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Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.  


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It’s A Wrap!


2020 Legislative Session Finishes with Governor Paring Spending by $235M

Once the Legislature adjourned on March 12, 2020, the bills that had passed both chambers of the legislature were on the Governor’s desk for his action. And at that same time, Governor Inslee’s attention was consumed with responding to the coronavirus pandemic in our state. April 3 was the deadline for the Governor’s action. The economic changes in those three weeks have resulted in vetoes of bills and budget in order to reduce expenses.

Even the work to pare expenses before Legislators adjourned was not enough to compensate for the new unemployment claims and a now uncertain revenue stream. There will undoubtedly be a sharp drop in revenue due to our reliance on sales and gas taxes to fund state programs. The Governor made the difficult decision to cut new programs and make reductions in other places. Read the complete story here and see our Revenue Web Page for more details. 

Please check in on our web pages (links below) to see the final result of bills the LWVWA supported or opposed ... and in some cases, what comes next. 

What are next steps now that session has ended?
This is our last scheduled Legislative Newsletter for this session. We may send Action Alerts on urgent issues when warranted throughout the rest of the year

If you found the Legislative Newsletter helpful to your ability to act during the legislative session, please consider a donation to our Advocacy program.  

We now move into the interim before the start of an all new 2021 Legislative Session on Monday, January 11.  Our Issue Chairs will be working to be ready for the next session. If you are interested and passionate about one of our issues, please reach out to the Issue Chair named on the linked pages below.

This Week's Action Alert!

There are no Action Alerts this week. Thank you for your responses during this past legislative session.


Status and Actions Needed for Legislative Priorities

Did you follow a specific issue that the League did? Please click on your area(s) of interest to see what happened to those bills that a specific Issue Chair has worked on this session. 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* Bills encouraging youth voting and citizen engagement and providing state support for election funding PASS!

Census & Redistricting: *NEW UPDATES* Redistricting reform work moves to the Commission: Join a Speak Up School, draw maps, and testify in 2021! 

Campaign Finance & Government Ethics: *NEW UPDATES* Bill to fight foreign campaign interference PASSES! 

Election Security: *NEW UPDATES* Bill to improve election security breach reporting requirements PASSES!

FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE & ITS EFFECTS

Climate Change: *NEW UPDATES* Several important climate victories PASS, and with more climate work is still needed!

Energy: *NEW UPDATES* Community solar, zero-emission vehicles, and grid reliability PASS!

NATURAL RESOURCES: Protect and restore:

Forests & Rivers: *NEW UPDATES* Endangered fish protection and motorized suction dredge mining ban PASS! 

Water: *NEW UPDATES* Four bills protecting the quality and quantity of our water supply PASS!

ENSURING SOCIAL JUSTICE

Criminal Justice: *NEW UPDATES*  Bills prohibiting juvenile solitary confinement and restricting the use of private prisons PASS!

Economic Justice: *NEW UPDATES* Bill to establish a task force to improve and promote equity in access to education, housing, and employment PASSES!

Education: *NEW UPDATES* ESSB 5395, Comprehensive Sexual Health Education, PASSES! 

Gun Safety: *NEW UPDATES* Some sensible measures PASS — more work to do next session!

Housing & Homelessness: *NEW UPDATES* Record levels of investments in affordable housing and services for people experiencing homelessness PASS! Some bills vetoed in budget cuts.

Healthcare, Behavioral Health, & Reproductive Rights: *NEW UPDATES* Capping out-of-pocket cost of Insulin and Protecting Patient Care PASS!

ESTABLISHING FAIR REVENUE 

Revenue: *NEW UPDATES* No significant changes were made during the 2020 session to the state tax structure. Budget cuts made as part of COVID-19 pandemic.

Transportation: *NEW UPDATES* Still awaiting the outcome of I-976; no major changes to the transportation package will be made until that is known. Budget cuts made as part of COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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