It’s the first quarter of the year which means the Washington State Legislature is in session. We are currently halfway through the 2023 session and as we expected at the beginning not much is going on that affects our members.
This year there are only two bills we are tracking. The main bill we are following House Bill 1570 will require Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to pay into the state unemployment insurance system to provide UI benefits to their drivers in case they are ever needed again like they were in the beginning of the pandemic. This bill also creates a pilot program where drivers can opt-in to Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave system. This bill is very good for all rideshare drivers and we expect it to pass easily.
The other bill we are watching, Senate Bill 5448, deals with alcohol delivery from restaurants. In the bills current form apps like DoorDash and UberEats will no longer be able to deliver alcohol from restaurants but will still be able to deliver alcohol from grocery, liquor and convenience stores. We surveyed our members in January on this topic and found that most of you felt that alcohol delivery wasn’t a large part of your work, and since this is only dealing with restaurants, we haven’t taken a stance on this bill. While this bill has passed out of Committee it is unknown if this bill will even be brought to the Senate floor for a vote.
We will update this post periodically during the session as things develop, so check back here for any changes.