January 9, 2017 – July 21, 2017 – The Washington Legislature met for 195 days, including one regular session and three special sessions. This is a new state record for the number of days for a session. In Washington, in spite of a $3.5 billion shortfall, the final budget agreement included only an expansion of the state sales tax to bottled water – keeping an increase in the state B&O tax rate for drug wholesalers, a capital gains tax, a $.02 per ounce tax on sweetened beverages, an end to the out-of-state sales tax exemption for those visiting Washington, and a 95% tax on vapor products off the table. In addition, we were able to simplify the retail liquor license for those that qualify for tastings and other programs. Members will no longer be required to receive multiple endorsements to a liquor license, simplifying the licensure process, and comes at a time when the WA Liquor and Cannabis Board is reprogramming its computer system to provide a better application process on their end. And while we continue to have significant cost and implementation concerns for a statewide paid family leave program, NWGA was at the negotiating table this year to help craft a statewide paid family leave proposal that worked for WA business and labor and included statewide preemption.