News

WSNA in Olympia: 2021 Legislative Session Week 5


In this week’s update:

          • Week 5 Recap
          • WSNA Priority Bills Move Out of Policy Committees
          • Legis¬≠lator Virtual Town Hall Meetings

Week 5

This was the last week for bills to be heard in House of Origin policy commit¬≠tees; Monday, Feb. 15 is cutoff for bills to be voted out of policy commit¬≠tees. The deadline for bills to be voted out of fiscal commit¬≠tees is Feb. 22. Several of WSNA‚Äôs priority bills were voted out of committee this week.

All hearings and meetings with legis¬≠la¬≠tors continue to take place over Zoom and are being aired on TVW. WSNA‚Äôs 2021 Legisla¬≠tive Prior¬≠i¬≠ties are avail¬≠able online. 

WSNA Priority Bills Move Out of Policy Committees

  • Health System Trans¬≠parency (HB 1272): This bill creates greater finan¬≠cial trans¬≠parency for health systems. It was voted out of the House Health Care Committee on Feb. 10. The bill has been referred to the House Appro¬≠pri¬≠a¬≠tions Committee and must be voted out before the Feb. 22 fiscal cutoff.
  • Health Care Worker Presump¬≠tive Benefits (SB 5190): This bill creates a presump¬≠tive eligi¬≠bility for workers compen¬≠sa¬≠tion and unemploy¬≠ment insur¬≠ance for health care workers who contract COVID-19 or another virus or disease that is the subject of a public health emergency. A substi¬≠tute bill was voted out of the Senate Labor Committee on Feb. 11. The substi¬≠tute contained friendly amend¬≠ments that strength¬≠ened the bill.
  • Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (SB 5115): This bill contains numerous protec¬≠tions for front¬≠line essen¬≠tial workers during a health emergency. It is sched¬≠uled to be voted out of the Senate Labor Committee on Monday, Feb. 15.
  • Worker Protec¬≠tion Act (HB 1076): The Worker Protec¬≠tion Act gives workers a new way to help enforce the standards Washington state has said are impor¬≠tant, things like meal and rest breaks, wage theft, and safety viola¬≠tions. This bill was voted out of the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee last week and was referred to the House Appro¬≠pri¬≠a¬≠tions Committee. It must be voted out of Appro¬≠pri¬≠a¬≠tions before the Feb. 22 fiscal cutoff.
  • Increasing Worker Protec¬≠tions (HB 1097): This bill creates new protec¬≠tions around retal¬≠i¬≠a¬≠tion for reporting unsafe workplace condi¬≠tions. It was voted out of the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee last week and was referred to the House Appro¬≠pri¬≠a¬≠tions Committee. It must be voted out of Appro¬≠pri¬≠a¬≠tions before the Feb. 22 fiscal cutoff.

Legis­lator Virtual Town Hall Meetings

With the legis¬≠la¬≠ture meeting remotely, this year‚Äôs Legis¬≠lator Town Hall meetings will also be held remotely. The House Democ¬≠rats have released their list of Virtual Town Hall meetings and the Senate Democ¬≠rats now have their Virtual Town Hall meetings avail¬≠able on a calendar. Many of these are coming up quickly ‚Äď and they are listed by date rather than district.

We have not yet seen the House Repub¬≠li¬≠cans or Senate Repub¬≠li¬≠cans full list of Virtual Town Hall meetings; however, many are holding them. If you live in a legisla¬≠tive district with Repub¬≠lican legis¬≠la¬≠tors, you can sign up for their individual legisla¬≠tive electronic newslet¬≠ters to receive infor¬≠ma¬≠tion like this. You can also sign up for the House Repub¬≠lican Caucus newsletter here or the Senate Repub¬≠lican Caucus newsletter here.


    Please look for regular email updates on legisla¬≠tive action as the legisla¬≠tive session gets underway ‚Äď we look forward to your partic¬≠i¬≠pa¬≠tion in the process!