In the News

Everett Herald: Workers’ protections expanded during, after covid

Everett Herald: Workers’ protections expanded during, after covid

By Karen Keiser and Mike Sells / For The Herald We have heard a lot of talk about “essential workers” over the past year, as we depend on people whose work cannot be done remotely; tens of thousands of workers braving all hazards to keep our medical system functioning, our pantries full of food, and our buses moving. Our reaction in the ...

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Marketplace: As state unemployment trust funds empty, employers face soaring taxes

Marketplace: As state unemployment trust funds empty, employers face soaring taxes

Washington State Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines) was the principal sponsor of the new law. “We are looking at a bit of an economic rebound,” Keiser said, “so that will help, because the Microsofts and Amazons and Costcos of the world are still paying their premiums as normal.” Keiser said the new law will also raise the state’s minimum unemployment benefit, ...

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Seattle Times: Washington state lawmakers grill auditor aides over disclosure of massive data breach

Seattle Times: Washington state lawmakers grill auditor aides over disclosure of massive data breach

State lawmakers grilled aides to state Auditor Pat McCarthy at a hearing Thursday, questioning the auditor’s actions related to a massive data breach affecting 1.3 million Washingtonians. The questions and criticism zeroed in on whether McCarthy’s office should have disclosed the breach of a third-party file-hosting vendor sooner, and whether the auditor should have amassed so much personal ...

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Seattle Times: Lawmakers frustrated by secrecy surrounding massive data hack at Washington state auditor’s office

Seattle Times: Lawmakers frustrated by secrecy surrounding massive data hack at Washington state auditor’s office

State lawmakers probing the massive data breach at state Auditor Pat McCarthy’s office say they’re frustrated with ongoing secrecy surrounding the incident, which exposed personal information of at least 1.3 million Washingtonians. Three state senators who have pressed for details about the breach say the auditor’s office has conditioned private briefings on a confidentiality agreement, meaning they cannot share all ...

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Salon: As drug prices keep rising, state lawmakers propose tough new bills to curb them

Salon: As drug prices keep rising, state lawmakers propose tough new bills to curb them

Fed up with a lack of federal action to lower prescription drug costs, state legislators around the country are pushing bills to penalize drugmakers for unjustified price hikes and to cap payment at much-lower Canadian levels. "If we waited for Congress, we'd have moss on our backs," said Washington state Sen. Karen Keiser, a Democrat who sponsored the state's bill to ...

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WA AGO: LuLaRoe to pay $4.75 million to resolve AG Ferguson’s lawsuit over pyramid scheme

WA AGO: LuLaRoe to pay $4.75 million to resolve AG Ferguson’s lawsuit over pyramid scheme

$4 million going to help Washingtonians deceived by LuLaRoe SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that LuLaRoe will pay $4.75 million to resolve Ferguson’s consumer protection lawsuit asserting that LuLaRoe, a California-based multi-level marketing business that sells leggings and other apparel to a network of independent retailers, was operating a pyramid scheme. In January 2019, Ferguson filed a lawsuit against ...

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Seattle Times: Banking, Social Security info of more than 1.4 million people exposed in hack involving Washington state auditor

Seattle Times: Banking, Social Security info of more than 1.4 million people exposed in hack involving Washington state auditor

The personal unemployment claims data of at least 1.4 million Washingtonians may have been stolen in a hack of software used by the state auditor’s office, raising fears of identity theft and fraud amid an already bleak pandemic downturn. State Auditor Pat McCarthy said Monday the records — including Social Security numbers and banking information — were exposed during a December ...

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The Olympian: Bill with relief for Washington businesses, unemployed workers heads to governor’s desk

The Olympian: Bill with relief for Washington businesses, unemployed workers heads to governor’s desk

A bill that would increase the minimum weekly benefit for unemployed workers and curb an increase in employers’ unemployment taxes has passed the both houses of the Washington state legislature with broad support.
The state Senate passed the bill, which was requested by Gov. Jay Inslee, in a 42-7 vote Wednesday night. It then moved to the House, which fast-tracked it ...

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Seattle Times: Washington state lawmakers approve a big unemployment tax cut and a boost in jobless benefits

Seattle Times: Washington state lawmakers approve a big unemployment tax cut and a boost in jobless benefits

Washington state lawmakers approved legislation that would save employers nearly $1 billion in unemployment taxes this year, raise the minimum weekly jobless benefit, and provide benefits to some workers who quit for health reasons. But some worker advocates said Senate Bill 5061, which passed the House on Friday and now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for a signature, didn’t go far ...

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Kent Reporter: State Senate passes $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance tax relief

Kent Reporter: State Senate passes $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance tax relief

All businesses in Washington would see significant relief from unemployment taxes, including reductions in bills due in April, if Senate Bill 5061 is passed by the Legislature by mid-February. The bill, which passed on the Senate floor Jan. 27 with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, has an emergency clause and if the House also approves it, would take effect as soon as ...

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