OLYMPIA (March 13, 2017) — Here’s a status report on some key working family bills that remain in play in the 2017 session of the Washington State Legislature. These bills have been previously described in the Washington State Labor Council’s Legislative Update newsletter and here at The Stand. This is not a comprehensive list. There are other bills upon which the WSLC has taken a position.
This page will be continually revised and updated.
AEROSPACE TAX INCENTIVE ACCOUNTABILITY — HB 2145 (Rep. Noel Frame) and HB 2146 (Rep. Richard DeBolt) would amend existing aerospace tax incentives, which have already been amended several times since they were extended in 2013, to add job conditions resembling those required in other states in order for Boeing to receive tax incentives. Both are in House Finance Committee. See details. These bills are exempt from cutoff deadlines because They are considered necessary to implement the budget.
APPRENTICESHIP UTILIZATION—HB 1849 (Rep. Mike Sells) strengthening compliance with existing apprenticeship utilization standards. Passed House 51-47, now in Senate Transportation Committee. Scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m.
COLLEGE FACULTY PAY—HB 1237 (Rep. Mike Sells) allowing full-scope collective bargaining so colleges can use local funds in negotiating faculty/staff wages. Passed House 65-32, now in Senate Labor.
CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION ACT—HB 1646 (Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon) represents an innovative, comprehensive climate solution that invests in 21st century infrastructure and delivers economic and environmental justice to communities disproportionately impacted by poverty and pollution. Now in House Finance, it is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, March 14 at 1:30 p.m. See details. This bill is exempt from cutoff deadlines because it is considered necessary to implement the budget.
CONTRACEPTIVE HEALTH—SHB 1234 (Rep. June Robinson) require insurance carriers to provide a full year’s supply of birth control at a time; 12 months of contraception will improve women’s health and birth outcomes by preventing unintended pregnancies. Both House 93-5, now in Senate Health Care. Scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, March 14 at 10 a.m.
ELECTRICAL LAW ENFORCEMENT—SHB 1952 (Rep. Brian Blake) improving enforcement of state electrical laws. Passed House 97-0, now in Senate Labor.
EQUAL PAY OPPORTUNITY ACT—HB 1506 (prime sponsor: Rep. Tana Senn) addressing income disparities by prohibiting pay secrecy policies, allowing discussion of wages and prohibiting retaliation for asking for equal pay. Passed House 61-36, now in Senate Labor. See details.
FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE—HB 1116 (Rep. June Robinson) implements a Family and Medical Leave Insurance program, employer and employee funded, offering up to $1,000/week for up to 26 weeks for the birth or adoption of a child, for a family member’s serious health condition or for leave needed for a military reason. Passed both Labor and Appropriations committees, now in Rules. See details here and here. This bill is exempt from cutoff deadlines because it is considered necessary to implement the budget.
NURSE MEAL & REST BREAKS—HB 1715 (Rep. Marcus Riccelli) would require that nurses be provided with uninterrupted meal and rest breaks, and says an employer may not require intermittent meal or rest periods. It would also close the mandatory overtime loophole by clarifying that employers may not use prescheduled on-call time to fill chronic or foreseeable vacancies due to staff shortages. Passed House 55-42, now in Senate Labor. See details.
OUTSOURCING ACCOUNTABILITY—SHB 1851 (Rep. Laurie Dolan), the Taxpayer Protection Act, protecting taxpayers by providing accountability and transparency in government contracting. Passed House 69-28, now in Senate State Government.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG TRANSPARENCY—2SHB 1541 (Rep. June Robinson) addresses the ongoing barriers and increasing cost of certain prescription drugs by improving regulation, transparency and accountability on prescription drug pricing. Passed House 52-46, now in Senate Health Care. See details.
WASHINGTON FILMWORKS—SB 5502 (Sen. Randi Becker) and HB 1527 (Rep. Marcus Riccelli) reinstating the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program tax incentive to encourage filmmaking in our state and attract a wide range of associated jobs and economic investment. SB 5502 is in Senate Ways & Means and HB 1527 is in House Finance. See details. These bills are exempt from cutoff deadlines because They are considered necessary to implement the budget.
WASHINGTON VOTING RIGHTS ACT—HB 1800 (Rep. Mia Gregerson) empowers local governments to avoid costly litigation by creating a collaborative process to ensure fair elections, that every vote is protected, and that every community is fairly represented. Passed House 51-46, now in Senate State Government. See details here and here.
WORK SAFETY FINE CLARIFICATION—HB 1953 (Rep. Laurie Dolan) making sure state WISHA fines for work safety violations are in conformance with federal OSHA penalties. Passed House 52-45, now in Senate Labor.
WORKERS’ COMP: HANFORD—SHB 1723 (Rep. Larry Haler) would remove barriers that prevent seriously ill Hanford workers from getting workers’ compensation benefits. Passed House 69-29, now in Senate Labor. See details.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RESTRICTIONS—SB 5726 and SB 5727 (Sen. Steve Hobbs) would remove health benefits from the scope of collective bargaining for local K-12 school employees. Instead, school employees would be given token representatives on a statewide board that would purchase and provide benefits, and dictate point-of-service cost-sharing levels and premium costs for districts and employees. Both are in Rules and Ways & Means, respectively. These bills are exempt from cutoff deadlines because they are considered necessary to implement the budget. See details.
FARMWORKER WAGE THEFT—SB 5720 (Sen. Brad Hawkins) creates a new “production-based safe harbor” for growers by which they can avoid liability for unpaid wages for rest breaks as ordered by a state Supreme Court decision. It would also allow employers to avoid responsibility for payment of wages for work performed outside production. Passed Senate 28-18, now in House Labor. See details.
RELIGIOUS OBJECTORS—SB 5339 (Sen. Dino Rossi) allows public employees who are “religious objectors” to unionization to control which charity receives their dues equivalent, rather than the current practice of agreeing on a charity with their union. It also broadly expands the list of “charities” to include quasi-political groups like the Freedom Foundation. Passed Senate 25-24 on strict party-line vote. See details.
SILENCING STATE EMPLOYEES—SB 5533 (Sen. Dino Rossi) prohibiting state employee unions from making contributions to incumbent candidates for governor, with whom they collectively bargain. Passed Senate 25-24 on strict party-line vote. See details.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION—SB 5822 (Sen. Michael Baumgartner) is a Christmas list of benefit cuts, eligibility restrictions, and erosions of our state’s workers’ compensation safety net for injured workers and their families. Passed the Labor committee, now in Rules. This bill missed the cutoff deadline, but historically Republicans have attempted to include elements of similar workers’ comp bills as bargaining chips during end-of-session budget negotiations. See details.
Stay tuned to TheStand.org for more details on these and other bills.
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