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Legislative Action

Legislative session Review

WSFA Legislative Report – March 9, 2018
The 2018 legislative session ended last night. Legislators are packing up their offices and heading home
where they will soon begin campaigning.
On the bright side, The WSDA bill that updates the statutes that govern the fair fund passed and is headed
to the Governor for signature.
On the down side, the bill that would have increased the Fair Fund for the first time in 20 years died. It
had broad support from both Republicans and Democrats across the state but key legislators prevented its

Legislators can request capital project money for special projects in their district. The capital budget that
passed in January included the following projects for fairs:
Castle Rock Fair LED Lighting (Castle Rock) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10,000
Skamania County Fair Horse Stall Panels (Stevenson) . . . . . . . . . . . $40,000
Southwest Washington Fair Grange Building Re-Roof (Chehalis) $54,000

It also included $2 million for the Department of Agriculture to use for health and safety grants for
fairgrounds. In the supplemental capital budget, a quarter of that money was taken away and awarded to
the Grant county fairgrounds rodeo arena to replace seats. An additional $100,000 was added to the fund,
but designated specifically for the Ellensburg rodeo arena. Now only $1.5 million remain for the
Department of Agriculture to award to projects on all of the other fairgrounds in the state. Legislative
staff did this as a one-time move because of the compressed timeline for Capital budget projects due to the
budget not passing in 2017.

There is already a list of legislators who do not plan to seek re-election. This list is bound to grow over the
next several weeks.
Senator Michael Baumgartner, Spokane
Rep. Judy Clibborn, Mercer Island
Rep. Larry Haler, Richland
Rep. Dan Kristiansen, Snohomish
Rep. Melanie Stambaugh, Puyallup
Rep. Terry Nealey, Dayton
Rep. Liz Pike, Camas
Rep. Jay Rodne, Snoqualmie
See below for other bills that passed.

Modifies provisions regarding agricultural fairs, youth shows, and exhibitions on the following: (1) The
state fair fund; (2) Categories of agricultural fairs that may be eligible for state allocations; (3) Eligibility
requirements for those allocations; (4) Reimbursements for incurred operating expenses; and (5) Terms of
the members of the fairs commission.
Service animal misrepresentation
Penalizes the intentional misrepresentation of a service animal. States that a person has committed a civil
infraction and will be assessed a monetary penalty for the crime of misrepresentation of a service animal.
The maximum penalty and default amount is five hundred dollars.

Job applicants/arrests, etc.
SHB 1298
Prohibits an employer from including any question on an application for employment, from inquiring
either orally or in writing, from receiving information through a criminal history background check, or
from otherwise obtaining information about an applicant's criminal record until after the employer
initially determines that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. Requires the state attorney
general's office to enforce this act. Provides that this act is null and void if appropriations are not

Tourism marketing
Establishes the statewide tourism marketing act. Creates the Washington tourism marketing authority to
contract for statewide tourism marketing services that promote tourism on behalf of the citizens of the
state and manage the authority's financial resources. Requires the department of commerce to provide
administrative assistance to the authority and serve as the fiscal agent of the authority for money
appropriated for purposes of the authority. Requires the joint legislative audit and review committee to
conduct an evaluation of the performance of the authority to determine the extent to which the authority
has contributed to the growth of the tourism industry and economic development of the state. Creates the
statewide tourism marketing account. Requires 0.2 percent of taxes collected on retail sales of lodging, car
rentals, and restaurants to be deposited in the statewide tourism marketing account.

Fair Fund intact...

Governor Inslee signed a new 2-year state operating budget at 11:00 PM June 30. It included $2 million per year for the Fair Fund. This is the same amount that has been allocated to the Fair Fund for most of the past 20 years.

The legislature did not pass a capital budget yesterday. The capital budget is being held due to failure to reach agreement on fixing the Hirst decision which limited the ability to drill new wells in most of Washington. Senators want a fix for that before agreeing to release the capital budget. (The Hirst issue is very important to most of rural Washington.)

That means, at this time, there is no money for health and safety grants. However, the legislature plans to continue to work toward agreement on a capital budget in July. If they reach an agreement, fair grants will probably be included.

The new operating budget also includes $500,000 for the Department of Commerce to work with the Washington Tourism Alliance to develop a tourism marketing plan.


Driving Directions

  • Feel free to to drop by the Capital and speak with your legislator's office, or the Governor's office.
  • From I-5 Southbound: Take 'Exit 105 to State Capitol,' keep left for Exit 105A, and continue for 0.6 miles. Merge with traffic on the left and continue in the left hand lane of 14th Ave SW through the roundabout (Jefferson St.) and under the tunnel 0.4 mi to Capitol Blvd. Continue across Capitol Blvd to the Capitol Building on Sid Snyder Ave SW (14th Ave becomes Sid Snyder Ave).
  • From I-5 Northbound: Take Exit 105 and bear left for the State Capitol/City Center exit. Cross over Interstate 5 and keep in the left lane on 14th Ave SE. through the roundabout (Jefferson St) and under the tunnel 0.4 mi to Capitol Blvd. Continue across Capitol Blvd to the Capitol Building on Sid Snyder Ave SW (14th Ave becomes Sid Snyder Ave).

Campus Map

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