Legislation – both good and troubling – is beginning to surface. All of us will begin focusing on these as we continue to focus on funding our contracts and our raises.
Workers’ compensation/injured workers bills of concern
The Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Commission Monday afternoon holds a public hearing on two bills changing workers’ compensation provisions. As of this update, neither has been officially introduced. One deals with third-party settlements, the other largely on structured settlements. We’ll give you a full report after the hearing.
Western and Eastern State safety
The Senate Human Services, Mental Health and Housing Committee holds a Monday afternoon hearing on Senate Bill 5159 addressing community safety at Eastern and Western State Hospital.
Leave bills tied to our contracts introduced
Two negotiated provisions in the General Government and Higher Education contracts improving leave rights require a change in the law – so legislative approval. Legislation in both the Senate and House has been introduced to do just that.
Senate Bill 5296 and House Bill 1521 would remove the requirement that an employee must work at least six months before taking vacation leave.
Senate Bill 5295 and House Bill 1434 would expand shared leave rights. It would allow the use of shared leave for employees who are sick or temporarily disabled because of pregnancy disability or for the purposes of parental leave to bond with the employee’s newborn, adoptive or foster child.
Other WFSE/AFSCME-supported bills that have been introduced (some we’ve told you about already)
SB 5019 – Postage-paid ballot envelopes
SB 5132 – Expanding authority for Liquor and Cannabis Board Enforcement Officers (had hearing last week in the Senate Law and Justice Committee.
HB 1158 – Repeal of I-200/Restoring affirmative action.
Harmful bills attacking public employees and collective bargaining rights surface in Senate
Included: SB 5339, SB 5371 and SB 5174. They carry innocuous titles but let there be no doubt: They try to do at the state level what corporate-backed entities continue to seek through the United States Supreme Court. More anti-worker bills are expected. Stay tuned as likely hearings take place.
Boost to save Naselle Youth Camp in media
Rep. Jim Walsh of the 19th Dist. told millions last week what our members at Naselle already knew: Closing Naselle Youth Camp would hurt the economy and the youthful offenders our Local 2263 members care for there. See the KING 5 report at: http://www.king5.com/mb/news/local/closing-naselle-youth-camp-would-hurt-economy-boys-state-rep-says/387243460