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
          • Legis­lator Virtual Town Hall Meetings

Week 5

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!