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04.28.2014

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The Washington State Labor Council's annual report on the legislative session


2014 Senate Voting Record 
2014 House Voting Record


Download a printable version 
(2 MB PDF file, eight 11x17 pages)

Also see our archive of weekly 2014 WSLC Legislative Updates from the session, plus previous editions of the WSLC Legislative Report and Voting Record:

2013 -- 2012 -- 2011 -- 2010 -- 2009 -- 2008 -- 2007 -- 2006 -- 2005 -- 2004 -- 2003 -- 2002 -- 2001 -- 2000 -- 1999
 

 

 
GRIDLOCK AGAIN!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Democrats advance, but GOP blocks Shared Prosperity Agenda 
Wage theft, paid sick leave, ACA loopholes, minimum wage

Senate GOP, Tom just say 'no' to progress, jobs President Jeff Johnson's column

Lots of talk, little action on education
Secretary Treasurer Lynne Dodson's column

DREAM Act passes

Another year of inaction on transportation

Bills aim to cut costs at injured workers' expense
Workers' compensation

Anti-union ideology
in the Senate
Attacks on public employees

Bills aim to improve, undermine ACA
Health care


There are many more reports included in the printed version of the WSLC Legislative Report. Members of affiliated unions can request a free printed copy.

In 2013, two erstwhile Democrats traded control of the Washington State Senate to Republicans in exchange for better job titles and bigger offices.

In 2014, the real consequences of those partisan political machinations are clearer than ever. Progressive policies and job-creating infrastructure investments supported by both Gov. Jay Inslee and the Democratic-controlled House were blocked by Senate Republicans. They killed dozens of House-approved labor-backed bills on everything from wage theft to electriciansí certification, in most cases without a public hearing.

For a second straight session, Senate Republicans refused to allow a vote on a desperately needed House-approved transportation package. GOP leaders talked (a lot) about "reforming" transportation first, but never produced a proposal their own caucus could support.

Right up to the sessionís final day, Senate Republicans obstructed efforts to create jobs, blocking a school construction bill that had passed the House on a bipartisan 90-7 vote.

Instead, Senate Republicans spent the 2014 session launching aggressive attacks on labor standards and public employees. Pushed by national right-wing groups, these bills had little chance of passage in blue Washington. It was all about election-year posturing.

As youíll read throughout this WSLC Legislative Report, voters in Washington state didnít ask for it, but in 2014 they got another bitter taste of Washington, D.C.-style political gridlock.



Archive of weekly WSLC Legislative Updates from the 2014 session

Jan 16 -- Shared Prosperity Agenda to Rebuild the Middle Class

The Washington State Labor Council announces its legislative agenda for the 2014 session.

Jan. 23 -- Workers' comp: Here we go again

The Senate has resurrected a  controversial bill that aims to increase the number of lump-sum "structured settlement" buyouts of workers' compensation claims. It would lower age restrictions and block the state, when authorizing buyouts, from considering the workers' "best interests" if they have legal representation. PLUS, legislators urged to tackle wage theft, a voice from community and technical colleges' front lines, and more. 

Jan. 30 -- House approves Paid Sick Days

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday approved legislation that would make Washington the second state to establish a paid safe and sick leave standard. HB 1313, which passed mostly along party lines, would require businesses with at least five employees to allow their employees to earn and accumulate some paid sick leave over time. PLUS, Senate pushes workers' comp buyouts, and Gov. Inslee wants action on education funding. 

Feb. 20 -- Fighting wage theft is pro-business

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has passed four bills designed to discourage wage theft, level the playing field for honest employers, and recover state revenue lost due to the deliberate misclassification of workers as independent contractors. PLUS, DREAM Act sent to governor's desk, House approves pro-worker bills, and Senate approves anti-worker bills.

Mar. 4 -- Senate Republicans' silent slaughter

It's been about 14 months since two erstwhile Democrats traded control of the Washington State Senate to Republicans in exchange for leadership positions -- and bigger offices. Last Friday, the real consequences of those partisan political machinations became clearer than ever. Republicans chairing Senate committees killed dozens of labor-supported bills that had passed the House -- dealing with everything from paid sick leave to wage theft to electricians' certification -- in most cases without even allowing a public hearing. PLUS, state budget takes center stage, and more.

Mar. 11 -- Stop digging the budget hole

It's been about 14 months since two erstwhile Democrats traded control of the Washington State Senate to Republicans in exchange for leadership positions -- and bigger offices. Last Friday, the real consequences of those partisan political machinations became clearer than ever. Republicans chairing Senate committees killed dozens of labor-supported bills that had passed the House -- dealing with everything from paid sick leave to wage theft to electricians' certification -- in most cases without even allowing a public hearing. PLUS, state budget takes center stage, and more.


Additional news stories from the 2014 legislative session appear in the State Government section of The Stand.


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