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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


Legislative action completed a significant milestone this past week with the March 13 cut-off for bills to move out of their house of origin. A plentiful number of Bills Passed Cutoff (as of March 14), and have already started to make their way through the opposite chamber's committee hearings and action on respective floors.
 
The next cut-off date is just a couple weeks away: April 3 is the last day to pass bills out of committee of their opposite house, and to the floor for a vote. The only exception to this are bills in the House fiscal committees, the Senate Ways & Means Committee, and the Senate Transportation committees which have to be passed by April 9. Upcoming important fiscal dates approach as well with the Revenue Forecast to be released on March 20, followed by the House budget proposal expected on March 25, and the Senate's budget proposal soon after.

Action Alerts and the Legislative Priority Issues below will keep you informed on how to take action in the upcoming race to the end of Session!


This Week's Alerts!

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


Reduce Barriers to Societal Re-entry 

A criminal conviction can prevent people from finding a job, applying for housing, or even obtaining a professional license. Confronted with these barriers people emerging from the criminal justice system can find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty, unable to move forward with their lives when they most want to. The New Hope Act (HB 1041) offers people a fresh start by streamlining the process for vacating criminal convictions. 

This bill is scheduled for a public hearing on March 21 at 10:00 am before the Senate Committee on Law & Justice. Click here to share your support!


Defend Our Native Orcas from Extinction

Join the League in supporting five bills scheduled for public hearings this week designed to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales from threats, and increase their access to Chinook Salmon. These bills will give this species the best chance for rebounding in population in the coming years.

Click here to send an email to your legislators to support these important bills. 


Protect Our Communities from Avoidable Train Explosions

Volatile crude oil has been the cause of disastrous train explosions and fires, but it can be stabilized by removing the volatile natural gasses to a pressure per inch (psi) of below 9, at which it is no longer volatile.

Please click here to contact the House Environment & Energy Committee to support ESSB 5579 which would require this simple step to protect our communities.  


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* Work on Voting Rights continues. 

Election Methods: 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 Rebalancing the Washington State Tax Structure.

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!