HOTLINE 2/4/18

This is the Federation Hotline for late Sunday, Feb. 4, and Monday, Feb. 5.

We had two important hearings at Saturday’s House Appropriations Committee hearing.

Business community gangs up our priority outsourcing transparency bill

Our priority bill to bring transparency and accountability when a state agency wants to contract out state employee work has a bull’s-eye on its back as the business community lined up to try to kill it at a rare House hearing Saturday.

This is our Taxpayer Protection Act (2SHB 1851) that actually passed the House in 2017 on an overwhelming vote of 69-28. But businesses were relatively quiet then because they knew the Republican majority in the Senate would kill it. And they did just that after one Senate hearing.

But now that the Senate majority has changed, the business community is coming out of the woodwork in opposition because they can’t count on the Senate Republicans to kill the bill anymore.

At the House Appropriations Committee hearing on Saturday (Feb. 3), the Big 7 heavy hitters in the business community all lined up to oppose this good bill in the face of the Federation’s strong – and renewed – arguments for the bill.

AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE)-initiated Taxpayer Protection Action (TPA) would bring “good business practices” to the decision-making process when a state agency considers outsourcing work, said Jessie Turner, the Federation’s TPA lobbyist.

“To be clear, the bill does not mandate a decision about whether or not to contract out,” Turner told the committee. “The bill simply asks the agency to document the decision-making process....

“We support the goals of this bill, offering a consistent approach and analysis for each state agency when making critical decisions.”

The business organizations that at opposed the bill at Saturday’s hearing were:

Associated General Contractors of Washington; Washington Construction Industry Council; American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington; American Institute of Architects; Associated Builders and Contractors; Independent Business Association; and Architects and Engineers Legislative Council.

These and other business interests are also working behind the scenes to kill the Taxpayer Protection Act (2SHB 1851).

The bill must pass the House Appropriations Committee by Tuesday, Feb. 6 – unless those corporate special interests get their way.

Why are these powerful corporate interests doing this?

It’s clear they want to profit from increased outsourcing — and use their wealth and power to achieve that goal.

But they won’t get their way if Federation members do what they do best: Work to pass 2SHB 1851, the Taxpayer Protection Act.


  • Call the Legislative Message Center at 1-800-562-6000 and urge your two House members to bring 2SHB 1851 to a vote of the House Appropriations Committee and then to pass the bill on the floor of the House.

It’s not about protecting corporate special interests. It’s about transparency and accountability in state contracting.

Part-timers bill lauded at Appropriations Committee

Also Saturday (Feb. 3), Federation Lobbyist Matt Zuvich urged the House Appropriations Committee to keep the ball rolling on the bill to add all part-time state employees to state civil service.

“It’s a worker-friendly bill,” Zuvich said of HB 2669.

The Senate version of the bill, SB 6184, has a hearing Monday (Feb. 5) in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

That’s it for now.