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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Underground Economy in the Construction Industry

The 2022 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to undertake a study on the nature and scope of the underground economy. As part of the study, WSIPP will explore policies that may promote “greater cohesion and transparency among state agencies” in regard to the underground economy in the construction industry. Finally, the report will address the extent of and projected costs to the state and workers of the underground economy.

A report is due to the legislature by December 1, 2022.

Stephanie Lee, (360) 664-9803 View Legislation

The Needs of Farmworkers

The 2022 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a comprehensive study of the needs of farmworkers in the state to help policymakers determine whether those needs are being met by state-administered programs, policies, and statutes. WSIPP must focus on needs related to health and safety in the workplace, payment of wages, and preventing harassment and discrimination of, and retaliation against, farmworkers for asserting their rights regarding health and safety standards, wage and hour laws, and access to services. The information must be based on surveys or interviews conducted by Latino nonprofit agencies with well-established connections to farmworkers.

WSIPP must also examine how relevant state agencies coordinate with each other and federal agencies in enforcing the laws and policies related to farmworkers and review available data and research on programs intended to provide farmworkers access to services and benefits.

A preliminary report to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2023, and a final report by June 30, 2025.

Marna Miller, (360) 664-9086 View Legislation