (HB 1656), two Warehouse bills (SB 5891 & SB 5901), the EPR Product Stewardship bill (SB 5697), and several more. Listen to this week's Off the Shelf episode to review and see what's coming up for Week 4.

This week we also interviewed Rep. Dan Griffey (R-35th) about the current status of the Retail Theft bill and its importance to our industry. This is a bill that WFIA and our members are very passionate about! You can click the link below to listen to the interview!

Transcript of Podcast

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[tammie_hetrick]: Welcome to twenty twenty two Legislative session Week four.

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[tammie_hetrick]: So interesting things happen this week. A February third marked the first

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[tammie_hetrick]: major cut offff date for the twenty twenty two legislative session. That was

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[tammie_hetrick]: the day that bills must be voted out of their initial policy committee to

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[tammie_hetrick]: continue to remain alive for the remainder of the session. Monday, February

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[tammie_hetrick]: seventh is the date that bills with spending or tax implications must be out

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[tammie_hetrick]: of the fiscal committees, and then February fifteenth, as the eight bills

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[tammie_hetrick]: must have been voted

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[tammie_hetrick]: in the first House and sent to the second House. There are exceptions to

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[tammie_hetrick]: these cut offffs, such as bills that are necessary to implement the budget,

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[tammie_hetrick]: but for the most part, these cut off dates helped narrow down the number of

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[tammie_hetrick]: bills being considered, and again, as you all know, nothing is ever dead

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[tammie_hetrick]: until signny day.

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[tammie_hetrick]: So for W f I, a, we' working on Uh, most of the same agenda,

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[tammie_hetrick]: and we have just a quick update on a few uh priorities that are happening

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[tammie_hetrick]: that happened this week. Retail theft, Uh, what of our major bill lost This

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[tammie_hetrick]: cut offff, date was House Bill Sixteen Fifty Six, the bill that added

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[tammie_hetrick]: concealment to the definition of theft. Even with several amendments to

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[tammie_hetrick]: narrow the scope and significant work from our prime sponsor Representative

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[tammie_hetrick]: Dan Griffiy, which we have a podcast with him On this issue,

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[tammie_hetrick]: A majority Democrats in the committee were not willing to make this change

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[tammie_hetrick]: to help our reste retail stores curb theft. We be working on this issue over

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[tammie_hetrick]: the interim to try to build support in the Senate. However, Senate Bill

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[tammie_hetrick]: fifty seven eighty one, raising the penalty for organized retail theft did

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[tammie_hetrick]: move.

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[tammie_hetrick]: We also have two bills that are impacting our wear houses and are moving

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[tammie_hetrick]: through the process. The first bill is Senate Bille Fifty eight ninety one.

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[tammie_hetrick]: We are opposed to this bill and you are receiving a call to action on this,

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[tammie_hetrick]: and we hope that you will please respond to your senator asking them to not

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[tammie_hetrick]: move this bill forward. This bill would require warehouses with more than a

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[tammie_hetrick]: hundred employees to provide specific ▁quota information upon hire at least

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[tammie_hetrick]: annually and no fewer than two working days before modification. It

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[tammie_hetrick]: prohibits requiring employees to meet ▁quotas that interfere with rights to

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[tammie_hetrick]: mill and rest breaks, or exposes them to health and safety hazards, or

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[tammie_hetrick]: violates related laws and rules. It requires employers to provide

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[tammie_hetrick]: information if an employee believes a ▁quota interfered with their rights or

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[tammie_hetrick]: laws. It prohibits retaliation, including a rebuttable presumption, and

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[tammie_hetrick]: provides remedies and for Department of Labor and Industries investigations.

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[tammie_hetrick]: It also requires warehouse distribution center, Employers safety committees

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[tammie_hetrick]: to meet at least quarterly.

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[tammie_hetrick]: First of all, these are all things that we do under Illinois' Safety and

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[tammie_hetrick]: Health. This was legislation that was trying to get at Amazon, but it has

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[tammie_hetrick]: drawn everyone into this. We are concerned about how this law would impact

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[tammie_hetrick]: our warehouse members, but also all our members again. This is the supply

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[tammie_hetrick]: chain issue and we don't have control over whether we don't have control

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[tammie_hetrick]: over traffic delays. and all of this would impact those deliveries and what

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[tammie_hetrick]: we have on shelves.

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[tammie_hetrick]: So especially when we're dealing with perishable items, we can't be stopping

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[tammie_hetrick]: to add a lot of paperwork and delays to that process.

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[tammie_hetrick]: So you will get that and I hope you will send that out.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Uh, Wfe is also going to be weigh into support on fifty nine oh one, which

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[tammie_hetrick]: would provide tax relief for expansion of warehouses, while not fully

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[tammie_hetrick]: impacting all of our members. This wouldoo provide some of our warehouses in

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[tammie_hetrick]: the state with some benefits.

