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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.


Deadlines Abound – Immediate Actions Needed! 

Those bills that passed out of policy committees by the end of Friday, February 28, are on to the next step. Bills will have until end of the day on Monday, March 2, to pass out of House fiscal committees, Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.

Please check our Action Alerts TODAY! Be sure to act quickly — status of bills can change daily and our Alerts may no longer be timely. You will be asked to urge your Legislator to move specific bills out of the House fiscal committees, Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees. We anticipate sending a second round of Action Alerts on Tuesday, based on actions in the Legislature on Monday.

Proposed budgets have been released, and you can review them here, under Documents and Lists. Click on legislative proposals and then you will see the operating, transportation and capital budget proposals.

Check your favorite issue below to see if a bill you are supporting is still alive and needs particular attention to move it along. Additionally, some web pages may have Action Alerts in addition to what appears in the newsletter.

This Week's Action Alerts!

If you do nothing else TODAY, 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. Please act  TODAY! 

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


Last Chance for a Decade: Update Redistricting

We have five days to convince our Senators to update the critical redistricting process. If the Senate doesn't pass ESHB 2575 by Friday, it will be 10 years before any changes can take effect.

ESHB 2575 was researched and drafted by the League of Women Voters. Without us, our Legislators would not have considered any changes to the redistricting process. Passing ESHB 2575 accentuates the vital role of the League. Passing ESHB 2575 helps the citizens of Washington have a larger voice in the process to draw our district lines.

We need your help. We have created a NEW letter to go to Senators. Even if you wrote before, please write again. If you didn't send a letter before, NOW is your chance. Our goals is to reach every Senator and have over 300 people write. Don't wait. Click to the Action Alert now. Click here to urge your Senator to vote for 2575: Redistricting updates.


Promote Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for Marginalized Populations

Even though our state has one of the fastest-growing economies, many vulnerable populations are still left behind and struggle to keep up with everyday financial demands. The poverty task force established by the state legislature last year collected feedback to understand where state agencies can take action to undo decades-long structural racism in terms of housing, education, employment, and public assistance. This bill supports a centralized approach unifying multiple state agencies to work toward a universal goal – solving the challenges of equity, diversity and inclusion to meet the needs of marginalized communities. We should all have the opportunity to enjoy accessibility to the rewards of a vibrant economy. Urge your Senator to move E2SHB 1783 to the Senate floor for a yes vote.

Restrict High Capacity Magazines

Though the High Capacity Magazine bill did not make the cutoff due to many obstructionist amendments, the issue is still alive in the House Finance Committee. HB 2947 restricts ammunition magazines to 15 rounds and includes a buy-back program for existing high capacity ammunition magazines. Ten states have magazine restrictions which have been approved in the courts. With every additional mass shooting, it is clear that this is a public safety issue that should not take an initiative or years to pass. Please call and email your representatives to pass this bill through committee and put it to a vote on the floor. This must happen before Monday, March 2.

Support Climate Action with Sustainable Farming

SB 5947 addresses climate change while also supporting Washington’s farming community to engage in voluntary sustainable farming practices. Urge your representatives to pass the bill 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* Bill to fight foreign campaign interference moves forward, PDC request bill amended to remove most important component and add restrictions.

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* and *ACTION ALERT* 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 Safety: *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.

If you are curious about all that a bill goes through, click here.



Calendar and Events

March 2 – Last day to read in opposite house committee reports (pass bills out of committee and read them into the record on the floor) from House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.

March 6 – Last day to consider (pass) opposite house bills (5 pm). After 5 pm on the 54th day, only initiatives, alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, matters that affect state revenue, messages pertaining to amendments, differences between the houses, and matters incident to the interim and closing of the session may be considered.

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

March 12 – Last day allowed for regular session.

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