Strike everything after the enacting clause and insert the following:
"NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature recognizes the need to protect Washingtonians from excessive and unjustified price increases implemented during or shortly after a declared state of emergency for essential goods and services that are vital and necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers.
The legislature also recognizes the need to support businesses providing these goods in understanding their obligations to consumers during times of potential chaos and uncertainty in the marketplace.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Building materials" means lumber, construction tools, windows, and anything else used in the building or rebuilding of property.
(2) "Consumer food item" means any article used or intended for use for food, drink, confection, or condiment by a person or animal.
(3) "Emergency supplies" includes, but is not limited to, water, flashlights, radios, batteries, candles, heating and cooking fuel, blankets, soap, diapers, temporary shelters, tape, toiletries, personal hygiene products, plywood, nails, and hammers.
(4) "Excessive price" means a price more than 15 percent greater than the price at which the person sold, rented, or offered for sale or rent the same product or service immediately prior to the state of emergency defined in subsection (13) of this section. If the seller did not sell, rent, or offer for sale or rent the product or service immediately prior to the onset of the state of emergency defined in subsection (13) of this section, or if the price charged by the person for the product or service prior to the onset of the state of emergency cannot be determined, an excessive price shall be presumed where the price is more than 15 percent greater than the price of the same product or service offered for sale or rent by other similarly situated sellers prior to the state of emergency defined in subsection (13) of this section. If a state of emergency as defined in subsection (13) of this section continues for more than one year, the price of the product or service on the anniversary of the state of emergency as defined in subsection (13) of this section must be the new baseline price for determining whether a price is excessive.
(5) "Gasoline" means any fuel used to power any motor vehicle or power tool.
(6) "Health care services" means services necessary to provide medical care that are provided or arranged by a temporary staffing services company including, but not limited to, services provided by physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and nursing assistants.
(7) "Housing" means a short-term stay commercial enterprise including, but not limited to, a hotel or motel. Housing does not mean any residence governed by the residential landlord-tenant act, chapter 59.18
RCW, or the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act, chapter 59.20
(8) "Medical supplies" includes, but is not limited to, prescription and nonprescription medications, pain relievers, infection control and prevention products, bandages, gauze, isopropyl alcohol, and antibacterial products.
(9) "Person" means any natural person, proprietorship, company, firm, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, independent contractor, group, unincorporated association, trust, estate, community, agency, institution, joint venture, other business or government organization, or any other legal entity.
(10) "Personal protective equipment" means any protective equipment that protects against physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter including, but not limited to, clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection.
(11) "Repair or reconstruction services" means work, labor, or services performed by any person for repairs to residential or commercial property of any type that is damaged as a result of a natural or human-induced disaster or emergency resulting from an event described in subsection (13) of this section.
(12) "Seller" includes any person within the chain of distribution with authority or permission to adjust, set, or regulate a price of any product or service offered for sale or rent subject to section 3 of this act.
(13) "State of emergency" means an event for which a state of emergency has been declared by the governor of the state of Washington.
(14) "Temporary staffing services company" has the same meaning as set forth in RCW 50.04.245
(15) "Transportation, freight, and storage services" means any service that is performed by a person that contracts to move, store, or transport personal or business property, or rents equipment for those purposes.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. (1) This section shall be automatically implemented when the governor declares a state of emergency pursuant to RCW 43.06.010 and 43.06.200 through 43.06.220. In the event of a state of emergency as defined in section 2 of this act, no person in the county or counties for which an emergency has been declared shall sell, rent, or offer to sell or rent, regardless of whether an actual sale or rental occurs, a good or service listed in this section at an excessive price. Goods and services to which this section applies are:
(a) Building materials;
(b) Consumer food items;
(c) Goods or services used for emergency cleanup, regardless of whether the goods or services are listed in this subsection;
(d) Emergency supplies;
(f) Health care services;
(h) Medical supplies;
(i) Repair or reconstruction services;
(j) Transportation, freight, and storage services; and
(k) Personal protective equipment.
(2) The governor shall have the authority to modify the list of goods and services under subsection (1) of this section in an executive order pursuant to RCW 43.06.220
where appropriate in the context of a particular emergency.
