One of the best parts of representing you in the Senate is hearing bill ideas from constituents that will help strengthen the communities where we live, and then helping pass them into law.
This week, I’d like to give you a couple examples of those bills, which will directly benefit our local community, as well as update you on my other bills that are moving along toward final passage.
SB 6035 cuts through some red tape that one of our local businesses ran into. Mama Stortini, with local Kent and Federal Way restaurants, was caught between the rules of the Liquor and Cannabis Board and the Department of Labor & Industries. They wanted to hold a wine-tasting session for employees to learn about the wines they were serving. This would clearly be part of their job duties, but employees are not allowed to drink on the job. What to do? This bill will reconcile those rules to allow businesses with liquor licenses to hold educational tastings for employees while they’re on the clock, so long as that activity is kept separate from serving alcohol to the public.
SB 6095 will allow and regulate the Wine Flies Free program — a partnership between one of the largest employers in our district and small wineries in Washington. If you fly to Eastern Washington, go to a Washington winery, and buy a case of wine, you can check it on an Alaska Air flight for no charge. This is a boon for the wine industry and tourism around our state.
In addition to the two I mentioned above, another 10 bills that I sponsored in the Senate have already made it over to the House and been passed out of committee there. These bills have an excellent chance of being passed into law in the last two weeks of the session.
- SB 6419 would provide people with developmental disabilities good options for community care close to home, as well as for nursing home care and state centers of excellence.
- SB 6087 would cap a patient’s out-of-pocket cost at $100 per month.
- SB 6088 would establish a prescription drug affordability board that would review prices to see if maximum price caps are needed.
- SB 6113 would create a centralized purchasing process for insulin, based on the approached used by the state to purchase childhood vaccines.
- SB 6034 would extend the statute of limitations for filing a pregnancy discrimination complaint, from six months to one year.
- SB 6096 would require the state to consider the potential for labor law violations when contracting with social service providers to ensure state contractors adhere to fair workplace standards.
- SB 6122 would extend workplace safety protections to temporary workers in construction, manufacturing and industrial engineering, where they face a high risk of injury or death.
- SB 6170 would modernize the plumbing code for the first time in 45 years, make apprenticeships more accessible, and protect consumers by making certification more transparent.
- SB 5236 would increase apprenticeship programs in public education and in the health care industry.
- SB 6217 would give SeaTac’s port commissioners the authority to close a loophole exploited by business to pay workers less than the local minimum wage.
If you’d like to follow what I’m working on in Olympia, you can like my official legislative Facebook page here.
Please don’t hesitate to stay in touch.
Senator Karen Keiser
Chair, Senate Labor & Commerce Committee
Senate President Pro Tempore