Sen. Keiser Newsroom

Sen. Keiser’s End of Session Newsletter

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2018 Keiser EOS Newsletter

May 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|

MEDIA ADVISORY – 33rd Legislative District Telephone Town Hall

MEDIA ADVISORY – 33rd Legislative District Telephone Town Hall

Who: Sen. Karen Keiser, Rep. Tina Orwall & Rep. Mia Gregerson –The 33rd Legislative District delegation representing part of King County including SeaTac, Des Moines, Normandy Park, and parts of Kent, Burien and Renton.

What: 33rd Legislative District telephone town hall meeting

When: 6-7 p.m. Thursday, March 15

Three ways to participate:

Over the phone – Calls will go out to thousands of homes throughout the 33rd legislative district. When constituents pick up, they will be able to listen live and ask their lawmakers a question. Those who do not get a call can join the town hall by dialing 877-229-8493 and entering ID Code 116286 at the prompt.

Sign up on via wireless phone at https://vekeo.com/whdc33/.

Livestream at: http://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=16286.

Why: For state lawmakers to hear directly from their constituents on the issues they care about in the state Legislature, from schools to climate change, safer roads to fairer taxes.

March 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Sexual harassment bills pass off House floor, head back to the Senate

Sexual harassment bills pass off House floor, head back to the Senate

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Feb. 27, 2018

 

Sexual harassment bills pass off House floor, head back to the Senate

 

OLYMPIA — Three bills related to combatting workplace sexual harassment passed off the House floor unanimously today.

“I have been working on addressing sexual harassment for quite some time, and passing this group of bills off the floor in the House today is great news for the women of Washington,“ said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, sponsor of two of the three bills. “Right now, women are demanding a change, and it is incumbent that those with power listen. The fact that these bills were passed unanimously by both Democrats and Republicans in both chambers shows how seriously the Legislature is taking this issue.”

 

“In recent months, we have all been struck by the sheer volume and national discussion of prominent sexual harassment incidents across the country,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, sponsor of Senate Bill 6068. “We have seen that powerful perpetrators and enablers on company boards and other entities have hidden behind non-disclosure agreements to prevent the truth about patterns of behavior from coming out. This bill will lead to more truth and justice for victims.”

 

Brief Summary:

  • Senate Bill 5996 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • Senate Bill 6471 calls for the development of model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.
  • Senate Bill 6068 sheds light on repeat sexual harassers by removing barriers to lawsuits created by non-disclosure agreements.

 

Having passed the Senate but having been amended in the House, all three bills must now go through the concurrence process before heading to the governor’s office to be signed into law.

 

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For more information or interviews, Keiser: Bre Weider, (360) 786-7326

For more information or interviews, Frockt: Amelia Dickson, (360) 786-7535

March 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Curious about the Legislative Public Records Act? Click here for the full story

Curious about the Legislative Public Records Act? Click here for the full story

In recent days, the news media has devoted unusually heavy coverage to the Legislative Public Records Act that was passed Friday by the Legislature. Since then, my office has received a high number of calls and emails from constituents asking about this legislation.

The media is in fact the plaintiff in the legal case that led to the court ruling that is the impetus for this bill, and the vast majority of news coverage has emphasized the media’s arguments while minimizing the Legislature’s side of the story. Not surprisingly, puzzled constituents are calling with lots of questions.

To learn more about this legislation and why it is needed, I encourage you to click here to read a summary, in simple but clear lay terms, that answers the most commonly asked questions. I believe this will give you a fuller picture, including a number of perspectives you will not find in news accounts and editorials on this matter. I urge you to weigh all sides and judge for yourself the merits of what this legislation does.

As you know, I hold strong beliefs in transparency and open government.  This bill has been widely misunderstood, so I appreciate this opportunity to clarify the importance and intent of this bill.

Please know that my door is always open to you and I encourage you to please contact my office if you have additional questions.

