Monthly Archives: February 2018

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    Senate passes bill to let first responders claim workers’ comp for PTSD

Senate passes bill to let first responders claim workers’ comp for PTSD

February 9th, 2018|

OLYMPIA – Firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would be able to make a claim for workers’ compensation under a bill approved today by the Senate.

State law currently bars workers’ compensation claims based on mental conditions or mental disabilities caused by stress. Senate Bill 6214 would exempt firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians suffering from PTSD from that rule and create a rebuttable presumption that they are eligible for workers’ compensation.

“PTSD is being clearly recognized by the military as a cause of pain and stress, and a recognized cause of injury,” bill sponsor Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, said. “We’re extending the same to firefighters, police and first responders because they are exposed to trauma that the average person never faces. PTSD causes real harm that we need to recognize and we need to use the workers’ compensation system to assist them in addressing that trauma.”

The bill, which was approved unanimously by senators present, contains important safeguards against abuse. Individuals could only make a workers’ compensation claim for PTSD if they had served for 10 years before the condition developed.

A PTSD-related claim for workers’ compensation would not be allowed if the condition resulted from disciplinary action, work evaluations, transfers, layoffs or firings done in good faith by an employer.

Conway to host town hall on Feb. 17

February 8th, 2018|

Who: State Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma

What: Town hall meeting

When: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17

Where: Bates Technical College, South Campus Cafeteria, 2201 South 78th St., Tacoma

Why: This is an opportunity to speak in person with your senator about issues important to Pierce County and your community. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Fully funding education
  • Mental health services
  • Transportation improvements
  • Protecting the social safety net
  • Answers to your questions
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    Midway through legislative session, Senate Democrats putting people first

Midway through legislative session, Senate Democrats putting people first

February 6th, 2018|

As we near the midpoint of the 2018 legislative session, I have been busily reviewing bills as a member of the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee, the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee, which controls the state budget.

The Senate is considering a number of issues, including bills that I introduced to:

  • Prohibit employers from forcing hourly workers into noncompetition agreements (Senate Bill 6526).
  • Extend workers’ comp to law enforcement officers and firefighters dealing with posttraumatic stress disorders (Senate Bill 6214).
  • Protect military installations from incompatible development (Senate Bill 6456).
  • Help problem gamblers fight gambling addiction (Senate Bill 6331).

Other priorities include addressing the worsening opioid crisis, increasing transparency in prescription drug costs and ensuring that insurers are not allowed to come between patients and their doctors. We are also focusing on protecting pensions and helping people with retirement.

The Senate has already passed important bills to keep Washington students from having to begin the school day hungry, and to help energy workers obtain health care coverage for diseases linked to exposure to dangerous conditions at the Hanford nuclear site.

We also sent several bills to the House to expand voter participation and strengthen our democracy. They include the Washington Voting Rights Act, which would allow minority communities to help shape more-representative municipal governments, as well as bills extending the period for voter registration and increasing transparency on hidden money in political campaigns.

Finally, it remains a top priority to adjust laws addressing the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision on K-12 education funding to make sure that the school districts in the 29th District – Tacoma, Bethel, Franklin Pierce and Clover Park – adequately educate our children. We also must pass supplemental operating, construction and transportation budgets, each of which profoundly affects our district.

Democrats’ return to the majority in the Senate has given us a unique opportunity to drive the agenda and pursue common-sense policies. I am confident that despite the challenges in accomplishing such a robust agenda during the shorter, 60-day legislative session, we will succeed in improving the quality of life across our state through legislation that puts people first.

If you have any questions or need any information, I encourage you to contact me and my legislative staff, who will be happy to assist you.

All the best,
Steve Conway

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    Senate honors those who provided assistance during Amtrak derailment

Senate honors those who provided assistance during Amtrak derailment

February 2nd, 2018|

On Jan. 31, the Washington State Senate approved Senate Resolution 8696, honoring first responders and others who provided aid during the Dec. 18 Amtrak train derailment near DuPont in southern Pierce County.

The resolution recognized “all those who acted promptly, efficiently, and effectively in a time of extraordinary confusion and emotional stress to aid the injured and their families and console those who lost loved ones.”