Chandler’s essential worker measure reduced to ‘title-only’ partisan bill

‘We can and must do something, not nothing, now,’ Chandler says


House Democrats have sponsored a “title-only” bill which takes concepts from Rep. Bruce Chandler’s bill to provide employers with a stable, legal workforce, yet directs no plan of action.

House Bill 2241, sponsored solely by Democrats, states “the Legislature intends to develop strategies to help employers obtain a legal and stable workforce, and to ensure that farm workers have fair and safe housing and working conditions.” The bill does not include any action by the state.

“We can, and must, do something, not nothing, now to prevent employers from experiencing a labor shortage at critical times in their business operations,” Chandler said. “Employers cried out for help and leadership at the public hearing on House Bill 1896. I don’t think the majority party realizes the importance of this legislation and what it would do for our economic vitality. Instead, their solution is a do-nothing bill with rhetoric instead of action.”

House Bill 1896, sponsored by Chandler, would provide access to an adequate, stable, legal workforce for Washington businesses. Chandler noted that two to five percent of agricultural production is left in the fields because only 75 to 80 percent of the work force needed is available.

Chandler said he was disappointed that partisan politics have prevented an important bill from moving forward. His bill has not been scheduled for a vote in committee and the deadline for House bills to be voted out of House committees is Friday, Feb. 20.

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Washington State House Republican Communications