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Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.  


Welcome to League Action! If you are a returning participant, thank you for your actions, and more opportunities are below. If you are new to this Legislative Newsletter, here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Support the League by donating to our Advocacy or Education funds here


It is now only two weeks from the February 22 cut off date when bills not necessary to implement the budget have to be passed out of their policy committee in order to be considered viable. While bills are still being heard, most of the focus for the next two weeks will be on committees voting on bills.

Please be aware of the possible effect the current weather situation might have on committee hearing schedules this week. You can check the current status of hearings at the Washington State Legislature website.


This Week's Alerts!

If you do nothing else, here are the most important actions you can take:


Support Alternative Voting Methods in Washington

The Local Options Bill (HB 1722 / SB 5708) will create uniformity in state law by allowing jurisdictions across the state to adopt Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) and expand voter choice. It is in committee in both houses, and will likely get a hearing in the House on February 19 or 20.

Click here to contact your legislators and urge them to give voters the chance to use a better voting method


Improve Behavioral Health Services in the Forensic Mental Health Care System

By court order, Washington is required to reduce the amount of time that people with behavioral health conditions sit in jail waiting for services and treatment. 

SB 5444 would align the law to be consistent with the requirements agreed to in the Trueblood settlement agreement. This bill is scheduled for executive session on February 12 at 8:00 am and needs to be voted onto the next committee. 

Click here to urge your Senator to support this bill if they are on the Behavioral Health Subcommittee


Status and Actions Needed for Other Legislative Priorities

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*NEW UPDATES* Improve access to the ballot, reduce the influence of special interest money, and increase transparency in government and politics. 

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

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

Census & Redistricting: *NEW UPDATES* 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*NEW UPDATES* Ensure equality of opportunity, prevent and reduce poverty and promote fair policies for all struggling to realize their human potential.

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

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

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

Gun Safety: *NEW UPDATES* Limit accessibility of firearms, including assault-style weapons and high capacity clips. Enact safe storage requirements for guns.

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

ENVIRONMENT 

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

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

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

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

Transportation: *NEW UPDATES* 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: *NEW UPDATES* 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 *NEW UPDATES* 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.



Other Sources of Information

TVW,Washington's public affairs network, provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of Washington State Legislature sessions and coverage of the Washington State Supreme Court and public affairs events. 

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. You can also help support the League's work by donating to the Advocacy or Education fund here.

Expanding the League's impact helps us to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy as a community!