Hot Off The Grill: Week 9

Hot Off The Grill: Week 9

We are now on day 57 just three days remain in our 60-day legislative session. State lawmakers continue to work behind the scenes to reach compromises on the supplemental operating, capital and transportation budgets. There has been talk about a special session but nothing is certain at this time. To give you an idea of how much goes into crafting the budget and, why negotiations are so complex, you can click here to see a great infographic depicting of the Budget Universe.

Last Monday was fiscal committee cutoff, and Friday was opposite House cutoff. If you would like a quick overview of how a bill becomes a law you can click here.

Below is an update on our top priorities this week – next week is likely the last weekly Hot Off the Grill for the 2016 legislative session. If anything from past editions is not listed below and you’d like to know more,

If the legislature adjourns on time, look for the printed Legislative Review edition of our magazine to hit mail boxes in May.

Minimum Wage

With three days remaining, there is heavy pressure on the Legislature to pass a statewide solution to the minimum wage; however, it is not likely that the Legislature will come to an agreement. Therefore, without action by the business community, what is facing the citizens of the state is only a ballot initiative presented by the SEIU/UFCW backed coalition, Raise Up Washington. Their initiative would raise the minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020 and mandate paid leave benefits.

You can read the full text of the initiative here.

We are working to make other options available to Washington communities and businesses. Raise Up Washington has until July 3 gather around 300,000 signatures of registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

Tip Pooling

On February 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Department of Labor (DOL) has the authority to regulate the tip-pooling practices of employers who do not take a tip credit, including prohibiting these employers from instituting tip pooling programs that include back-of-the-house staff, management and other workers who are not customarily tipped. This decision reverses two federal district court rulings, and essentially ignores the Ninth Circuit’s 2010 ruling on this issue, Cumbie V. Woody Woo.

We held a series of conference calls to help our members with questions about this ruling. WRA lawyer Bob Donovan chaired the conference calls. You can contact Bob Donovan Or(206) 743-9234. Additional resources will soon be available on our website. With questions regarding our WRA resources, please contact us

Music Licensing

House Bill 1763, which would add regulations to music licensing companies, continues to move along in the legislative process. Once aspect of the bill informs restaurants and hoteliers of their rights and responsibilities by requiring licensing companies to give notices and allowed lists of music. The notices and lists help hospitality businesses choose what to play and easily comply with the law. The bill was unanimously voted out of the Senate on March 3 and now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

2016 AHLA Legislative Action Summit

With many important issues at stake for the lodging industry we encourage your participation at this year’s 2016 American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Legislative Action Summit (LAS).

The 2016 AHLA Legislative Action Summit is on May 17 & 18 in Washington DC and in partnership with the Asian American Hotel Owners Associations (AAHOA). To register for the LAS, click here.