State Senate Republicans, who have already proposed repealing the state’s never-implemented family-leave requirement, are now targeting Seattle’s sick-leave law.
The law, which took effect in September, requires businesses with at least five employees operating in Seattle to provide paid sick leave to workers. Seattle is one of three major cities in the United States to have the law.
Senate Bill 5728 would take Seattle’s law off the books by declaring that the Legislature has the sole responsibility for sick-leave requirements. Senate Bill 5726 would scale back Seattle’s law by prohibiting cities from requiring sick leave for employers based outside the city.
This is more of the same abuse of process we saw in 2011 from Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom—elected as a Democrat in 2010 before defecting to the GOP caucus—who jammed up the budget in the last days of the session. They didn't have the votes and pushed Olympia into an expensive special session that passed the Dems' budget anyway. Likewise, this time around, Tom's power-grab gives him the ability let the GOP try overturning Seattle's sick-leave law—a law they will never muster the votes to overturn in both houses and will never get the signature of Governor Jay Inslee to approve. This is just gumming up the cogs of government, wasting time, introducing bills that won't pass this session and never will.
Republicans are always the ones braying about government waste. Tom is always riding on his high horse about bipartisanship. But this is pointless partisan politics that pushes us closer to another special session that could costs taxpayers thousands of dollars a day and can drag on for months.