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Updated status report on working-family legislation

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 UTILIZATIONHB 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 PAYHB 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 ACTHB 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 HEALTHSHB 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 ENFORCEMENTSHB 1952 (Rep. Brian Blake) improving enforcement of state electrical laws. Passed House 97-0, now in Senate Labor.

EQUAL PAY OPPORTUNITY ACTHB 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 LEAVEHB 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 BREAKSHB 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 ACCOUNTABILITYSHB 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 TRANSPARENCY2SHB 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 FILMWORKSSB 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 ACTHB 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 CLARIFICATIONHB 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: HANFORDSHB 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.


Bills OPPOSED by the WSLC


COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RESTRICTIONSSB 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 THEFTSB 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 OBJECTORSSB 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 EMPLOYEESSB 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’ COMPENSATIONSB 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 for more details on these and other bills.

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