(3) A person who increases a price does not violate this section if the price increase is attributable to an additional cost imposed by a supplier of a good or service, or other costs of providing the good or service, including an additional cost for labor or materials used to provide a product or service.
(4) A person with authority or permission to adjust or regulate a price does not violate this section if that person undertakes commercially reasonable efforts to prevent or remove offers to sell or rent a good or service listed in this section at an excessive price.
(5) If, in the 60 days prior to the governor's implementation of this section, a person sold, rented, or offered for sale or rent a good or service listed in subsection (3) of this section at a reduced price which was lower than the price at which the person ordinarily sells, rents, or offers for sale or rent the good or service in the area for which the declaration was issued, then the price at which that person ordinarily sells, rents, or offers for sale or rent the good or service in the area for which the declaration was issued shall be used in determining if the person is in violation of this section.
(6) If the 60 days prior to the governor's implementation reflects quarter 4, November through January, holiday pricing, then the price at which the person ordinarily sells, rents, or offers for sale or rent the good or service in the area in which the declaration was issued shall be based on quarter 3, August through October.
(7)(a) The restrictions imposed by this chapter expire upon termination of the state of emergency or 60 days after the state of emergency is declared, whichever comes first.
(b) Once restrictions are imposed under this chapter to respond to a specific emergency, the restrictions may only be extended, renewed, or reimposed with legislative approval through concurrent resolution. If the legislature is not in session, restrictions imposed under this chapter may be extended, renewed, or reimposed in writing by the leadership of the senate and the house of representatives until the legislature can extend the restrictions through concurrent resolution. For purposes of this section, "leadership of the senate and the house of representatives" means the majority and minority leaders of the senate and the speaker and the minority leader of the house of representatives.
(c) If restrictions imposed under this chapter expire and are not extended, renewed, or reimposed, this section does not affect any rights or remedies provided in the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4.
(1) The attorney general may investigate violations of this chapter. The attorney general may issue subpoenas or civil investigative demands pursuant to RCW 19.86.110
to any person that the attorney general has reason to believe has violated this chapter or has information or knowledge pertaining to a violation of this chapter.
(2) The attorney general may issue a cease and desist letter to any person to restrain and prevent violations of this chapter. If the recipient of a cease and desist letter does not comply within five calendar days of receipt of the letter, the attorney general may file an action in superior court at any time thereafter to enforce the cease and desist letter. If the court finds that the person violated this chapter and failed to comply with a cease and desist letter, the court shall enjoin the person from engaging in conduct that violates this chapter and shall impose a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 per violation of the cease and desist letter. In any successful action to enforce a cease and desist letter under this chapter, the court shall award the attorney general the costs of bringing the action, including reasonable investigative costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. The remedies under this subsection are in addition to any other remedies a court may order under subsection (3) of this section.
(3) Every person who violates this chapter shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of no more than $25,000 per violation. No additional civil penalty shall be assessed for the same violation under the consumer protection act pursuant to RCW 19.86.140
(4) The legislature finds that the practices covered by this chapter are matters vitally affecting the public interest. A violation of this chapter, including, but not limited to, a violation of a cease and desist letter issued pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, is not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business, and is an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of competition for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act.
(5) The remedies provided by this chapter are in addition to any other remedies provided by law.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. Upon application of this act, the office of the attorney general shall produce and maintain on its website translated versions of this act in the top 10 languages spoken in Washington state and, at the discretion of the office of the attorney general, other languages as requested or needed to support small businesses that are either owned or operated, or both, by individuals who have limited English language proficiency. The notice must be made available upon request in printed form on one letter size paper, eight and one-half by 11 inches, and in an easily readable font size.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. Sections 1 through 5 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 19 RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately."
(1) Limits the definition of housing to a short-term stay commercial enterprise including, but not limited to, a hotel or motel. Excludes property governed by the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act or the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act from the definition of housing.
(2) Establishes that persons with authority to adjust or regulate prices do not violate the act if they make commercially reasonable efforts to prevent or remove offers to sell or rent a covered good or service at an excessive price.
(3) Ends the restriction on price increases upon termination of the state of emergency or 60 days after the state of emergency is declared, whichever comes first. Provides the restrictions may only be extended, renewed, or reimposed with legislative approval. Establishes that the expiration of restrictions does not impact rights or remedies under the Consumer Protection Act.