Sen. Conway Newsroom

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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

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.

February 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Conway to host town hall on Feb. 17

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
February 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Midway through legislative session, Senate Democrats putting people first

Midway through legislative session, Senate Democrats putting people first

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

February 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Senate honors those who provided assistance during Amtrak derailment

Senate honors those who provided assistance during Amtrak derailment

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.”

February 2nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

Video: Conway honors fallen Deputy Daniel McCartney

Watch Sen. Steve Conway’s remarks from the floor of the Washington Senate on Senate Resolution 8464 honoring Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney, who was killed in the line of duty on Jan. 8, 2018. The full text of Conway’s remarks appears below.

“Deputy Daniel Alexander McCartney was a dedicated public servant who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the people of Pierce County and, I might add, our state.

Deputy McCartney was many things. A devoted law enforcement officer who served Pierce County, and prior to that, the City of Hoquiam, with distinction. A decorated veteran who served with honor in our nation’s Navy. A loving husband to his wife, Cierra. A father to his three sons: Tytus, Tate and Traxton. A coach. A friend. A hero who gave his life doing his duty.

Our grief at his tragic loss – our sorrow for his wife and young sons, and for his family, friends and colleagues – is probably tempered only by our admiration for his selflessness and bravery in the face of danger.

Deputy McCartney had a profound impact on our community and his loss was felt deeply. Thousands lined the route of his funeral procession through Pierce County last week in solemn silence to pay their respects and to show their support for the McCartney family in this most difficult of times. Some 1,500 law enforcement [personnel] and firefighters – from across Washington and beyond, with some 650 patrol vehicles – rode with their fallen brother one last time as he set out on his final journey.

Abraham Lincoln, about 150 years ago, probably laid his finger on the sorrow that we all have in our hearts today, in a famous letter to Ms. Bixby, who had lost two sons in the Civil War. With your permission, madam president, I’d like to read.

‘I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.’

And I might add to that, ‘in service to our community.’

Deputy McCartney’s legacy lies in what he did. In the love he gave as a husband and father. In the fellowship he shared with others as a coach. In his selfless actions as a law enforcement officer. It also lies in who he was: a man guided by service to his community and faith in the almighty.

We are profoundly grateful to Deputy McCartney and to all of the brave men and women who protect our state as law enforcement officers, many of whow are in our galleries today.

We are similarly grateful to their families, particularly those who grieve the loss of a loved one. We mourn with them and seek to honor them with this tribute.”

Sen. Steve Conway presents the flag of the State of Washington to Cierra McCartney, widow of slain Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney.

Family members of slain Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney and representatives of Washington’s law enforcement community during a ceremony to honor Deputy McCartney in the Washington State Senate on Jan. 24, 2018.

An image of the badge of Deputy Daniel McCartney is displayed on the Senate floor during a ceremony to honor him with Senate Resolution 8464 on Jan. 24, 2018.
January 24th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Conway hails Senate passage of capital budget

OLYMPIA – Washington’s Senate approved a $4.2 billion capital budget package yesterday, providing historic levels of funding for school construction, environmental priorities, higher education institutions and mental health facilities.

“I’m very pleased that the Senate has come together to pass this vital infrastructure package,” Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, said. “This long-overdue measure will provide nearly $1 billion in school construction and public education investments as well as other projects that will increase the quality of life in communities in the 29th Legislative District and in every corner of our state.”

Investments in the 29th District include:

  • $33 million for the Center of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies at Clover Park;
  • $3.1 million for a new health sciences center at Bates Technical College;
  • $3 million to develop innovative affordable housing for veterans in Orting;
  • $2 million for the City of Lakewood to purchase property near Joint Base Lewis-McChord currently occupied by businesses and buildings that are incompatible with runway operations at the base in order to mitigate possible public and flight safety risks;
  • $1.5 million for the creation of the Stan and Joan Cross Park in Frederickson;
  • $250,000 for the Asia Pacific Cultural Center’s Point Ruston Building Project; and
  • $149,000 to extend dental care capacity in Tacoma.

Approval of the construction budget came less than two weeks after Senate Democrats returned to Olympia in the majority for the 2018 legislative session. Democrats had identified passing it as a priority in their legislative agenda of “putting people first.”

The bill had stalled last July, when then-majority Senate Republicans, injecting politics into what traditionally has been a bipartisan process, refused to bring it to a vote on the Senate floor over a disagreement on an unrelated water rights issue.

January 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Conway assumes Senate leadership position

OLYMPIA – Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, was sworn in today as vice president pro tempore of the Washington State Senate after he was unanimously elected to the leadership post by fellow senators.

As vice president pro tem, Conway will preside over the Senate when the lieutenant governor and the president pro tem, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, are absent.

Conway pledged to work to ensure the smooth function of the legislative process.

“I am humbled by my selection to this office, which plays a key role in managing legislative work for the Senate,” he said. “It is an honor to be chosen by my peers for this position.”

Senators approved Keiser and Conway for the leadership posts today amid the opening of the 2018 legislative session. The posts are, respectively, second and third in line of succession to the governor.

Conway, who joined the Senate in 2010 following 18 years of service in the State House of Representatives, represents Washington’s 29th Legislative District. He is a member of the Senate Labor & Commerce, Ways & Means and Health Care committees.

January 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Defense Department honors Conway for supporting military families

Defense Department honors Conway for supporting military families

OLYMPIA – In recognition of his efforts to implement public policy changes aimed at improving the quality of life for Service members and their families residing in Washington, the U.S Defense Department has awarded Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, with a certificate of appreciation.

“Our men and women of the military and their families sacrifice so much for our nation’s benefit,” said Conway. “As a society and a state, we must constantly be striving to ease the transition from military to civilian life to support our military families and prevent veterans from falling through the cracks and ending up on the streets.”

Conway sponsored Senate Bill 5359, which strengthens efforts to helps veterans and their spouses get credit for military experience to meet certain licensing requirements.

SB 5359 was passed by the Legislature unanimously and was signed into law by the governor in July.


October 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|
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    Conway: Working families will benefit from new paid family leave law

Conway: Working families will benefit from new paid family leave law

OLYMPIA – After months of tense negotiations, the Washington State Legislature passed legislation establishing a new statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program late tonight.

Senate Bill 5975 creates a paid family and medical leave insurance program that is funded by premiums paid by both employers and employees, and allows employer voluntary plans. Under this legislation, employees can take off up to 12 weeks for the birth of a child, to take care of a family member who is suffering a serious medical condition, or if the employee suffers from a non-work-related illness or injury.

“No one should ever have to choose between taking care of a loved one and keeping food on the dinner table” said Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma and co-sponsor of SB 5975. “With this bill, we establish a paid family leave law that truly delivers for working families and lets them live with a sense of security when it comes to their wellbeing.”

The culmination of more than a decade of work by legislators and advocates, Senate Bill 5975 is the most worker-friendly paid family and medical leave program in the nation.

“Paid family leave is truly the third peg of the stool when it comes to income security,” added Conway. “We’ve instituted unemployment and workplace injury protections, and now we will provide a paid family leave law so people are protected when they have to take time off work to tend to personal injuries or a sick family member.”

SB 5975 exempts businesses that employ fewer than 50 employees from having to pay the employer share of the premium but allows them to opt in if they choose.

July 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|

Conway attends ceremonial dedication of Springbrook Park

OLYMPIA – Earlier this month, Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma, attended the ceremonial ribbon cutting and dedication for the Springbrook Park expansion in Lakewood. During the 2015 legislative session, Conway played an instrumental role in securing funding for the park in the Senate capital budget.

June 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|