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State Senate Bill Proposed to Make Hiring Minors Easier Passes

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Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, said he appreciated the Senate’s unanimous passage of two of his bills today. Senate Bill 5002 proposes to update state law to allow local mosquito districts more flexibility in their operations while Senate Bill 5056 would make it easier for companies in Washington to hire minors.

Honeyford, who serves the 15th Legislative District, says SB 5002 would allow mosquito-control districts to enter adjacent lands in order to conduct inspections and abate breeding places. It would also authorize districts to cut or remove shrubbery or undergrowth as necessary to carry out abatement operations, subject to consultation with the landowner.

“Mosquito-control districts were established in 1957 to exterminate mosquitoes and mosquito breeding places,” Honeyford explained, “but the law only allows them to work within the district itself. Under my bill, the districts would have the authority to exterminate not only where mosquitoes live on district land but also lands nearby where they might be breeding reinforcements.”

SB 5056 would simplify the paperwork a new business must process to hire a minor. State law mandates an employer seeking to hire a minor must obtain a minor work permit endorsement by completing all sections of the employer’s master business license application and paying a $15 processing fee. Under Honeyford’s proposal, an employer would only complete those parts of the application that identify the employer and indicate the employer’s plans to hire one or more minors, the duties of the minors and the estimated number of worked hours.

“All the employer wants to do is hire a minor who is legally eligible for employment anyway, and right now they have to fill out a mountain of paperwork to do it,” Honeyford said. “Under my bill, we would strip the application process down to the essentials, thereby lowering the cost of doing business in Washington and helping to get young people back to work.”

SB 5002 and SB 5056 have been referred to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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