Bill curtailing E-Verify doesn't get WA House vote

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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.