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[tammie_hetrick]: It creates a manufacturing and research and development sells and use tax

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[tammie_hetrick]: incentive program for all but Kings to Homeish and Pierce counties. It

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[tammie_hetrick]: expands the warehouse, sells and use tax exemption to include warehouses

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[tammie_hetrick]: over a hundred thousand square feet in targeted counties. It caps the

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[tammie_hetrick]: maximum amount of sales and use tax that may be exempted for the

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[tammie_hetrick]: construction or expansion of any warehouse or greenin elevator at four

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[tammie_hetrick]: hundred thousand.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Expires. the warehouse sells and use tax exemption on July first, twenty

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[tammie_hetrick]: thirty two,

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[tammie_hetrick]: and it requires the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to evaluate

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[tammie_hetrick]: the effectiveness of the changes in the warehouse sales and use tax

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[tammie_hetrick]: exemption and diversifying the tax base and increasing employment within the

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[tammie_hetrick]: targeted counties.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Also, we had a hearing on low proof spirits, W f. I, A tested this week in

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[tammie_hetrick]: support of House bills, Seventeen thirty four. the bill leveling the tax for

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[tammie_hetrick]: low proof canned spirits to better equate the tax to like malt beverages and

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[tammie_hetrick]: beer by level in the tax. It will make this a viable product in our stores

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[tammie_hetrick]: to provide customers these popular alternatives.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Beer distributors and craftburries testified in opposition because of

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[tammie_hetrick]: concerns that these drinks will take market share and shelfs space away from

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[tammie_hetrick]: them. We try to alleviate these concerns with the message that our stores

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[tammie_hetrick]: can provide room for all products that sell because these cocktails are

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[tammie_hetrick]: spirits. The ten thousand square foot roll still applies here in Washington

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[tammie_hetrick]: on e p r and product stewardship, The art, e p R. Bill fifty six ninety

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[tammie_hetrick]: seven, passed out of the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology

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[tammie_hetrick]: Committee, and now moves to Senate Ways in means Committee. We work with the

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[tammie_hetrick]: sponsor of the bill, Senator Mona Dos, and were successful in getting

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[tammie_hetrick]: changes in the amended bill to C fy the definition of producer, specifically

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[tammie_hetrick]: exempt retail establishmentments from the definition of public space, and

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[tammie_hetrick]: also specifically stating that retailers may participate as take back

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[tammie_hetrick]: locations for a Producer Responsibility organization, but cannot required to

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[tammie_hetrick]: do so. A hearing

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[tammie_hetrick]: was going to be scheduled. We are hearing that this may not be heard. So

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[tammie_hetrick]: more to come on this of just last minute news was its not being Uh,

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[tammie_hetrick]: scheduled for hearing in ways and means, Ah, couriers in retail. On a

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[tammie_hetrick]: positive note, House billed twenty nineteen. That would add retail careriers

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[tammie_hetrick]: and training to the Workforce Training and Coordinating Board's

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[tammie_hetrick]: responsibilities, passed out of the House of Representatives ninety four to

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[tammie_hetrick]: two, and is now on its way to the Senate, as a key piece of the supply chain

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[tammie_hetrick]: bills to improve the retail labor shortage.

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[tammie_hetrick]: We also had Uh, implementing a Permle charge on vehicles House Bill Twenty

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[tammie_hetrick]: twenty six, beginning July first, twenty twenty five, owners of new electric

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[tammie_hetrick]: vehicles would pay a two point five cent per mile fee, also known as road

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[tammie_hetrick]: usage charge. Voluntary options to participate will be made available at

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[tammie_hetrick]: various times for older electric vehicles, hybrids, passenger cars, light

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[tammie_hetrick]: trucks, and s. U Vs fees would be deposited into the road usage charge

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[tammie_hetrick]: account. While these fees would be designated for transportation purposes.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Unfortunately it would not be protected by the eighteenth amendment.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Recently W F. A joined with many other industries in signing a letter

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[tammie_hetrick]: requesting the Legislature protect our U C fees under the Eighteenth

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[tammie_hetrick]: Amendment.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Finally enhancing the regulation of vapor products, Senate Bill Fifty seven

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[tammie_hetrick]: Sixty eight, this bill gives authority to the Department of Health to

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[tammie_hetrick]: restrict the Cll of flavored vapor products. These restrictions would

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[tammie_hetrick]: disproportionately impact Washington businesses, as as consumers would still

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[tammie_hetrick]: be able to access these products through online markets and tribal

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[tammie_hetrick]: retailers. While a publicly hearing was held on January thirty first.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Currently, no action has been taken to move this bill out of committee for

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[tammie_hetrick]: any other updates. Ah, please check our bill tracker. If you have any

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[tammie_hetrick]: questions, please reach out to me at any time. Have a wonderful day.