WRA staff attend Attorney General reception to discuss 2018 legislative priorities
By Renée Sunde, President/CEO
Your WRA Government Affairs staff along with approximately 25 lobbyists and business leaders were invited to attend a reception today with Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The meeting included an overview of the 2018 Attorney General request legislation and an open discussion with attendees.
Mark Johnson, VP of Government Affairs and I pitched the recently drafted ADA “Notice and Cure” Bill concerning legislation to end “drive-by” Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits. This legislation would essentially allow businesses 30 days to cure a violation after receiving notice of non-compliance. We asked the AG and his staff for their support and leadership on this legislation.
Attorney General Ferguson reviewed 12 bills that will be top priorities in the coming year. The Tobacco 21 legislation would raise the minimum age of sale for tobacco and vapor products to 21 years old in Washington. Some WRA members are expected to remain concerned about lost sales from past and current attempts to raise the legal age for consuming tobacco products.
Bills that essentially limit initial opioid prescriptions and another that requires the mandatory use of the prescription monitoring program will be brought to our Pharmacy Committee for further review and consideration.
We will be reaching out to our members to discuss two additional legislative requests limiting the use of firearms. One bill calls for a ban on the sale of high capacity magazines and assault weapons and another requires assault weapon enhanced background checks.
WRA issues warning about Retro solicitation
By Tammie Hetrick, Chief Operating Officer
We’ve become aware of recent mail attempts to recruit companies interested in joining other Retro programs.
It’s important to note that no solicitation has value unless it is on behalf of a Retro program approved by the state Department of Labor & Industries.
Before you share company information in response to a solicitation for a Retro program, either call me or L&I to confirm that it is from a Retro program approved by the state.
I discussed this issue last week during a Retro Advisory Committee meeting I attended. Should you receive such a solicitation, contact me at 360-200-6452 or email@example.com. You also can obtain confirmation through L&I at 360-902-4851 or Retro@Lni.wa.gov.
Research Council raises questions about Governor’s budget proposal
The Washington Research Council has provided an early analysis of the state supplemental budget that Governor Jay Inslee proposed last week. This spending program annually precedes proposals by the state Senate and House of Representative when the Legislature convenes the following month.
The Governor’s budget proposal would increase state spending in the general fund by nearly $961 million, according to the Research Council analysis.
Without venturing any answers, the report questions spending reductions in the Department of Social and Health Services, and also questions education-related spending proposals.
Many answers will not come until after the Legislature convenes for its 2018 session on January 8. Among Inslee’s proposals is a repeat of earlier failed attempts to impose a tax on carbon air emissions.
Sources: Washington Research Council, Business Institute of Washington
Safety tip of the week
Slow down and focus to prevent workplace injuries
We have a video to share this week that describes workplace accidents as “a cascade of events.” The video’s lesson is that changing any one of the events in the chain can prevent an injury or fatality.
Even companies with solid safety training and incentives can experience costly injuries to employees. In part, that’s because no two employees are guaranteed to react the same to a potential workplace hazard.
Despite safety precautions that a company may take, each employee ultimately decides how much risk is worth taking on the job. This explains why younger workers tend to get hurt disproportionately. Their injury rates are related to their limited work experiences, which makes them apt to take more chances than a seasoned employee.
Please watch the video Accident Cascade, share it in your workplace and consider talking about it at your next safety meeting. It uses several examples of accidents and how by slowing down and focusing on their work environment, employees can interrupt the cascade of events that typically results in accidents and worse.
WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than a half million learn about SAFEME
Since its launch by WRA 10 months ago, more than a half million visitors have watched the video promoting SAFEME, the free safety-related app produced in cooperation with the Department of Labor & Industries.
The app is geared toward training young and entry-level employees who tend to proportionately get hurt more on the job due to a lack of work experience and lack of knowledge about potential dangers in the workplace.
Watch the video here and download it as a resource with new employees and for safety meetings.
WRA diversity statement
It’s essential to have a holistic strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. We encourage everyone to consider having a plan that connects with diverse people; creates a diverse workforce; fosters an inclusive work environment where different perspectives are valued; partners to share time, talent, and resources with our staff and with communities; and communicates these values with others.
In principle and in practice, we value access to leadership opportunity regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, or professional level. The association strives to accomplish this by serving as a model where we are working to help our staff, our volunteer leaders, our members, and our community embrace these principles.