Washington closes 2022 legislative session with short list of worker gains


Washington lawmakers concluded their 2022 legislative “short session” on March 10. A handful of bills supported by the Washington State Labor Council are on the way to being signed into law. Here are some highlights from the session.

Passed this time

  • APPRENTICESHIP Senate Bill 5600 supports state-registered apprenticeship programs and has measures to help unions and employers develop new programs in their industries. SB 5764 helps apprentices access resources available to community college students. 
  • GREEN ENERGY House Bill 1812 modifies siting and permitting practices for energy facilities to support green infrastructure development.
  • PREVAILING WAGE SB 5763 extends prevailing wage requirements to people with disabilities.
  • LOAN FORGIVENESS SB 5847 increases access to public service loan forgiveness for public employees.

Better luck next time

  • HOSPITAL STAFFING A proposal to enact minimum staffing standards so hospital workers receive adequate break time passed the House but remained in a Senate committee when the session adjourned, so it did not move forward this year.

Additionally, the Labor Council praised lawmakers passage of a major transportation infrastructure package that will create jobs, an operating budget that funds union-negotiated raises for state workers, and a bill setting a process for legislative staffers to eventually exercise collective bargaining rights. A previous bill that directly gave staffers those rights failed earlier in the session.



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