Haler’s bill to help sick Hanford workers signed into law

‘Hanford workers will have more options and more hope than before,’ says Haler

Last week, Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, announced his retirement from the state House of Representatives after spending the past 14 years in the Legislature.

Today, however, Haler experienced what he called “one of the highlights of my legislative career” by participating in a bill-signing ceremony with Gov. Jay Inslee and others. The governor signed into law Haler’s bill to help sick Hanford workers.

“It’s funny how things work out. If I sat down and tried to imagine the perfect bill to end my legislative career, I’m not sure I could have scripted it any better,” said Haler, who spent much of his career working in the nuclear industry at Hanford. “This is such a fantastic and humbling way to finish my work in Olympia. It’s a legacy bill that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Haler’s legislation, House Bill 1723, creates a presumption for Hanford nuclear site workers that certain enumerated diseases and conditions qualify as occupational diseases for the purposes of industrial insurance coverage.

Haler introduced the bill last year but it stalled in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee. This year, the bill passed the House 74-21 and the Senate 35-14.

“Knowing that sick Hanford workers will now have more options than before; more hope than before – that is something I’m proud of,” said Haler. “This has been one of the highlights of my legislative career. I can’t think of a better way to finish my service to the community and individuals who have supported Hanford through the years than by turning around and supporting them in their time of need.”

The Legislature is expected to adjourn the 60-day 2018 legislative session Thursday, March 8.

Gov. Inslee signs Substitute House Bill No. 1723, March 7, 2018. Relating to the presumption of occupational disease for certain employees at the United States department of energy Hanford site. Primary Sponsor: Larry Haler

Rep. Larry Haler with King 5 Chief Investigative Reporter, Susannah Frame.


Washington State House Republican Communications