OLYMPIA — The Senate passed legislation today to allow assistant attorneys general to elect to collectively bargain under the Personnel System Reform Act.

SB 5297 is sponsored by Sen. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia) in response to concerns from the Attorney General’s office about high turnover among attorneys.

“This is the state’s largest law firm, with over 600 attorneys,” said Hunt. “Like most other state employees, rank-and-file attorneys should be allowed to collectively bargain.”

Assistant attorneys general are tasked with protecting the most vulnerable communities in the state on issues such as civil rights, consumer protection, and public safety. The agency also defends the state against tort claims. 

By giving our top attorneys a choice to have a voice in their working conditions, Hunt’s bill seeks to ensure their retention to better serve the interests of the people of Washington. It grants assistant attorneys general the right to collectively bargain but would not require them to do so.

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.