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Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.  


Washington State Legislature Starts

Welcome to the League of Women Voters of Washington Legislative Newsletter! The Washington State Legislature 2019 session opens in Olympia tomorrow, January 14, and is scheduled to end April 28. This newsletter is published weekly on Sundays through the Legislative session, and will provide you ongoing updates and avenues to take action. 

The LWVWA Lobby Team is poised to take action on relevant bills in our key areas – Democracy, Social Policies, Education, Environment (Climate Change/Energy/Natural Resources) and Fair & Adequate Revenue. See the Legislative Agenda card for our full list of legislative issues with contact data for each Lobby Team Chair. 

We have a corps of 17 volunteer lobbyists who use League positions to examine, respond to, and inform the broader State League members on proposed legislation. LWVWA also contracts with Lobbyists Nancy Sapiro and Pam Crone to provide logistical and strategic advice.

This newsletter will provide future Action Alerts on issues LWVWA has identified a need for concerted action.  These Alerts will provide background information and an editable email sent to your own state Representatives and/or Senators on bills requiring critical input from the community.

In the Status and Actions Needed for Legislative Issues section below you can follow links to our Issue Chairs’ updates on the bills they are tracking to either support or oppose, as well as links to our Issue Papers which give a deeper overview into each Issue and what we expect for the upcoming session. You can also contact an Issue Chair to ask questions or volunteer to help!  

Calendar and Events is the final section you'll see weekly below for upcoming legislative process dates, as well as events you can share and attend. 

Another way to get information is TVW, Washington's public affairs network. The station provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of Washington State Legislature sessions and coverage of the Washington State Supreme Court and public affairs events. And as always, the Washington State Legislature website has links to helpful legislative information of all kinds. 

You are encouraged to invite others to take action by sharing the Legislative Newsletter subscription linkAction Alerts, and Calendar Events. Expanding the League's impact helps us to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy as a community! 

--Ann Murphy, LWVWA President and Action Chair


Status and Actions Needed for Legislative Issues

Please click on the areas of interest to you to see the status of bills that the Lobby Team is working on and what action is needed this week. The issue webpages include the Lobby Team contact information, League positions, and history of bills the League is tracking for this legislative session.

DEMOCRACY 

Elections, Campaign Finance, & Government Ethics: Improve access to the ballot, reduce the influence of special interest money, and increase transparency in government and politics.

Election Methods: Promote the adoption and implementation of election methods that maximize representation and citizen participation.

Election Security: Promote security, accuracy, auditability, and transparency in elections.

Census & Redistricting: Ensure the redistricting process is accessible and transparent with timeframes that enable input and strengthen results and support an accurate and complete 2020 Census.

SOCIAL POLICIES 

Economic & Social Justice: Ensure equality of opportunity, prevent and reduce poverty and promote fair policies for all struggling to realize their human potential.

Criminal Justice: Eradicate racial bias from the criminal justice system to uphold principles of fairness and due process of law.

Healthcare, Behavioral Health, & Reproductive Rights:  Ensure access for all residents to comprehensive, uniform and affordable physical and behavioral health care and reproductive services.

Housing & HomelessnessAchieve policies and funding necessary to address the homelessness crisis and assure an adequate supply of affordable housing for middle-to-low income people.

Gun SafetyLimit accessibility of firearms, including assault-style weapons and high capacity clips. Enact safe storage requirements for guns.

EDUCATION Ensure the state continues fully funding education. Support student health and safety legislation.

ENVIRONMENT 

Climate Change: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions, put a price on carbon, and enact measures to promote climate resiliency.

Energy: Protect the Washington Energy Independence Act, increase renewable power use and promote energy conservation in building and lifestyle practices.

Forests & Rivers: Protect our forests from destructive wildfires and logging practices. Protect our northwest public lands and rivers systems.

Shorelines, Wetlands, & Land Use: Protect our Shoreline Management, Growth Management & State Environmental Policy Acts from efforts to weaken them.

Transportation: Achieve a balanced transportation system that is integrated, adequate and effective, prioritizes maintenance and emphasizes emissions reduction and traffic reduction strategies such as public transportation.

Water: Continue improving the state and local governmental programs empowered to protect the quality and quantity of our water including municipal water, groundwater, and in-stream flows.

FAIR & ADEQUATE REVENUE Adopt fair revenue policies to adequately fund services and functions critical to the well-being of the people of our state.


Click here for a list of Lobby Team members and contact info.