2021 Washington Legislative Update

The Washington Legislative Session ended on April 25, 2021, and our Union worked to pass bills that will help make a more equitable future for SEIU members and our families! Read about our priority policies that we worked to pass.

Affordable Housing

  • HB 1236: Ensures that landlords cannot evict a tenant without having a legitimate reason for doing so.
  • HB 1277: Creates a new rental assistance program to help people get caught up on rent.
  • SB 5160: Provides legal representation for tenants facing eviction, requires repayment plans for unpaid rent during the pandemic, and ensures that landlords and tenants can access state rental assistance programs.
  • HB 1108: Maintaining funding and assistance for homeowners navigating the foreclosure process.
  • HB 1410: Prevents foreclosures by eliminating harsh penalties and lowering the interest rate from 12% to 9% on delinquent property taxes.

Healthcare Measures: greater transparency, lower cost prescription drugs, 

  • HB 1272: Requires healthcare systems to disclose information regarding expenses and revenues in financial reporting to the Department of Health.
  • SB 5190: Makes healthcare workers eligible for unemployment insurance benefits for workers who are terminated or left work to quarantine during a public health emergency.
  • SB 5169: Allows health providers to be reimbursed for PPE when treating patients.
  • SB 5229: Requires the rule-making authority for each health profession to adopt rules requiring health care professionals to complete health equity education training at least once every four years.
  • SB 5203: Allows the Health Care Authority to enter into partnerships with other states, state agencies, or nonprofit entities to produce, distribute, or purchase generic prescription drugs.
  • SB 5068: Creates one year of postpartum coverage through Apple Health.
  • SB5140: Prohibits healthcare entities from restricting healthcare providers from providing services related to pregnancy complications.

Police Accountability

  • HB 1078: Restores voting eligibility to any citizen who is not incarcerated or who has been convicted of a felony regardless of the type of conviction.
  • HB 1267: Creates an Office of Independent Investigation for police use of force and other officer-involved potentially criminal incidents.
  • SB 5051: Provides programs and standards for the training of criminal justice personnel, and establishing and administering standards and processes for the certification, suspension, and decertification of police officers and corrections officers.

Economic Recovery and Aid to Families 

  • SB 5214: Allows families more time to access TANF when the state average unemployment rates are 7% or higher, and includes additional funding to extend COVID-19 time-limit exemptions through July 2022.
  • HB 1151:  Expands a cash assistance program for families, allows for five additional months of food assistance and requires the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to update the standards of need for cash assistance programs.

Others of Interest

  • HB 1072: Removes one of the restrictions on the use of civil legal aid funds to allow representation regardless of immigration status.
  • HB 1090: Prohibits private incarceration (with some exceptions) in Washington state, including the Northwest Detention Center. The contract for the Northwest Detention Center expires in 2025 and cannot be renewed under this law.
  • SB 5141: Implements the recommendations of the environmental justice task force and address disproportionate impacts from pollution by aiming to create the same high standard of environmental health quality in every community.

Comments are closed.