Sen. Karen Keiser

February 28th, 2018|E-News, Uncategorized|
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    Bills to address sexual harassment pass off Senate floor, now advance to the House

Bills to address sexual harassment pass off Senate floor, now advance to the House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Feb. 8, 2018

 

Bills to address sexual harassment pass off Senate floor, now advance to the House

 

OLYMPIA — Three bills related to combatting workplace sexual harassment passed off the Senate floor unanimously today.

“I have been working on addressing sexual harassment for quite some time, and passing this group of bills off the floor is great news for the women of Washington,“ said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, sponsor of two of the three bills. “Right now, we are seeing a cultural shift when it comes to what is acceptable in the workplace. Women are demanding a change, and it is incumbent that those with power listen. The fact that these bills were passed unanimously by both Democrats and Republicans shows how seriously the Legislature is taking this issue.”

 

“In recent months, we’ve all been struck by the sheer volume and national discussion of prominent sexual harassment incidents across the country,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, sponsor of Senate Bill 6068. “We have seen that powerful perpetrators and enablers on company boards and other entities have hidden behind non-disclosure agreements to prevent the truth about patterns of behavior from coming out. This bill will lead to more truth and justice for victims.”

 

Brief Summary:

  • Senate Bill 5996 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • Senate Bill 6471 relates to developing model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.
  • Senate Bill 6068 would shed light on repeat sexual harassers by removing barriers to lawsuits created by non-disclosure agreements.

 

All three bills will now move to the House for further consideration.

 

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For more information or interviews, Keiser: Bre Weider, (360) 786-7326

For more information or interviews, Frockt: Amelia Dickson, (360) 786-7535

February 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Bills to address sexual harassment pass out Senate committee

Bills to address sexual harassment pass out Senate committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Jan. 31, 2017

 

Bills to address sexual harassment pass out Senate committee

 

OLYMPIA — Three bills related to combatting workplace sexual harassment passed out of the Senate’s Labor & Commerce Committee today.

“I have been working on addressing sexual harassment for quite some time, and passing this group of bills out of committee is great news for the women of Washington,“ said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, chair of the  Senate Labor and Commerce committee. “We heard gut-wrenching testimony in committee from victims explaining the long-term impacts of harassment. It is past time to start addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

“Right now, we are seeing a cultural shift when it comes to what is acceptable in the workplace. Women are demanding a change, and it is incumbent that those with power listen.  These bills will provide a path forward for victims to report complaints without fear of losing their jobs or suffering other forms of retaliation. We must no longer limit the economic and career potential of half of our population. We must demand that our workplace ethos shifts to reflect our values of fairness and respect.”

 

Brief Summary:

  • Senate Bill 5996 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • Senate Bill 6313 addresses mandatory employment contracts and agreements that limit an employee’s right to file a complaint or cause of action for sexual harassment or sexual assault.
  • Senate Bill 6471 relates to developing model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.

 

All three bills passed out of committee, and will now move to the Rules Committee for further consideration before going to the floor.

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For more information or interviews: Bre Weider, (360) 786-7326

February 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|

Senate votes to help sick Hanford workers get compensation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Jan. 25, 2018

Senate votes to help sick Hanford workers get compensation

OLYMPIA— The state Senate voted late today to expand workers compensation protections to Hanford workers exposed to toxic chemicals while on the job.

“Rep. Larry Haler and I have been working on this bill for quite some time and its passage is great news for the Hanford community, “ said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, chair of the  Senate Labor and Commerce committee. “We saw gut-wrenching testimony in committee last year. Exposure to heavy metal and radiation has ruined people’s lives.

“I cannot think of a more suitable assertion for this Senate to make than putting our partisan differences aside to put people first. We are seeing people dying from dementia, cancer and lung disease who were systematically left out of workers compensation.

“People went bankrupt paying for cancer treatments. This ordeal has been going on since the 1990s; we have seen a whole generation impacted by this tragedy. That is not right. Our Washington community cares about protecting all workers. ”

Haler, a Richland Republican, sponsored House Bill 1723 in conjunction with Keiser’s Senate Bill 5940. Both bills were moved to the Senate floor to expedite getting the legislation to the governor’s desk as soon as possible.

