In this week’s update:
- Week 5 Recap
- WSNA Priority Bills Move Out of Policy Committees
- Legislator Virtual Town Hall Meetings
This was the last week for bills to be heard in House of Origin policy committees; Monday, Feb. 15 is cutoff for bills to be voted out of policy committees. The deadline for bills to be voted out of fiscal committees is Feb. 22. Several of WSNA’s priority bills were voted out of committee this week.All hearings and meetings with legislators continue to take place over Zoom and are being aired on TVW. WSNA’s 2021 Legislative Priorities are available online.
WSNA Priority Bills Move Out of Policy Committees
- Health System Transparency (HB 1272): This bill creates greater financial transparency for health systems. It was voted out of the House Health Care Committee on Feb. 10. The bill has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee and must be voted out before the Feb. 22 fiscal cutoff.
- Health Care Worker Presumptive Benefits (SB 5190): This bill creates a presumptive eligibility for workers compensation and unemployment insurance for health care workers who contract COVID-19 or another virus or disease that is the subject of a public health emergency. A substitute bill was voted out of the Senate Labor Committee on Feb. 11. The substitute contained friendly amendments that strengthened the bill.
- Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (SB 5115): This bill contains numerous protections for frontline essential workers during a health emergency. It is scheduled to be voted out of the Senate Labor Committee on Monday, Feb. 15.
- Worker Protection Act (HB 1076): The Worker Protection Act gives workers a new way to help enforce the standards Washington state has said are important, things like meal and rest breaks, wage theft, and safety violations. This bill was voted out of the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee last week and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. It must be voted out of Appropriations before the Feb. 22 fiscal cutoff.
- Increasing Worker Protections (HB 1097): This bill creates new protections around retaliation for reporting unsafe workplace conditions. It was voted out of the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee last week and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. It must be voted out of Appropriations before the Feb. 22 fiscal cutoff.
Legislator Virtual Town Hall Meetings
With the legislature meeting remotely, this year’s Legislator Town Hall meetings will also be held remotely. The House Democrats have released their list of Virtual Town Hall meetings and the Senate Democrats now have their Virtual Town Hall meetings available on a calendar. Many of these are coming up quickly – and they are listed by date rather than district.
We have not yet seen the House Republicans or Senate Republicans full list of Virtual Town Hall meetings; however, many are holding them. If you live in a legislative district with Republican legislators, you can sign up for their individual legislative electronic newsletters to receive information like this. You can also sign up for the House Republican Caucus newsletter here or the Senate Republican Caucus newsletter here.
Please look for regular email updates on legislative action as the legislative session gets underway – we look forward to your participation in the process!