OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A measure that would have stopped more cities and counties from mandating use of a federal work eligibility program failed to get votes in the Washington state House, despite backing from farmers and immigrant advocacy groups.
Known as E-Verify, the voluntary program has been adopted by 11 cities and counties for government contracts. The program checks a person’s eligibility to work in the country.
House Bill 2568 now appears to have died.
Supporters say it provides a free way of doing required background checks and keeps illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs.
But the measure’s supporters had said local governments shouldn’t get in the middle of a federal issue. They say that E-Verify should be required, but only as part of a national immigration overhaul.
House Democrats spokeswoman Melinda McCrady says lawmakers ran out of time before making final tweaks.
Tuesday was the cutoff date for non-budget bills to clear their chamber of origin.