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Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.  


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


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 started.

The 2020 Legislative session is now a week old with the first week providing an interesting mixture of a seemingly slow start to substantive work (due to celebrations and Gov State of the State), yet still a frenetic feeling.  

The celebratory events included the historic ceremonial pieces in the House with the installation of Laurie Jinkins as the first female and open lesbian to be elected Speaker of the House. Many participants wore the suffragist white to honor the occasion. The Governor provided his State of the State address. 

The substance included the Senate quickly passing environmental bills on emissions and banning plastic bags – and those moved to House. The Governor made policy requests in areas of gun safety, vaping, and housing. Budget hearings were held and both houses seem to be disciplined to prioritize bills in budget requests.

All activity is especially important in this short session where there is not a lot of money to allocate. And cut-off dates will loom quickly. Feb 7 (the first cut-off) is the last day to read in committee reports (pass bills out of committee and read them into the record on the floor) in house of origin, except House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.

— Ann Murphy, LWVWA Lobby Team Chair


This Week's Action Alerts!

If you do nothing else this week, these are the most important actions you can take. Responding to these alerts is a great way for you to have a big impact with a very small investment of time.

Support Transparency and Accountability

Do you believe in increasing access to democracy, transparency in government processes, and maximizing people’s ability to give input? If you answer yes then you should support HB 2575: Modernizing the Redistricting Commission, by increasing transparency and accountability, and maximizing public input.

Three things you should know about HB 2575:

1. Makes our commission even better by getting started earlier, creating full-time commissioners, and defining the public input process.

2. Increases trust in the commission’s map drawing process by publishing priorities early, giving access to all their data and requiring comprehensive reporting.

3. Gives people with limited English a better chance to engage with the commission by requiring translation services and notices in major languages.

If your representative is on the House State Government & Tribal Relations Committee, send an email today.


Support access to child care for minor parents working toward achieving a high-school education.

SB 6255 is a bill to support access to child care for parents who are attending high school or working toward completion of a high school equivalency certificate. It would reduce barriers minor parents face  child care, transportation, and cash assistance  while pursuing their education. If your Senator is on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee, click here to urge your representative to pass this bill out of Committee.


Democracy Lobby Day 2020 – January 21: 9 am – 3 pm, in Olympia, Washington  – is now full! Sign up for the wait list.


Status and Actions Needed for Legislative Priorities

Are you interested in following a specific issue that the League is? Please click on your area(s) of interest to see the status of bills that a specific Issue Chair is working on and what action is needed this week. The issue web pages include the Lobby Team contact information, League positions, and history of bills the League is tracking for this Legislative session. Please realize that you do not need to follow all of these – only select your area of interest and know that there will be others selecting other areas.

DEMOCRACY 

Elections: *NEW UPDATES* Encourage youth voting and citizen engagement, improve access to the ballot, and get rid of advisory votes.

Census & Redistricting: *NEW UPDATES* Create a transparent, accessible, and representative process.

Campaign Finance & Government Ethics: *NEW UPDATES* Bills to close the revolving door, provide more flexible funding for the PDC, and limit foreign interference in elections are already on the move.

Election Security: *NEW UPDATES* Ensure secure, accurate, transparent elections.

FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE & ITS EFFECTS

Climate Change: *NEW UPDATES* Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enact measures to promote climate resiliency.

Energy: *NEW UPDATES* Advocate for clean and renewable sources.

NATURAL RESOURCES: Protect and restore:

Forests & Rivers: *NEW UPDATES* Protect our forests from wildfires and preserve as important carbon sinks. Protect our free flowing rivers from dams, disturbance, and depletion. 

Water: *NEW UPDATES* Protect the quality and quantity of our water supply.

ENSURING SOCIAL JUSTICE

Criminal Justice: *NEW UPDATES*  Eradicate racial bias and uphold principles of fairness.

Economic Justice: *NEW UPDATES* Create equitable outcomes and opportunities for all; prevent and reduce poverty.

Education: *NEW UPDATES* Fully fund K-12 and student support services.

Gun Saftey: *NEW UPDATES* Enact sensible gun safety measures.

Housing & Homelessness: *NEW UPDATES* Ensure affordable housing for all.

Healthcare, Behavioral Health, & Reproductive Rights: *NEW UPDATES* Ensure affordable and accessible healthcare for all.

ESTABLISHING FAIR REVENUE 

Revenue: *NEW UPDATES* Balanced, fair, adequate, flexible tax structure.

Transportation: *NEW UPDATES* Achieve balanced, appropriately funded, environmentally sound multi-modal transportation system.

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


Other Sources of Information

TVWWashington'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 link, Action Alerts, and Calendar Events. You can also help support the League's work by donating to the Advocacy or Education fund here



Calendar and Events

January 21 – Democracy Lobby Day 2020, co-sponsored by LWVWA and Fix Democracy First.

January 30 – Environmental Lobby Day 2020, 8:30 am-5:30 pm, Temple Beth Hatfiloh, 201 8th Ave SE, Olympia, WA, sponsored by the Environmental Priorities Coalition. Questions: tony@wecprotects.org

Washington State Legislature – Agendas, schedules, and calendars for 2020 Session.