2022 Legislative Agenda

Washington’s people and communities face huge challenges. The COVID pandemic has undermined health and economic security, exposing the harm caused by decades of disinvestment in public services and by the racism, sexism, and economic inequality embedded in our structures. While the wealth of the top 1% soars and many highly-paid professionals prosper, frontline workers face daily risk, many small businesses have closed, and families teeter on the brink of economic disaster.  

Our state must invest NOW to prevent further damage and begin undoing deeply entrenched inequality. By strengthening the core pillars of our economy – including child care, health care, educational opportunity, economic security, and our public revenue system – we can diminish economic, racial and gender inequity.

Together, we can build a state where all our people and communities thrive. 

 

These bills are our top priorities for Washington’s 2022 Legislative Session.

Progressive Revenue | Early Learning and Care | Health Care Access

Paid Family and Medical Leave | Partner-Led Support Agenda

A Just Tax Structure for Ample Investment 

Many Washington workers, families, and small businesses struggle to pay for food and rent, while the wealthiest individuals and corporations make record profits. Tax reform is one tool to add fairness to our regressive tax system, provide funds to help families and small businesses get through these hard times, and jump start a recovery that provides opportunity and healthy communities for all.

Washington needs to increase investments in core pillars of our economy, but not on the backs of working people through regressive taxes. Taxing concentrated wealth is a step toward transforming Washington’s regressive and insufficient tax structure.

Learn more about the progressive revenue bills we are advocating for this session:

Wealth Tax (HB 1406, SB 5426) - A new 1% property tax on financial intangible property of the ultra-wealthy, such as stocks and bonds, would raise billions of dollars to reinvest in healthy, resilient communities. 

Estate Tax reform (HB 1465): Closing loopholes and enhancing progressivity in Washington’s estate tax would help address inequities in intergenerational wealth and the racial wealth gap. 

Updates:

NOTE: Revenue bills are necessary to implement the budget, therefore not subject to the same cut-offs as other policy bills. Final decisions on revenue bills are likely to be made late in the legislative session.

Check back for bill updates as the legislative session progresses.

For more information on the Wealth Tax, click here.

To read more about the importance of a more fair tax code in rebuilding Washington’s economyclick here.

Amply Funded Child Care

Child care and early learning are critical to child development, family wellbeing, and business prosperity. Yet even before the pandemic, child care was in crisis. Our state’s economic recovery depends on quality, affordable child care, with well compensated teachers and caregivers, available to all working parents and their kids.

We must expand and stabilize our subsidy structure and invest in:

  • COVID health & safety supplies and reopening assistance
  • Compensation and health care for childcare teachers
  • Affordability for families

 

Updates:

Check back for bill updates as the legislative session progresses.

Health Care Access

Health care is a human right. But high costs and insurance based on employment, age, and immigration status block access to health care for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians. COVID has exacerbated disparities. We must make health care more accessible in the short-term, as we also push towards larger health care system transformation that provides quality care for all and reins in cost.

Learn more about the health care bills we are supporting this session:

Immigrant health care access (budget strategy): Creating a Medicaid look-alike program will help erase disparities by ensuring access to health coverage for low-income immigrants who are disproportionately uninsured due to federal restrictions  

Keep Our Care Act (SB 5688): Mergers and acquisitions between health care entities like hospitals and provider organizations are driving up patient costs and concentrating enormous revenue for health industry giants – without improving health outcomes or quality. Regulating consolidations would help hold big health systems accountable and maintain patient access to care.  

Prescription Drug Affordability Board (SB 5532/HB 1671): Creating a PDAB would drive down outrageous pharmaceutical costs, hold drug companies accountable, and rein in overall health spending by creating an upper price limit for overpriced drugs and fining manufacturers for unsupported price increases.

Surprise billing (HB 1688): Aligning state law and the federal No Surprises Act will help protect patients from unexpected charges for out-of-network health care services. 

Updates:

Check back for bill updates as the legislative session progresses.

Fair and Safe Workplaces

All workers have a right to living wages, safety at work, freedom from discrimination, the right to organize, and time to protect their own health, care for family, and engage in community life.  

Washington’s PFML program has helped over 250,000 workers and families maintain economic security while coping with a serious health crisis or welcoming a new child since 2020. We can make modest improvements to ensure the program equitably serves vulnerable workers and those who lost work during pandemic shutdowns.

Learn more about the bill we are supporting to expand and improve Washington’s PFML program:

Paid Family & Medical Leave access improvements (SB 5649): Allowing advance applications, continuation of caregiving leaves following the family member’s death, and other technical improvements will provide more equitable access to PFML and enhance economic stability and health of Washington workers, families, and businesses.  

Updates:

January 6

SB 5694 PFML access improvements First hearing scheduled

To view our SB 5694 Factsheet, click here.

 

Check back for more bill updates as the legislative session progresses.

Partner-led Support Agenda

EOI supports additional policy advances led by allied communities and organizations to undo racist structures, promote equitable access to educational opportunity, and build lifelong economic security for all.

Reform Legal Financial Obligations (HB 1412): Allowing low-income Washingtonians to seek relief from exorbitant and unpayable legal debts would help them successfully re-entering society after release from prison and address racial and class inequities embedded in our policing and incarceration systems. 

Washington Future Fund (SB 5752/HB 1861): Establish Baby Bonds.

TANF Diaper subsidies (HB 1947/SB 5838): Add diaper subsidies to TANF grants for families with young children 

SB 5600: Expand apprenticeship pathways, including wraparound supports and degree access

SB 5064, HB 1486: Allow Unemployment Insurance when work schedule changes are incompatible with child care  

Promote housing security  

Updates:

Check back for bill updates as the legislative session progresses.