“It’s important that we take care of workers who have suffered due to being exposed to harmful chemicals and processes at Hanford,” said Rep. Haler. “Despite all the safety precautions taken, families and individuals have been devastated by illness and disease.  They need help.  This bill will help make that easier.  I thank Sen. Keiser for her assistance in getting this important legislation passed for the citizens in my district.”

Currently, Hanford workers compensation claims are rejected at a rate 52 percent higher than the state average, even though Hanford is the most dangerous and toxic worksite in the country. House Bill 1723 establishes a presumption for Hanford nuclear site workers to expand eligibility for workers compensation claims.

House Bill 1723 passed on a 35 to 14 vote and now heads back to the House for concurrence. It will then go to the Governor’s desk for signing.

 

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For information: Bre Weider, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7326

 

January 25th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    #MeToo comes to Olympia as Senate hears sexual harassment bills

#MeToo comes to Olympia as Senate hears sexual harassment bills

The Senate Labor & Commerce Committee will hear three pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.

When: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Senate Hearing Room 4.

Where you can watch it live: /www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2018011337

Brief Summary:
·  Senate Bill 5996 prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
· Senate Bill 6313 addresses mandatory employment contracts and agreements that limit an employee’s right to file a complaint or cause of action for sexual harassment or sexual assault.
· Senate Bill 6471 relates to developing model policies to create workplaces that are safe from sexual harassment.

Quote:
· Sen. Karen Keiser:
· “For a long time, women felt sexual harassment was something we had to deal with just to have careers. I want to make clear that sexual harassment will no longer be accepted, time is up, and we must make a change.

“There’s a burden of humiliation and fear of reprisal that intimidates victims from coming forward. These bills will provide a path forward for victims to report without fear of losing their jobs or suffering other forms of retaliation. We must no longer limit the economic and career potential of half of our population. We must demand that our workplace culture shifts to reflect our values of fairness and respect.” 

January 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|

South King County lawmakers make legislative history

OLYMPIA – Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, will serve as President Pro Tempore of the Washington State Senate, presiding over the chamber when the lieutenant governor is unavailable.

In addition to these duties, Keiser will also chair the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee.

“It is an honor and privilege to be elected by my colleagues to preside as President Pro Tem of the Washington State Senate,” said Keiser. “I look forward to stepping up to the podium and wielding the gavel when Lt. Gov. Habib is unable to preside. I assured my colleagues that I will make every effort to ensure fair, equitable and efficient Senate.”

Keiser’s seatmate in the House, Rep. Tina Orwall, D- Des Moines, serves as Speaker Pro Tempore. This marks the first time in Washington state history that two members from the same district share presiding roles.

Keiser will continue to serve as a member of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee, which produces the operating and capital budgets. She will also serve on the Rules Committee.

“It is time to put partisan bickering aside and put the hardworking people of Washington first,” Keiser said. “I am looking forward to bringing back transparency and accountability to the Senate”.

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For more information: Bre Weider, Senate Democratic Communications, 360-786-7326
For interviews: Sen. Karen Keiser, 360-786-7664

January 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Keiser to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Washington State Senate

Keiser to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Washington State Senate

OLYMPIA – Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, will serve as President Pro Tempore of the Washington State Senate, presiding over the chamber when the lieutenant governor is absent. In addition to these duties, Keiser will also chair the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee.

Securing a one-seat majority after a special election victory in Washington’s 45th Legislative District, Senate Democrats will now set the docket for policy committees and floor voting.

“I am honored to have been selected by my colleagues to help run the Senate effectively during this critical juncture in Washington state history,” said Keiser. “There is significant work to be done and we are committed to ensuring that every voice is heard as we demonstrate, once more, what effective governance can do for the hardworking people of our state.”

Keiser will continue to serve as a member of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee and the powerful Senate Ways & Means Committee, which produces the operating and capital budgets.  She will also be a member of the Rules Committee.

November 21st, 2017|Uncategorized|