Category Archives: Legislative News

Real ID

Washington state driver’s licenses are currently out of compliance with the standards in the federal Real ID Act. SB 5008 solves this issue by creating a two-tier licensing system — a traditional driver’s license and an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL). The requirements to obtain a traditional driver’s licenses will not change, but beginning in July 2018, the Department of Licensing will be required to mark those licenses as not complaint for federal purposes. Once the federal government begins enforcing Real ID, Washington residents will not be able to use a traditional license to fly or enter a federal facility like a military base. Instead, Washingtonians will need to use an EDL or other form of federally accepted identification.

Pregnancy Accommodation

The Legislature passed a bipartisan, compromise bill to promote healthy outcomes for pregnant women and infants. Among other things, SB 5835 requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation in employment for pregnancy unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business. The bill passed the Legislature unanimously and was signed into law on May 16.

Pay Equity

An attempt by legislators to update the state’s equal pay laws is still being negotiated. HB 1506 would expand the scope of current law, as well as enforcement provisions. That bill passed the House during the Regular Session and the 1st Special Session, but it did not pass the Senate. On May 25, the House again passed the bill during the 2nd Special Session. A Senate title-only bill, SB 5836, is in Senate Rules. If House and Senate negotiators can reach agreement on bill language, the bill may pass this year.