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2024 PSARA WA State Legislative
Agenda Activity Report

(week of February 25, 2024)

Listed below are the Bills that PSARA is following that will have hearings in the coming week.  In Washington State you do not need to attend the hearing to express your support for a specific bill, you can sign in to the Legislative Committee page and express your support or opposition.  Legislators have repeatedly told us that signing in and indicating your support or opposition to a bill is very important for a bills success.  

 

Check out TVW.org to watch both live and archived hearings. I highly recommend the legislative review that you can watch daily for highlights from hearings and floor action (if the links are not working please paste into your browser:  https://tvw.org/shows/legislative-review/ ) 

 

Please see below for PSARA’s Weekly Legislative Report with recommended position and provide the required information.

PSARA Weekly WA Legislative Update

March 3, 2024 (Final Week)

Pam Crone, Chair Government Relations Committee

Dear PSARA Executive Board and Activists,

Thank you for responding to calls for action and for signing in on bills as individuals over the 2024 legislative session.

 

I’ll do a legislative wrap-up for the April Retiree Advocate, but this is my final Sunday report for the current session. 

Click here for a Spreadsheet with current status of our priority bills. It does not include all of the bills we have supported, but does include those that were on our 2024 legislative agenda. Feel free to email me if you have a question about a particular bill.

 

Where are we this final week of session?

 

Friday, March 1 marked the last cut-off before session ends this Thursday, March 7. Bills had to be passed out of the second chamber to be further considered in the 2024 legislative session. SB 5241, the Keep Our Care Act or KOCA,  made it to the very end of the day Friday as the “ last bill,”  but died later that evening. I look forward to a debrief from advocates who may be able to shed some light on the bill’s demise.

 

Advocates worked hard on getting this bill across the finish line as did advocates for HB 2114, the rent stabilization bill. Both died despite that advocacy. We will likely see new versions in the long 2025 legislative session. 

 

Another painful casualty was HB 1893, unemployment insurance for striking workers. Our labor friends mounted heroic efforts to move this bill. We’ll see what the WSLC has in mind for 2025. 

 

What happened to SJM 8006, a resolution asking the federal government to create a universal health care program? It was poised for floor action in the House, but never quite made it there. The vote in the Senate had been a party line vote. We’ll see what advocates have to say over the next few days. 

 

It is not all bad news as small improvements were made to the enormously successful Paid Family Medical Leave program and, also, adding portability to the WA Cares Act. Please see attached spreadsheet for the fate of these and other bills we supported. 

 

What’s next?

 

Initiatives and budgets are exempt from cut-off and will be the work of the final week of session. The Legislature is poised to pass the three initiatives discussed in last week’s report. 

 

To recap, those initiatives are I-2111, prohibiting any jurisdiction including the state in imposing an income tax;  I-2113, removing restrictions on police vehicle pursuits; and I-2081, concerning parental rights regarding their children’s public school education. If passed, they will go directly into law.

 

The other three initiatives including (1) a poison pill for WA Cares (I-2124), (2) the repeal of the Capital Gains tax (I-2109), and (3) the gutting of the Climate Commitment Act (I-2117) will be on the November ballot. 

 

Check out Tim Wheeler’s March Retiree Advocate article entitled “Multimilionaire’s ‘Backward’ Initiatives headed for Washington State’s Nov. Ballot."

 

Advocates including PSARA will have our work cut out for us to defeat those initiatives. Please stay tuned by reading future issues of the Retiree Advocate and checking out the PSARA website for updates on how you can be involved.

 

Thanks all. I hope these Sunday reports have been helpful in staying abreast of the 2024 legislative session. 

 

A parting comment: It is difficult to pass major pieces of legislation in a short 60 day session. We, along with our allies, will be back in 2025 to work on the issues important to Washingtonians. It often takes multiple years to pass truly game changing legislation. The Paid Family Medical Leave program is the perfect example of that. 

 

Best, Pam

Check out TVW.org to watch both live and archived hearings. I highly recommend the legislative review that you can watch daily for highlights from hearings and floor action. https://tvw.org/shows/legislative-review/

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