Dear neighbors,

Don’t forget: my seatmates Rep. Tina Orwall, Rep. Mia Gregerson, and I will be holding an in-person town hall tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Highline College, the Student Union Building 8 (see below for details, including a link to a map of the campus). I hope you will join us!

Read on for an update on my legislation.

WHO: Sen. Karen Keiser, Rep. Tina Orwall, and Rep. Mia Gregerson

WHAT: Town hall with 33rd District residents

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 17 from 2-3 p.m.

WHERE: Highline College, 2400 S. 340th St., Des Moines, WA 98198, at the Student Union Building, number 8 (near the east parking lot)

Information available on Facebook.

Legislative Update

This week, we hit the deadline for bills to pass their chamber of origin. Nine bills I’m sponsoring have passed the Senate, and two others live on in the form of House legislation. A lot of work remains to ensure that these bills pass the full Legislature and are signed into law by the governor.

Helping Our Neighbors

SB 5955/HB 2103 would help hundreds of homeowners in communities around Sea-Tac Airport who received soundproofing “port packages” from the FAA and the Port of Seattle — including double-pane and triple-pane windows and sound-dampening insulation — but whose windows have leaked or otherwise failed. Rep. Tina Orwall has worked with me on this legislation and sponsored the House companion.

Building Healthier Communities

HB 1979 would cap out-of-pocket costs to patients of asthma inhalers and EpiPens at $35 per month. Rep. Dave Paul is sponsoring this bill, which is similar to legislation I had in the Senate.

SB 6271 would address the proliferation of high-potency cannabis, which is posing a danger to consumers, especially to young people.

SB 6072 would allow workers to move out of state without losing access to long-term care benefits in the WA Cares program and provide for a better-than-basic-benefits program.

SB 6110 would improve reviews that take place when a child dies of a preventable cause, in order to help identify ways to prevent similar deaths in the future.

Supporting Workers and Helping People Make Ends Meet

SB 5632 would enable striking workers to maintain their health care coverage. The loss of coverage is a heavy thumb on the scale against striking workers, and this bill would help level the playing field.

HB 1893 would provide striking workers access to unemployment benefits. The loss of pay during a strike puts pressure on workers, and some employers refuse to bargain, hoping to starve out their workers. Rep. Beth Doglio is sponsoring this companion to my bill SB 5777.

SB 5778, the Employee Free Choice Act, would prohibit employers from disciplining or firing workers who refuse to attend meetings that communicate the employer’s opinion on religious or political topics.

SB 5368 would help people who have been injured on the job return to work by connecting small businesses with nonprofits for meaningful placement with light-duty work.

SB 5979 would help properly ensure construction workers accrue paid sick leave.

SB 5980 would improve the notification the Department of Labor & Industries gives to the owners of construction sites about hazards, to better ensure safety on building sites.

Stay in Touch

Thank you to all the constituents and advocates who came to Olympia this week to make your voices heard. If you’d like to follow what I’m working on, you can like my official legislative Facebook page here.

Please don’t hesitate to stay in touch. Stay safe and take care.


Sen. Keiser signature

Sen. Karen Keiser
Senate President Pro Tempore
Chair, Senate Labor & Commerce Committee