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.