Hundreds of Teamsters have met with their legislators over the last two weeks.

Over the last few weeks, hundreds of Teamster members and their families have met with their legislators to advocate for policies that will improve the lives of workers in Washington State.

Thanks to Local 117 members speaking out at our WSLC and DOC lobby days on issues like fair pay, safe workplaces, retirement security, collective bargaining and others, many of our bills have moved, or are poised to move, out of their respective policy committees and still have a chance to reach the governor's desk for signature so they can become law.

The following is an update from our Union's political team on some of the bills we've weighed in on as a Union. For more information, you can view our legislative priorities for 2023 or click on the link of the bill number below. 

This Friday, February 17, marks what is known as Policy Committee Cutoff in the Washington State Legislature. This means, for a bill to have a chance to become law, it bill must have moved out of its policy committee by the end of this Friday in order to still be alive. After Friday, it is a quick sprint to the following Friday which is the Fiscal Policy Committee Cutoff, where any bill with a fiscal impact to the state must have cleared its second committee hurdle to still be considered alive, a common time for many bills to have died.

The good news is that our bills are all alive and moving! Here’s an update on where they’re at:

HB 1762/SB 5348 - Warehouse worker protection act | Both the House and Senate versions of this bill have passed their respective committees and we are currently working on vote counts to bring them to the floor.

HB 1187 – Union Privilege bill | This bill has passed out of committee with bipartisan support thanks to our DOC members’ conversations with their legislators!

HB 1122/SB 5141 – Granting WMS workers the right to form a union | Both versions have moved out of their policy committees, the House version has been heard in Appropriations and needs to be moved out of committee by next Friday, the Senate version will be heard tomorrow and also needs to be voted on by next Friday to stay alive!

HB 1570 – Expanding access for TNC drivers to WA State’s Unemployment Insurance and Paid Family and Medical Leave Programs | This bill has been moved out of policy committee and is awaiting a hearing in fiscal committee.

SB 1533 – Protecting DV Survivors Info from Public Disclosure | This bill has passed committee and is awaiting floor action!

HB 1055/SB 5320 - Improving retirement for 911 Dispatchers by moving them into PSERS | Both the House and Senate versions of this bill have passed their respective fiscal committees and are ready to move to the floor!

HB 1521/SB 5524 - Increasing penalties on Third Party Administrators who delay claims and treatment for injured workers | The House version has passed its policy committee and is eligible for a floor vote. The Senate version is scheduled to be voted out of committee tomorrow morning. Interestingly, both committees amended this bill to strengthen it – a rare move for a bill!

HB 1068 - Allowing a worker to bring an advocate or record their independent medical exam for workers comp claims | This is our first bill to have moved off of a chamber floor after a strong bipartisan vote this morning! The bill now moves to Senate for the back half of Session.

HB 1593/SB 5454 – Workers comp coverage for nurses for PTSD | The House version was voted out of policy committee today and heads to fiscal committee where it must be heard and voted on by next Friday. The Senate version has move out of policy committee and will be heard in fiscal committee tomorrow.

SB 5236 - Healthcare safe staffing standards | This bill has moved out of policy committee and has its hearing in fiscal committee tomorrow. In previous years the Senate fiscal committee is the hardest hurdle for these types of bills to pass, so we should know by next Friday whether this bill will live on, or die for the session.

HB 1151/SB 5204 – Requiring insurance coverage for fertility treatment | The House version of the bill has passed out of policy committee and is awaiting hearing in Appropriations. The Senate version has not been voted out of policy committee. Because of the high cost of implementing this bill it is unlikely that the bill will make it out of fiscal committee by next Friday.

SB 5269 - Developing a statewide industrial strategy for manufacturing | This bill has passed its policy committee and is awaiting a hearing in Ways and Means, where it must be heard and voted on by next Friday to stay alive.

Lots of great news currently, but this list will likely shrink after next week’s cutoff. If you have questions about any of the bills we are working on or the process please don’t hesitate to reach out!