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Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.  


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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.


Deadlines are Approaching quickly

Now that bills are out of their policy committees in the house of origin – activity is hectic as bills are considered in House Appropriations and Senate Ways & Means. February 11 is the last day for bills to pass out of those fiscal committees as well as the Transportation committees. Committees worked this weekend, and things will be changing. House Appropriations considered a list of bills on Saturday, February 8. After February 11, bills will be in the respective Floor of each house, and the next deadline for bills to pass out of the house of origin is February 19.

Please check our Action Alerts – some are to the respective committees and will require your quick action as the fiscal committees must be approved by Tuesday. Also, check your favorite issue below to see if a bill you are supporting is still alive and needs particular attention to move it along.


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.


Opportunity of a Decade: Approve Redistricting Modernization

How our district lines are drawn affects every aspect of our democracy. To do it right, the redistricting process needs to be as transparent, accessible, and accountable to voters as possible — and now is the time to act. This is the only opportunity to update the Redistricting Commission for the 2021 cycle. Any updates after this session would not go into effect until 2031. The League of Women Voters has been a key partner in writing House Bill 2575.

This bill will:

• Improve access for voters and community members through increased public forums.

• Provide greater language access to non-English speakers to ensure all voters, regardless of racial identity or spoken language, can participate.

• Help commissioners give their important job the focus it deserves by appointing them earlier and paying them adequately.

As of Friday, February 7, SHB 2575 is sitting in the House Appropriation Committee and it must be voted out by Tuesday, February 11. We need urgent action to make sure it gets a hearing and a vote. Email your legislators in the Appropriation Committee today and ask them to vote for modernizing Washington’s redistricting process! 


Eliminate a Big Source of PFAS Pollution in our Water and Environment

House Bill 2265 will complete the removal of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foams. Cities and water districts support this because PFAS from previous uses of firefighting foams has contaminated municipal water systems. Firefighters support this because they are particularly exposed to these chemicals. Please click here to urge your representative to vote to eliminate this PFAS contamination source.

End Juvenile Solitary Confinement

Solitary confinement isn’t good for anyone, but it’s especially harmful to juveniles because their brains are still developing. Courts have concluded that juvenile solitary confinement constitutes torture, and it has been shown to cause serious, long-term harm. SSB 6112 prohibits the use of juvenile solitary confinement for the purpose of punishment and restricts the circumstances under a juvenile may be isolated from others for safety or other reasons. If your Senator is on the Senate Ways & Means Committee, please contact them to ask them to pass SSB 6112 out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.


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* State support for election funding, encourage youth voting and citizen engagement, 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 and fight foreign interference move out of committee, need your support now.

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

February 10 – Twitter Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. On Twitter, follow #AskWaLeg and #PuttingPeopleFirst Topics:  Affordable Housing, Healthcare, Economy and Jobs, Education, Transportation, Environmental Justice, Voting Rights (coordinated by FUSE)

February 11 – Special Elections.

March 10 – Presidential Primary. See here for what is different about this election.

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