Last week, I mentioned that we had an upcoming stakeholder meeting with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) regarding a rule change to the WAC 446-65--010 Transportation Requirements for Hours of Service regulations and Medical Card requirements. Great news: thanks to a lot of teamwork and a letter ABC composed and lobbied members of the State Senate to sign, the WSP has decided to withdraw this rule change. We are now working with WSP and other associations to set up a working group to determine a solution! ABC will remain engaged with this working group and continue to advocate on behalf of our members.
There are two weeks left of the 2021 Legislative Session, here is what you need to know.
Week 13 has concluded and we have two weeks left of the 2021 Legislative Session. The final weeks will be focused on passing a budget and tying up all the loose ends from this virtual session.
Take Action on the Fair and Open Competition Act
Ask your representatives to cosponsor the Fair and Open Competition Act, introduced by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.). This ABC-priority legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate along with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and in the House of Representatives with 37 original cosponsors.
In Federal news, the PRO Act passed the House of Representatives on March 9, 2021, and now awaits further consideration in the U.S. Senate. If passed, the PRO Act would violate basic employee privacy rights, forcing employers to turn over employees’ phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses without consent and replace secret ballots in union elections with “card check,” a system where votes are made public and employees fear retribution for voting their conscience. These provisions are not designed to help employees but instead expose them to harassment and intimidation unless they back unionization efforts.
Many factors may play a role in depression, including genetics, brain biology and chemistry, hormones and stressful childhood events such as trauma, the death of a loved one, bullying, and abuse. These days, the effects of the pandemic such as social isolation and remote learning are also contributing to teen depression. Some 46% of parents say they’ve observed “a new or worsening mental health condition” in their teen since the pandemic began, according to Michigan Medicine’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
Here is the current outlook: Washington State has a 2-year budget of $53.3 billion to fund schools, parks, prisons, foster care, and other programs. The latest forecast shows an additional $1.3 billion for this current, two-year budget cycle.
State Legislature Recap and What ABC is Doing on Your Behalf
This Tuesday will be the second cut-off of this legislative session, which means it’s go-time! Between the income tax proposal and qui tam/ private right of action, there is a lot to be concerned about. The top two pieces of legislation we are watching and encouraging action on are HB 1076 Workplace violations/qui tam and SB 5096 Capital Gains Income Tax. More information on these bills and how to act is below!
Here is a list of bills that are scheduled for a Floor vote in the next week. We would encourage you to reach out to your representative and let them know your thoughts. You can easily do so through the ABC Action App.
If the alarms were not going off yet, they are now! This week the Washington State Legislature moved many bills forward in the legislative process that would negatively impact employers and raise the burden on Washington taxpayers.
We are 6 weeks through the session and past the first cut-off. We now have a clearer picture of the legislature's priorities and unfortunately, employers are not being taken into consideration. We can still influence and educate elected officials, but we need you to act! With this being a virtual session, members of the corresponding committee receive a report with the number of individuals signed up in support or opposition, a copy of all written testimony, and all virtual testimony is archived on TVW.
Please reach out to me if you would like to help in this fight. My email is Sophia@abcwestwa.org or sign up for the ABC Action App to receive real-time opportunities to engage with your elected representative on legislation that could impact you.