We are very pleased to report that HB 1480, which would codify and extend the timeline for the LCB’s temporary COVID-19 sales allowances like curbside service for wineries, cleared the House yesterday by a vote of 86 – 12. We are also thrilled we were able to amend the bill to include allowing restaurants to sell wine by-the-glass to-go. This bill is a high priority for WWI and for our partners in the restaurant and beer industries.
The bill is necessary so that licensees can continue curbside, beer/wine/spirits to go, deliveries, and other COVID-19 related allowances. While the LCB has been a fantastic partner in allowing this flexibility since last March, this bill gives these policies needed backing in state law. The bill will now go to the Senate, where it will need to receive another hearing and vote before it can be signed into law.
Beyond HB 1480, we are working on many different bills to help our member wineries, grape growers, and suppliers while also if possible supporting our colleagues in other hospitality sectors. Some of these bills include:
Alcohol Related Legislation
SB 5417/HB 1480: Extending certain privileges granted to liquor licensees to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
HB 1483: Concerning workforce development in the beverage alcohol industry
COVID Hospitality-Related Relief Bills
SB 5061: Concerning Unemployment Insurance (signed into law)
SB 5272: Concerning temporarily waiving certain liquor and cannabis license annual fees (sent to Gov for signature into law)
HB 1095: Removing tax obligations from PPP and other Federal and State COVID 19 pandemic-related grants
HB 1332: Concerning property tax deferral during the COVID 19 Pandemic
HB 1368: Responding to the COVID pandemic through state actions supported by federal funding (signed into law)
HB 1299: Providing B&O tax relief to the hospitality industry
SB 5172: Concerning the retroactivity of overtime claims in exceptional cases
HB 1285: Modifying the B&O tax exemption for certain fruit and vegetable businesses
We are helping lead an effort to secure a $12 million budget ask that would go to the Washington Tourism Alliance to market Washington State including our wine regions to the country and world. When we are past the pandemic, we want to be hitting the ground sprinting on tourism vs. barely getting by as-is our current level of state tourism funding.
WWI continues to work with coalitions and act in supporting roles on issues related to the wine industry. In addition to the bills highlighted above WWI is engaging on, there seems to be no shortage of business addressing taxes, labor, environment and other. There is a lot going on in this new and very different virtual format of a legislative session! We will continue providing updates as the 2021 virtual session moves along.