Three Rep. Waters bills approved by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee

Rep. Kevin Waters
Rep. Kevin Waters

All three bills now wait for a vote from the entire Senate

Three bills from Rep. Kevin Waters, including his legislation that would increase hiring options for many of Washington’s smaller businesses, have been voted out of committee.

All three bills were passed in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 1730 would help the state’s workforce by opening certain job positions to a larger group of applicants. The legislation would allow youth between the ages of 18 to 20 to be employed in establishments traditionally classified as off-limits to persons under the age of 21, under specific and limited circumstances.

“This bill is about helping our state’s workforce,” said Waters, R-Stevenson. “Numerous businesses, especially restaurants and bars, are having difficulty finding and holding onto good employees. This policy was vital during the pandemic and helped many companies stay afloat. This legislation would make this a permanent option for small businesses and open more opportunities for individuals under 21 looking for work.”

The bill would make it legal for anyone at least 18-years-old to perform services unrelated to the sale or service of alcohol to enter and remain on premises, but only to carry out the duties of their employment as a dishwasher, cook, chef, sanitation specialist, or other kitchen staff. They would not be allowed to perform any work in the bar, lounge, or dining area, or serve any food and drink.

Additionally, the committee passed House Bill 1731. This bill would help the hospitality industry by allowing short-term rental operators, such as individuals who rent properties through Airbnb, to acquire permits to provide one complimentary bottle of wine to rental guests who are at least 21 years old, under certain conditions.

“This is a simple way to help tourism in our state and introduce visitors to Washington to one of the great things we have to offer,” said Waters.

Lastly, House Bill 1772, which would make it illegal to manufacture, import, offer, or sell in Washington a consumable product that contains cannabis or any form of tetrahydrocannabinol in combination with beer, wine, spirits, or any other type of liquor in the same product, is also moving forward.

“Mixing alcohol and THC is dangerous. It’s like a blackout in a bottle,” said Waters. “This bill would make it illegal to make or sell products in our state that contain both substances simultaneously.”

All three bills now wait for a vote from the entire Senate.

The 2023 legislative session is scheduled to end on Sunday, April 23.

Information provided by Washington State House Republicans,

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