January 29, 2013 Print

What's hot today at the legislature - January 29, 2013

First up this morning is Rep. Matt Shea’s HB 1091 to get Washington out of the National Popular Vote interstate compact and move the state to congressional district apportionment of electoral votes (the system currently used by Maine and Nebraska). I’ve been requested to testify at the hearing. For more on the issue visit SaveOurStates.com (and check back for an update after the hearing).

Also up in legislative committees today are two bills that recognize basic economic principles and a new demand from some labor unions.

What's your labor worth?
At $9.19 per hour, Washington’s current minimum wage is the highest in the nation. HB 1150 would allow certain employers to pay new employees a “training wage” that is less than the state’s minimum wage. That would make it easier for those employers to hire entry-level employees. 

Profits or patients?
Current state law restricts building new medical care facilities. To build a new facility requires a state-issued “certificate of need.” This process protects existing providers from competition that would force them to reduce prices and thus reduce their profits. Sen. Don Benton’s SB 5017 would repeal the state’s current Certificate of Need requirement for most healthcare facilities, allowing greater competition among providers.

Not now, I'm on a break
Another health care bill up for a hearing is HB 1152. The proposed law would force hospitals to let nurses and similar hospital staff take their breaks whenever they want. The bill is a great example of labor union political bosses casting around for new “rights” for their members and new ways to concoct conflicts with employers.


Trent England

Executive Vice President

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