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WFIA Off the Shelf Podcast

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WFIA Week 2 of the WFIA Off the Shelf Podcast and Session Recap

January 21, 2022

Week 2 began on January 17th, and it was full-speed ahead for this short session! This week we kicked off our Day (Session) at the Capitol event where several of our members were able to meet with their local legislators to discuss the 2022 session priorities affecting the industry! Additionally, Tammie Hetrick, WFIA President & CEO updates us on the Extended Producer Responsibility/Product Take Back bill (SB 5697), the Unemployment Insurance (HB 1486) bill, Low Proof Spirits (HB 1734), and the bill that is encouraging the opening of safety rest areas to the public (HB 1655). Listen to this week's Off the Shelf episode to review and see what's coming up for Week 3.

Transcript of Podcast

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[tammie_hetrick]: Hello, and welcome to Washington, food industry associations off the shelf

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[tammie_hetrick]: report. So we are in twenty twenty two's legislative session week too. And

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[tammie_hetrick]: uh, it's been going

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[tammie_hetrick]: very fast and off to a quick start,

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[tammie_hetrick]: so I'll start with a few of these. I think the big question is on long term

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[tammie_hetrick]: care and that bill is moving quickly to delay the long term care for

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[tammie_hetrick]: eighteen months. Uh, it's past the House and moving over to the Senate, so

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[tammie_hetrick]: it's looking very probable that we will have a delay on long term care, so

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[tammie_hetrick]: we'll keep you posted as that bill moves.

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[tammie_hetrick]: So extended producer responsibility product take backack, Sen. a bill fifty

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[tammie_hetrick]: six, ninety seven, had a hearing this week. We testified in the Senate

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[tammie_hetrick]: Environment, Energy and Technology Committee, dealing with extended producer

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[tammie_hetrick]: responsibility. This is the bill that would require producers of packaging

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[tammie_hetrick]: products to establish the means of disposing and or recycling the products

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[tammie_hetrick]: they make. The bill also includes additional products in the recycling

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[tammie_hetrick]: content bill, and it includes truth in Labeeling bills, which would require

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[tammie_hetrick]: proper recycling labelling. We testified with concerns because we are not

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[tammie_hetrick]: sure that retailers are completely exempt from being required to serve as

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[tammie_hetrick]: takeback locations, and expressed our concerns with the sheer size of the

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[tammie_hetrick]: bill. In addition, we ask for additional preemption language and a change in

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[tammie_hetrick]: truth in Labeeling section to ensure retailers are not responsible for this

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[tammie_hetrick]: type of labeeling.

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[tammie_hetrick]: We've met with proponents and discuss language that would alleviate our

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[tammie_hetrick]: concerns, and we're hoping to receive an updated bill soon.

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[tammie_hetrick]: We do expect this bill will pass out of committee.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Uh, big week for unemployment and labor issues, So Uh, unemployment

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[tammie_hetrick]: insurance, House Bill fourteen, eighty six, this bill expand the reasons for

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[tammie_hetrick]: an employee to voluntarily ▁quit their job to include losing childcare or

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[tammie_hetrick]: needing to care for a family member,

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[tammie_hetrick]: or needing to move to be closer to a minor child, and any shift changes, or

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[tammie_hetrick]: actively working to defeat this bill and working closely with legislators to

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[tammie_hetrick]: find ways to either significantly change or stop this legislation. Our U. I

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[tammie_hetrick]: system is already struggling due to the pandemic. We cannot handle any

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[tammie_hetrick]: benefit increases. in addition, unemployment insurance is for those who are

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[tammie_hetrick]: laid off through no fault of their own,

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[tammie_hetrick]: and H B. fourteen, eighty six adds reasons for ▁quitting that are totally

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[tammie_hetrick]: out of the employer's control. so we are working hard on this. You're going

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[tammie_hetrick]: to see a call to action for all of you to please sign in to oppose this.

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[tammie_hetrick]: This Um would just increase costs so much and lose more employees in a time

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[tammie_hetrick]: when we really can't afford to

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[tammie_hetrick]: uh. So a little bit on the positive side, a W. Fia is working closely with a

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[tammie_hetrick]: coalition to help reduce the taxes of low proof spirit beverages to be more

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[tammie_hetrick]: equivalent to beer and wine, In order to allow more of those to be offered

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[tammie_hetrick]: in the state. We're still working to get a hearing on this bill. It is

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[tammie_hetrick]: budgeted.

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[tammie_hetrick]: It is budget related, so may be done closer to the fiscal cut offff dates.

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[tammie_hetrick]: In early February.

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[tammie_hetrick]: We're also supporting the trucking industry and supply chain, and there iss

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[tammie_hetrick]: a bill that encourages the opening of the safety rest areas to the public

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[tammie_hetrick]: House Bill Sixteen fifty Five. This bill supports our supply chain friends

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[tammie_hetrick]: in the checking industry by creating pathways to reopen and maintain safety

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[tammie_hetrick]: rest areas. The d O T would be allowed to utilize the Gig economy as well as

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[tammie_hetrick]: restructure vacant positions to ensure safety rest areas remain open.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Contracts may also be issued for cleaning, safety or repairs, if the

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[tammie_hetrick]: department is unable to fulfil those duties.

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[tammie_hetrick]: So again, more to come on all of this, Um. I also wanted to just give you an

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[tammie_hetrick]: update on a few things. Uh. the Osha mandate, as we all know federally, this

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[tammie_hetrick]: has been stopped. Uh, wisha our Washington's Safety and Health can implement

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[tammie_hetrick]: their own mandator requirements as long as they are as effective or more

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[tammie_hetrick]: effective than the federal statute, So we've been very concerned that the

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[tammie_hetrick]: governor may attempt to uh mandate something here. I've been told by the

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[tammie_hetrick]: governor's office and by labor industries that the Governor does not want to

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[tammie_hetrick]: implement any mandate at this time. So good news. I'm keeping an eye on it.

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[tammie_hetrick]: I'll keep you all posted, but for now, no vaccine mandates for any employee

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[tammie_hetrick]: size,

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[tammie_hetrick]: and then finally, uh, well, a couple more things. I wanted to report out.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Uh, the

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[tammie_hetrick]: employment security department gave a presentation Two ways in means a few

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[tammie_hetrick]: days ago on paid family medical leave and I serve on that advisory

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[tammie_hetrick]: committee.

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[tammie_hetrick]: During that presentation, e s d informed the legislature that

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[tammie_hetrick]: they will be insolvent by September. Well, this was extremely frustrating

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[tammie_hetrick]: for both sides of the committee, labor and business, because we had never

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[tammie_hetrick]: been informed that there was any insolvency concerns. So again, this is just

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[tammie_hetrick]: evidence that um, e s d is just not keeping a good watch on their financial

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[tammie_hetrick]: site of things. and Um, we again are ▁urging no new benefits Because of

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[tammie_hetrick]: this,

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[tammie_hetrick]: Uh, more to come on that, but uh, working very closely to

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[tammie_hetrick]: figure out how we can O hold e s d a little more accountable.

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[tammie_hetrick]: Finally wanted to remind everyone one. We have a meeting Monday with Senator

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[tammie_hetrick]: Billig. We're meeting with all four corners of leadership. Those are great

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[tammie_hetrick]: opportunities to really talk about these issues that impact your business.

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[tammie_hetrick]: and we hope you can join us. So with that I'll sign out if you have any

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[tammie_hetrick]: questions. Please let me know. Thank you. Have a wonderful day.