Legislative Update May 15, 2023
The 2023 legislative session is progressing to its final stage with roughly one week left.
House and Senate passed the Agriculture, Veterans, Housing, Higher Ed omnibus policy and finance conference committee reports. Both chambers also passed the Omnibus Pension Finance Bill. These are on their way to the governor to be signed into law. Jobs, Labor and Industry has passed through conference committee and will head back to the House and Senate Floor for final passage. The bill includes numerous changes to PELRA, making it easier for bargaining units to communicate with and represent their employees. Environment, Climate, and Energy is nearing completion, as is Human Services. We continue to watch Health, Transportation and Taxes committees closely as they make meaningful but slow progress. Public Safety, which includes significant investments in Department of Corrections, passed the Senate and will be voted on in the House today. The State and Local Government Conference Committee will be wrapping up some final outstanding items today after completing nearly all of its work this weekend.
HF 800, a bill that ratifies numerous labor MOUs, also received approval in the Senate with a vote of 56-10. The bill passed unanimously in the house 130-0 earlier this year. They do not need to be signed by the governor.
After nearly seven years, Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) has wrapped up in the conference committee and will return to the House and Senate for final votes. This is a strong bill that, unlike in many states, incudes unionized public sector workers. Members will be able to access partial wage replacement for up to 20 weeks during large life events such as the birth or adoption of a new family member and/or major medical events for oneself or a close family member. We anticipate that it will pass without restrictions that would demand a worker use other paid time off before accessing this benefit. Paid time off (vacation/sick/paid parental leave) will be able to be used to supplement the partial wage replacement to arrive at a full wage replacement.
Adult-use cannabis has also made it to conference committee where they continue to work on finalizing details.
Our legislative team will continue to provide updates as we approach the session deadline of May 22 and send a comprehensive summary of session shortly after the legislature adjourns sine die until 2024. Check Facebook and Twitter for updates as well!