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LEGISLATURE BEGINS MONDAY, DESPITE CONFLICT

By Martin Gibbins, Climate Change and Energy Issue Chair

The violence in our nation’s capitol reverberated in state capitols throughout the country, including Washington. Protesters in Olympia, some of them armed, stormed through the gates to the governor’s mansion. A prefiled bill, SB 5038, addresses this by prohibiting weapons – not just firearms – from the capitol campus and at demonstrations and rallies at public locations.
 
Despite the conflict, the Washington state legislature 2021 session will still open on Monday, Jan. 11. All hearings, meetings and voting will be virtual this year. This newsletter is published weekly on Sundays through the legislative session and will provide ongoing updates and avenues to take action.


HOW TO USE THIS NEWSLETTER

This newsletter will provide future Action Alerts on issues where LWVWA has identified a need for concerted action. These alerts will provide background information and an editable email sent to your own state representatives and senators on bills requiring critical input from the community.
 
If you find a bill that interests you, provide written and oral testimony yourself at a committee hearing by following these instructions. Select the type of testimony, the House or the Senate, the committee date and time, then the bill number.
 
Finally, it is most effective if you speak for yourself and explain your personal interest in the bill. The LWVWA Issue Chair will provide testimony for the League in accordance with League positions.
 
In the LWVWA Issues section below, you can follow links to our Issue Chairs’ updates on the bills they are tracking to either support or oppose, as well as links to our Issue Papers which give a deeper overview into each Issue and what we expect for the upcoming session. You can also contact an Issue Chair to ask questions or volunteer to help.
 
Invite others to take action by sharing this newsletter and encourage them to subscribe at this link. Expanding the League's impact helps us empower voters and defend democracy as a community! 


LWVWA ISSUES

The LWVWA supports the following League Issues in the current Washington state legislative session. Click on an Issue to learn more, including current and upcoming bills affecting the Issue.

DEMOCRACY

Election | Implement citizen initiative review and restore voting rights for returning citizens.

Election Security | Ensure secure, accurate and transparent elections.
 
Money in Politics | Reduce influence of special interest money in politics, provide public financing for campaigns for some offices, ensure transparency, restore citizen confidence, and prevent conflicts of interest.
 
Redistricting and Census | Speak Up for districts you believe in, and learn how Speak Up Schools is making the 2021 Washington Redistricting Commission accountable.
   
FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTS
 
Climate Change | Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enact measures to promote climate resiliency.
 
Energy | Advocate for clean and renewable sources.

Natural Resources | Protect natural resources that are impacted by climate change and provide resilience.

Transportation | A new transportation budget will be adopted this year and emphasis will be on reducing the net impact of transportation systems on climate change.

ENSURING SOCIAL JUSTICE

Criminal Justice | Address the impact of systemic racism and advocate for a criminal justice system that is equitable, transparent and evidence-based.
 
Social and Racial Justice (coming soon) | Expand economic, political and social opportunities and protections for historically marginalized groups.
 
Gun Safety | Support measures to increase public safety and reduce suicides.
 
Housing and Homelessness | Emphasis will be on obtaining increased investment in affordable housing and retention of, at minimum, current levels of rental assistance and other homelessness prevention programs.
 
Health Care, Behavioral Health and Reproductive Rights | Ensure access for all residents to comprehensive, uniform and affordable physical and behavioral health care and reproductive services.

IMPROVE EDUCATION

Public Education | Fully fund the resources school districts need.

ESTABLISHING FAIR REVENUE

Adequate and Fair Revenue and Budget | Emphasis this year will be on achieving new, fair revenue to support unmet needs.

CALENDAR

OTHER WAYS TO FOLLOW THE STATE LEGISLATURE

  • Washington State Legislature website, leg.wa.gov.
  • Washington state's public affairs TV network, TVW.org.