OLYMPIA — Assistant attorneys general may choose to collectively bargain under the Personnel System Reform Act, thanks to legislation signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee.

SB 5297 was sponsored by Sen. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia) at the request of the Association of Washington Assistant Attorneys General to address concerns about high turnover among assistant attorneys general.  The bill grants assistant attorneys general the right to collectively bargain but does not require them to do so.

Assistant attorneys general represent the interests of the most vulnerable communities in Washington on issues such as civil rights, consumer protection and public safety. The agency also defends the state against tort claims. 

“This is the state’s largest law firm, with over 600 attorneys,” said Hunt. “Like most other state employees, rank-and-file attorneys should be allowed to collectively bargain. Giving our top attorneys a choice to have a voice in their working conditions will help us retain their skills and expertise to better serve the interests of the people of our state.”