April 24, 2023
Welcome to the final Off the Shelf podcast for the 2023 legislative session. As of 10:00pm on April 23, 2023, the legislature has signed off for the year. We remain hopeful they do not initiate a Special Session to negotiate the “Blake Fix” which addresses possession of a controlled substance. A few bills of note passed in the last week, including Vehicle Pursuits (SB 5352) and the Warehouse Bill (HB 1762). Despite an overwhelming number of labor bills crossing the finish line, we were able to defeat the Natural Gas Ban (HB 1589) and the WRAP act (HB 1131) which created a deposit return system for bottles in WA.
Stay tuned for our New Laws Report and upcoming webinar. There have been updates to several other bills, so click the link below to listen to the full podcast or other episodes.
April 14, 2023
Only one week left of the 2023 legislative session! This week, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director, Katie Beeson gives an update on week 14 action. We have hit a critical point in session; Wednesday, April 12th was opposite house cut-off. The Ergonomics bill (ESSB 5217) passed out of the house with a 51-46 vote on April 7th and is on the way to the Governor's desk. As a reminder, this bill was significantly amended in the Senate during the first half of session. The Warehouse bill (1762) did pass off of the Senate floor on April 11th. We will continue to monitor this bill as it moves to the opposite chamber for concurrence and we hope to see it killed. HB 1589 which would ban natural gas use in new residential and commercial buildings, has died.
April 10, 2023
This week, WFIA's President & CEO, Tammie Hetrick gives an update on week 13 action. Your team is still working to oppose way too many labor bills. The Ergonomics bill (ESSB 5217), which has been significantly modified, passed off the House floor on the evening of April 7th. The Voluntary Quits bill (ESHB 1106) passed off the Senate floor on April 6th with minor amendments. The Independent Medical Exam bill (SHB 1068) also moved off the Senate floor with a small amendment allowing seven-day notice before being able to record an exam.
March 31, 2023
This week, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director gives a high-level update on some of the bills we’re working on. The Ergonomics bill (SB 5217) moved out of the House Appropriations Committee on March 31st and is on the way to the House Floor. We are still working to kill this bill. In addition to Ergonomics, we are still opposing the Voluntary Quits bill (HB1106) and the Warehouse bill (HB1762). On a positive note, the “Pink Tax” bill (SB 5171) has died. Lastly, we are still opposing HB 1589, which would ban the use of natural gas in new residential and commercial spaces. The upcoming cutoff dates are April 4th (fiscal cutoff) and April 12th (opposite house cutoff).
March 27, 2023
This week, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director gives a high-level update on some of the bills we’re working on. There are still an overwhelming number of labor bills in play, we are currently trying to stop the Warehouse bill (HB1762) and voluntary quits bill before they move out of policy committee. The “Pink Tax” bill (SB 5171) continues to move and lastly, we are working on HB 1589 which would ban the use of natural gas in new residential and commercial spaces. This bill would increase the cost for current ratepayers and is specific only to PSE customers.
March 17, 2023
This week, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director gives a high-level update on some of the bills we’re working on. The first week back in policy committee heavily focused on labor bills, as we weighed in on five of them! We once again testified in opposition to Ergonomics, (SB 5217), the Warehouse bill(HB 1762), and the Independent Medical Exams bill (HB 1068) which would allow injured employees to record their exams without giving prior notification to the physician that they will be recorded. We are still trying to actively kill these bills, but if they continue to move, we will be working to significantly amend them. Click the link below to listen to the full podcast or other episodes.
March 13, 2023
March 8th was the House of Origin cut-off which means we have survived the first round of floor action for the 2023 legislative session! A few more bills moved before cutoff last week – the Pink Tax bill (SB 5171), the Warehouse bill (HB 1762) and a Natural Gas Ban bill (HB 1589). Keep your eyes out for an action alert on HB 1589 this week, this bill bans natural gas for new residential and commercial buildings by June 30, 2023. The week 9 session report has an extensive list of all of the bills still moving through the legislative process.
March 8, 2023
Wednesday, March 1st marked the half-way point for the 2023 legislative session! WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director gives important updates on our priority bills. The next cut-off is March 8th at 5pm. Unless a bill is NTIB (necessary to implement the budget) it needs to move out of its House of Origin the 8th. In a surprising twist, the Product Theft bill (SB 5259) was not killed and is set for a hearing on Thursday, March 9th. This will keep our messaging alive on the issue and we are optimistic it will continue to move through the process for the remainder of session. The Ergonomics bill (SSB 5217) moved off of the Senate floor last week but we were able to significantly modify the bill. WFIA is also expressing our opposition to the Warehouse bill and will be keeping an eye on that. Several bills were killed last week and you can view those in the bill tracker.
On the federal side, thank you for letting us know about the medicaid cards that members have not been able to process. We notified the Attorney General's Office of the issue and hope to have some solutions for you soon.
February 27, 2023
Friday, February 24th was Fiscal Cutoff and Katie Beeson, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director gives important updates on our priority bills and lets members know they can expect a list of killed bills. The Ergonomics bill (SSB 5217) moved out of the Senate Rules Committee to the Senate Floor where it can be heard at any time. WFIA is working on amendments that could make this bad bill slightly better, but we need members to continue to reach out to their lawmakers and ask them to vote NO on SSB 5217. The Product Theft bill (SB 5259) was not heard in the Senate Ways & Means, which means the bill has died as of last week.
Friday, February 17th was Policy Cutoff and Katie Beeson, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director gives important updates on our priority bills. The Ergonomics bill (SB 5217) moved out of the Senate Rules Committee, the Product Theft bill (SB 5259) has changed significantly and we have changed our position to support, we continue to oppose the bill related to warehouse and distribution centers (HB 1762/SB 5348), and many more updates.
February 10, 2023
On this week's episode, Katie Beeson, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director gives new updates on our priority bills - Ergonomics (SB 5217) and Product Theft (SB 5259). She also shares concerns about warehouse and distribution centers legislation (HB 1762/SB 5348) which imposes restrictions on warehouse quotas. Policy cut-off is Friday the 17th so stay tuned for updates and action alerts.
February 1, 2023
On this episode, Katie Beeson, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director recaps Organized Retail Theft (SB5160), the Ergonomics bill (SB5217), the WRAP act (HB1131/SB5154), and many more. Click below to listen to this week's episode and stay tuned for updates throughout the week.
January 20, 2023
We are off to a great start as we close out week 2 of the legislative session! This week Katie Beeson, WFIA's Governmental Affairs Director recaps the Consumer Gender Discrimination bill (HB1175/SB5171), the WRAP Act, HB1136 that would require employers to reimburse any remaining expenditures to employees, and many more.
We have finished week one of the 2023 legislative session! This week Tammie Hetrick, WFIA CEO & President recaps bills that members have testified on, the status of the winery tax exemption (HB1182), unemployment insurance (HB1106), independent medical exams (HB1068), and many more.
Join us as we introduce our WFIA contract lobbyists, our 2023 GAC Chair and do a quick rundown of the 2023 priorities for this year's legislative session.