2012 was a very active year for Healthy Workplace Campaign State Coordinators and Citizen Lobbyists. In all there were 17 bills active in 12 states. New York State provided the most excitement as the veteran volunteer Coordinators collected the names of 84 Assemblymembers to be Co-Sponsors of the Healthy Workplace Bill (A 4258). Only 76 votes are required to pass a bill in the Assembly. The Labor Committee chair blocked access to a floor vote at the last minute. Great progress was made in Massachusetts by the bills’ enthusiastic sponsors. A great public committee hearing was held. State budget issues seemed to stall the bill at session’s end. In Washington state, both House and Senate hearings were held for the two companion bills, but neither committee voted.
Interest in the HWB crosses partisan party lines. West Virginia Coordinators testified at two committee hearings. Utah had a version of the bill up for consideration again.
In most states, the 2-year legislative session begins anew in January 2013. Our Coordinators will be working with elected Representatives and Senators in nearly every state in 2013-14. Eventually, lawmakers will have to sever their bonds to business lobbyists long enough to pass this bill to provide workers protection against severe health-harming abuse in the workplace.
Here’s the rundown of 2012 activity.
NY: A 4258 & S4289 NY Details
MA: HB 2310 & S916 MA Details
WA: HB 1928 & SB 5789 WA Details
WV: HB 3015 WV Details
VT: S 52 VT Details
UT: HB 196 UT Details
CT: SB 154 CT Details
IL: HB 942 IL Details
WI: AB 364 & SB 277 WI Details
MN: SF 1352 & HF 1701 MN Details
MD: SB 600 MD Details
HI: SB 2847 HI Details