Senate committees approve two Mosbrucker bills, third awaits action

Two bills authored by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker that would provide additional help for domestic violence victims and work to protect private information in state agencies from cyber hackers passed a Senate committee Wednesday.

House Bill 1315 would create a task force on domestic violence and workplace resources to identify the role of the workplace in helping to curb domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is a serious problem in Washington state. Evidence shows an increase during the pandemic stay-home order. One in four women and one in seven men are victims of domestic violence by an abusive partner in the household,” said Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale.

“Often the workplace is the only place domestic violence victims feel safe throughout the day. They are frequently allowed to go to work to help pay the bills,” added Mosbrucker. “This legislation convenes a group to look into how businesses and the workplace can help break the cycle of domestic violence.”

The measure passed the House on March 1 with a unanimous vote. It was approved Wednesday in the Senate Labor, Commerce and Tribal Affairs Committee.

Also on Wednesday, the same committee approved Mosbrucker’s House Bill 1455, which seeks to provide greater security against data breaches within the Employment Security Department and the Department of Labor and Industries.

“This bill asks Employment Security and Labor and Industries to examine their practices of how they disclose individual Social Security numbers in agency correspondence with third party entities,” said Mosbrucker. “It also requires those agencies, whenever possible, to institute procedures to replace the use of a full nine-digit Social Security number.”

The bill is partially in response to a data breach that may have exposed personal information of more than a million Washington citizens who filed unemployment claims last year. It passed the House unanimously on Feb. 24.

A third bill authored by Mosbrucker received a public hearing in the Senate State Government and Elections Committee on Wednesday. House Bill 1357 would require county auditors to mail a statewide and local voters’ pamphlet to registered Washington voters overseas, including military voters.

“This bill was suggested to me by a soldier from overseas who receives his election ballot while serving our country, but he doesn’t get a voters’ pamphlet with it,” said Mosbrucker. “The voters’ pamphlet is an essential tool to help voters make informed choices on the ballot. All voters should have equal access to this, including those serving our country overseas. This legislation would accomplish that goal.”

The Secretary of State’s Office noted county auditors would get full reimbursement from the federal Voting Assistance Program to address Mosbrucker’s concerns over unfunded mandates to the counties.

The measure is awaiting action in the Senate committee.

The legislative session is scheduled to end April 25.