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The legislature finds that the agricultural industry in the state of Washington employs more than one hundred thousand workers per year and brings more than seven billion dollars of economic activity to our state. This industry and its workers are a vital part of Washington's role in the global economy. The legislature further finds the number of the H-2A temporary agricultural workers coming into the state of Washington to harvest crops has grown by more than one thousand percent since 2007 and the funding provided by the federal government is insufficient to adequately ensure the protection of workers and growers. The legislature also finds the need to ensure this growth does not have an adverse impact on the domestic agricultural labor force.
The legislature declares it to be in the public interest to clarify the state's role in the H-2A temporary agricultural program to provide adequate protections for foreign and domestic workers and provide education and outreach opportunities to help growers maintain the stable workforce they need.
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