Welcome to the Washington Public Employees Association Legislative Report for Week 8 of the 2023 legislative session. I’m Seamus Petrie, your WPEA lobbyist.
It’s been a while since we last recorded a podcast because, well, it’s been busy in the last few weeks. The legislature is through the first round of cutoff deadlines and is in the middle of floor votes.
Last week, the legislature held public hearings on the governor’s budget. The governor’s budget funds our contracts, including the 4% COLA on July 1, targeted pay increases for specific job classes, plus the COVID booster bonus and the retention bonus.
This week, the legislature held hearings on a handful of bills important to WPEA members. Check it out now!
As WPEA ramps up for the 2023 Legislative Session - Today's podcast will be postponed until next Thursday. Stay tuned as we have a special surprise next week to accompany the podcast!
We last talked about the overall process of how a bill becomes a law. Today, we’re going take you inside a committee hearing, then we’ll talk about what happens during floor debates. To view the transcript of the podcast click here.
In a previous episode, we were talking about the work of the legislature, and I briefly mentioned the process by which a bill turns into a law. I invited you to recall schoolhouse rock, because, frankly, that’s a pretty good basic outlining of the legislative process – it was written for US congress, but the process in the WA state legislature is much the same: A successful bill has to go to committee, then to the floor, then to the committee in the other chamber, then the floor of the other chamber, then to the governor’s desk. Along the way, it can be debated and amended. That’s the simple version of the story. As you may have guessed, the real story – the legislative process as it is actually practiced - is a bit more complicated.
Today we’re talking about the budget process, and the process our state employee member contracts go through, from negotiation to ratification to funding. Call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask your legislators to fully fund state employee contracts this year, including 100% of the funding for higher education employees.