S-4417               _______________________________________________


                                                   SENATE BILL NO. 6780



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1990 Regular Session


By Senators Newhouse, Hansen, Barr, Madsen, Bailey and Anderson



Read first time 1/25/90 and referred to Committee on  Agriculture.



AN ACT Relating to farmworker housing inspection and standards; amending RCW 70.54.110; adding a new section to chapter 19.27A RCW; adding new sections to chapter 43.70 RCW; and making an appropriation.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 43.70 RCW to read as follows:

          The legislature finds that the demand for housing for migrant and seasonal farmworkers far exceeds the supply of adequate housing in the state of Washington.  In addition, increasing numbers of these housing units are in deteriorated condition because they cannot be economically maintained and repaired.

          The legislature further finds that the lack of a clear program for the regulation and inspection of farmworker housing has impeded the construction and renovation of housing units in this state.

          It is the purpose of this act for the various agencies involved in the regulation of farmworker housing to coordinate and consolidate their activities to provide for efficient and effective monitoring of farmworker housing.  It is intended that this action will provide greater responsiveness in dealing with public concerns over farmworker housing, and allow greater numbers of housing units to be built.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 43.70 RCW to read as follows:

          (1) The department of health shall be the primary inspector of labor camps and farmworker housing for the state of Washington:  PROVIDED, That the department of labor and industries shall be the inspector for all farmworker housing not covered by the authority of the state board of health.

          (2) The department of health, the department of labor and industries, the department of community development, the state board of health, and the employment security department shall develop an interagency agreement defining the rules and responsibilities for the inspection of farmworker housing.  This agreement shall recognize the department of health as the primary inspector of labor camps for the state, and shall further be designed to provide a central information center for public information and education regarding farmworker housing.  The agencies shall provide the legislature with a report on the results of this agreement by January 1, 1991.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 43.70 RCW to read as follows:

          (1) The farmworker housing inspection fund is established in the custody of the state treasury.  The department of health shall deposit all funds received under subsection (2) of this section and from the legislature to administer a labor camp inspection program conducted by the department of health.  Disbursement from the fund shall be on authorization of the secretary of health or the secretary's designee.  The fund is subject to the allotment procedure provided under chapter 43.88 RCW, but no appropriation is required for disbursements.

          (2) There is imposed a fee on each operating license issued by the department of health to every operator of a labor camp that is regulated by the state board of health.  The fee paid under this subsection shall include all necessary inspection of the units to ensure compliance with applicable state board of health rules on labor camps.

          (a) Fifty dollars shall be charged for each labor camp containing six or less units.

          (b) Seventy-five dollars shall be charged for each labor camp containing more than six units.

          (3) The term of the operating license, and the application procedures shall be established, by rule, by the department of health.


        Sec. 4.  Section 1, chapter 231, Laws of 1969 ex. sess. and RCW 70.54.110 are each amended to read as follows:

          The state board of health shall develop rules for labor camps, which shall include as a minimum the standards developed under the Washington industrial safety and health act in chapter 49.17 RCW as relates to sanitation and temporary labor camps.

          All new housing and new construction together with the land areas appurtenant thereto which shall be started on and after May 3, 1969, and is to be provided by employers, growers, management, or any other persons, for occupancy by workers or by workers and their dependents, in agriculture, shall comply with the rules and regulations of the state board of health pertaining to labor camps((, filed with the office of the code reviser on November 20, 1968 and future amendments and revisions thereof)).


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  A new section is added to chapter 19.27A RCW to read as follows:

          The state building code council shall adopt, by rule, thermal performance standards for farmworker housing suitable for the season that the housing will be occupied.  These standards shall apply to the construction or rehabilitation of farmworker housing that is occupied on a seasonal basis, but is not occupied more than six months per year.  These standards shall take into consideration the unique conditions by region of the state that the seasonal housing is occupied.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.     The sum of fifty thousand dollars, or as much as may be necessary, is appropriated from the general fund to the farmworker housing inspection fund for the biennium ending June 30, 1991, for the purposes of administering the farmworker housing inspection program.