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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.


February 19 is Deadline for Bills

It’s getting busy! Each house of origin (Senate or House of Representatives) must pass bills out of their respective house by Wednesday, February 19, and send them on to the opposite house. Respective rules committees will have worked during the weekend to get bills out for consideration by their entire body. After February 19, the opposite house will have eight days to consider the bills and pass them out. If you are curious about all that a bill goes through, click here.

Please check our Action Alerts – they will ask you to urge your Legislator to bring specific bills to the floor for a vote. 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.

One Resolution of Note – In the Senate on Friday, February 14, Sen. Jeanne Darneille presented a resolution to recognize the League of Women Voters for its centennial birthday. Thank you for the recognition. We celebrate 100 years of important advocacy work and with your help, we are continuing to do just that through your efforts to connect with your legislators - Thank you to all of you!

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. 

If you think that you may have missed an earlier Action Alert – the alerts for this session can be found here.


A Once-in-a-decade Opportunity

Do you believe in increasing access to democracy, transparency in government processes, and maximizing people’s ability to give input? Do you believe if making things better before something goes wrong? If you answer yes, then you should support SHB 2575: Modernizing the Redistricting Commission by increasing transparency and accountability; and maximizing public input.

Three things you should know about SHB 2575 bill:

  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.

Make sure this bill passes the Washington House of Representatives. Email your legislators today with this pre-filled out letter.


Restore the Freedom to Support Voting Rights Restoration

The freedom to vote is fundamental to our democracy, and Washington is a leader in providing access to the ballot for all citizens. But barriers still remain, including the numerous hurdles facing citizens who have lost the freedom to vote due to a felony conviction.

SSB 6228, which would restore voting rights once someone has served their time, needs to be voted on in the Senate the next three days. Your Senator needs to know that there is strong support for this legislation. Please click here to send a message asking your Senator to support this bill.

Establish the Profession of Dental Therapist in Washington

Establishing dental therapists would alleviate a great health care need, particularly in rural areas. Only about 25% of adults and 50% of all children have access to dental care. 

This bill will improve access to dental care for many people who are locked out of the dental system, including children and adults without dental coverage and Indian health clinics in urban settings that are not within the tribal boundaries, providing culturally appropriate care to urban Indian populations as well as individuals who are publicly insured and under-insured. A dental therapist may only practice under the supervision of a licensed dentist and pursuant to a written practice plan contract with a supervising dentist. Message your house representative to pass HB 1317 today. 


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* Success for bills encouraging youth voting and citizen engagement and providing state support for election funding and outreach to underrepresented voters.

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

Campaign Finance & Government Ethics: *NEW UPDATES* Senate passes bill to fight foreign campaign interference, bills to close the revolving door 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, and safe transport and storage.

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 19 – Last day to consider (pass) bills in house of origin (5 p.m.).

February 28 – Last day to read in committee reports (pass bills out of committee and read them into the record on the floor) from opposite house, except House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.

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

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