This week, lawmakers in the state House stood with Washington’s working families and passed the legislature’s first paid sick and safe days bill. The bill’s prime sponsor, Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma), along with her colleagues shared rousing testimony in support of paid sick and safe days.
Here are some of our favorite quotes.
“The Centers for Disease Control have told us that upwards of 80 percent of norovirus that’s transmitted across the nation is from sick food service workers. Now a lot of people don’t know what norovirus is Mr. Speaker but just let me tell you, it’s a gift you don’t want to be given. The thing about it is, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can do something about it.” – Representative Laurie Jinkins
“I rise in support of sick and safe leave. Sometimes we get so focused on the nuts and bolts of the legislation that we forget about the real people that it’s impacting so let’s put a face to the people that’ were talking about right now. I want to tell you about a woman named Jennifer, a restaurant worker in east King County, who went home one night and was almost beaten to death.” – Representative Tana Senn
“I rise in support of this bill, this very personal bill to me. When I got my diagnosis last February, one of the first things that ran through my mind was with cancer how many days I was going to have to be off of work. My wife is a homemaker and if I don’t work no one gets paid, the family has no income.” – Representative Roger Freeman
“This bill reminds me less of those other bills whether it’s minimum wage or other things then it does a bill that’s very near and dear to my heart, that’s now the law of the land, and…went into effect 20 years ago and that’s the Americans with Disabilities Act. You know when the ADA was being debated in Congress over 20 some years ago you heard a lot of the same arguments from business. You may have even heard a line like a job with no wheelchair ramp is better than no job at all. But we know that’s not true.” - Representative Cyrus Habib
You can see video of the representatives’ full remarks over on EOI’s blog.