March 23, 2010

Governor signs bill expanding shared leave

Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday (March 23) signed into law ESSB 6724 to raise the cap on how much shared leave donations an employee can receive.

ESSB 6724 raises the cap to 522 days. It would help longtime employees facing the need for more than the current limit of 261 total shared leave days.

The bill folds in the concept from two WFSE/AFSCME-initiated bills (SB 6695 and HB 3063). Ecology worker Andy McMillan, who has battled bone marrow cancer for five years while working as much as he can, inspired it.

McMillan was on hand for the bill signing. The governor congratulated McMillan for the “legacy” the new law leaves. Joining McMillan were Federation President Carol Dotlich, Vice President Sue Henricksen and Federation Lobbyist Alia Griffing.

ESSB 6724 is the fourth major expansion of the shared leave law that the Federation initiated and got passed into law in 1989. In the past 21 years, the shared leave law won by the Federation has helped hundreds if not thousands of state employees who are seriously ill or injured, who are caring for ill or injured relatives, who are called to service in the uniformed services, who are responding to Katrina-like state of emergencies anywhere in the U.S. or who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

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