The Washington State Legislature kicked off its 2016 session on January 11. This is a short, 60-day session that will end on March 10.
Our Legislative Affairs Coordinator, Brenda Wiest, will be on the ground every day in Olympia working to protect the rights of Local 117 members and their families.
Brenda works closely with Political Action Coordinator, Dustin Lambro, who is organizing opportunities for members to speak directly with their legislators about critical issues.
During session, we will be providing regular updates on important hearings and bills that impact members of Local 117.
We have two scheduled two formal Lobby Days for Local 117 members during the 2016 session - a DOC Lobby Day on January 26 and a Public Sector Lobby Day on February 15. If you would like to participate in either of those events, contact Dustin at 206-441-4860 ext. 1262.
View our priorities for 2016 below:
1. PROTECT THOSE WHO PROTECT US
Extend Assault Benefits for DOC employees
Washington State correctional employees who are assaulted on the job should not lose access to benefits while they are recovering from serious long-term injuries sustained in the assault. Under current law, assaulted employees lose their assault benefits after one year. This bill would extend assault benefits for DOC employees until they are able to return to work or are medically discharged.
2. SUPPORT FAIR AND SUSTAINABLE REVENUE
Pass a Capital Gains Tax
Our economy is out of balance. The middle class is shrinking and working families are shouldering a heavier tax burden while rules have been manipulated to favor big corporations and the wealthiest 1%. We need tax reform to ensure fairness for working families and so that the legislature can meet its obligations to public safety and education. The capital gains bill proposed last session would have generated a projected $798 million in revenue for 2017. Forty-one other states all tax capital gains.
3. SUPPORT HEALTHY PREGNANCY FOR WOMEN
Pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Women shouldn’t have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and their livelihoods. This law will protect pregnant workers by requiring employers to provide reasonable work accommodations during pregnancy, such as temporary reassignment to light duty, additional bathroom breaks, and flexible scheduling for prenatal appointments. It would also prohibit employers from requiring pregnant workers to take paid or unpaid leave instead of providing reasonable job modifications.
4. PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
Modify the Public Records Act to Protect the Personal Information of Public Employees
We need to ensure that the personal information of public employees is protected while at the same time providing the public with access to records of governmental activities. This balance can be achieved through modifications to the public records act. Public employees have legitimate concerns about their safety when they interact with felons or make custody and visitation decisions. The home addresses, personal phone numbers or personal email addresses of public employees should be excluded from public disclosure for commercial purposes.
5. SHARED PROSPERITY FOR EVERYONE
Teamsters Local 117 is part of a broad-based coalition supporting efforts to create an economy that works for all of us – not just big corporations and the wealthiest 1%. Our goal is to rebuild the middle class, protect and invests in jobs with dignity, and defend against attacks meant to weaken the rules that support working families. We will be supporting public policy that:
- Defends our state’s pension system
- Protects our workers’ compensation system
- Supports paid family leave
- Supports Family and Medical Leave Insurance
- Supports safety for dairy workers
- Support ban-the-box legislation Supports the Voting Rights Act
- Ends wage theft
If you have any questions, please contact Teamsters 117 Legislative Coordinator Brenda Wiest at 206-441-4860 ext. 1256.