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ACTION ALERTS

Click on the links below to learn more about bills currently being reviewed in the state legislature. You can "take action" on these most pressing bills by sending a suggested, editable email to legislators, encouraging them to vote to promote the League issue in question. There is also still time to act on these current Actions.
 
Limit the use of solitary confinement

Hundreds of people in Washington prisons are being held in solitary confinement, and a disproportionate number of those individuals are people of color. Although the United Nations recognizes that solitary confinement for more than 15 consecutive days constitutes torture, people in Washington prisons can be held for 30 days or even longer. SB 5413 acknowledges the severe negative psychological impacts of solitary confinement and mandates that it should only be used in emergency circumstances for short periods of time. If your senator is on the Human Services, Reentry and Rehabilitation Committee, please ask him or her to vote yes on SB 5413.

Support the local options bill to allow Ranked-Choice Voting

HB 1156 would allow local jurisdictions the option to use Ranked-Choice Voting, or RCV, for local elections. LWVWA positions on representative government support alternative election systems, including RCV. RCV offers voters more choice, eliminates the spoiler effect, encourages more positive, issued-focus campaigns, and may lower election and campaign costs when jurisdictions choose to eliminate primaries. And ask your representatives to support HB 1156, Increasing representation and voter participation in local elections. HB 1156 will be heard in the House State Government and Tribal Relations committee at 1:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 8. You can also register before noon on Monday to support for this bill by selecting “Pro” for your position.

Stand up to protect our election workers from harassment and threats

Across our country, there has been an unconscionable rise of threats towards election workers, from elected positions to our front line workers, counting and tabulating ballots, all selflessly doing their civic duty to uphold our democracy. These threats are not only to individuals, but to the functioning of our democracy. SB 5148 will significantly increase the punishment for such crimes and send the message that continued violence in response to disappointing election results will not be tolerated. Please ask your senator to support this bill now.


AS CUTOFF LOOMS, JOIN ACTION EVENTS

By Alison McCaffree, Census and Redistricting Issue Chair

The legislative session is in full swing and policy committee cutoff is a week away on Feb. 15. Attention now shifts to passing bills through the fiscal committees. We are watching several different revenue proposals which are being considered, including wealth tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax. Please respond to the action alerts above and stay tuned for more action.

Speak Up Schools kick off in February. Speak Up Schools are workshop to inspire you and help you make your testimony to the Washington State Redistricting Commission effective. Our goal is to have over 2,000 people testify in the spring of 2021. For more information, visit lwvwa.org/speakup.

Join the LWVWA and Fix Democracy First for our fourth
Democracy Lobby Week, Feb. 22-26. This year we are going online. This is a powerful experience to advocate for democracy reforms with focus on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. Over the course of the week, we will hear from legislators, guest speakers and professional lobbyists. We will learn about critical democracy bills, network with others from your area and meet with your state legislators. Special sessions are planned throughout the week. Register at lwvwa.org/event-4101747.


LWVWA ISSUES

The LWVWA supports the following League Legislative Issues in the current Washington state legislative session. Click on an issue to learn more, including current and upcoming bills affecting the issue. In this virtual legislative session, you can also testify for a bill online.

DEMOCRACY

Elections | Critical actions needed to protect election workers and support Ranked-Choice Voting.

Election Security | Ensure secure, accurate and transparent elections.
 
Money in Politics | Let's finally close the lobbying revolving door!
 
Redistricting and Census | Speak Up for districts you can believe in. Learn how Speak Up Schools are making the 2021 Redistricting Commission accountable.
   
FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTS
 
Climate Change | Legislature works to reduce greenhouse gases this week.
 
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 | Sign in to support five criminal justice bills this week.
 
Social Justice | Expand economic, political and social opportunities and protections for historically marginalized groups.
 
Gun Safety | 5038 and 5078 go to Rules Committee.
 
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 | Support universal health care in Washington state.

IMPROVE EDUCATION

Public Education | Fully fund K-12 education and increase funding for student support services, including broadband access.

ESTABLISHING FAIR REVENUE

Adequate and Fair Revenue and Budget | Please take action to help achieve change in our tax system, making it more fair and more adequate.

HOW TO TESTIFY FOR A BILL ONLINE

In addition to contacting your legislators via Action Alerts, bill comments, emails and phone calls, you can register to testify remotely, submit written testimony or have your position noted for the legislative record. Speak for yourself and explain your personal interest in the bill. Unless you obtain permission, you should not emphasize the League in testimony.
 
Just follow these steps:
  • Visit the "Participating in Committee Hearings" section of the Washington State Legislature's website.
  • Press the "Register to Testify Remotely" button, even if you just want to submit written testimony or have your position noted for the record.
  • Select House or Senate.
  • Use the dropdown menus at the top to select the committee and the hearing date and time.
  • Select the bill you’re interested in, then select the type of testimony — oral, written or noting your position for the record — and follow the directions provided. 
  • Fill out your identifying information, then hit "Submit" at the bottom.


CALENDAR

  • Monday, Feb. 8-Wednesday, Feb. 10Environmental Priorities Coalition, which LWVWA is a member of, presents "Environmental Lobby Days."
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  • Monday, Feb. 15Spokane Area LWV presents "Day 1 Speak Up School" to prepare people to testify before the Redistricting Commission.
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  • Monday, Feb. 15Last day to pass bills out of committee in the state legislature and read them into the record on the floor in the bills' house of origin, except for the House fiscal committees; Senate Ways and Means Committee; and transportation committees in the house of origin.
  • Thursday, Feb. 18—LWV of Snohomish County presents "Redistricting 101" in the morning and evening
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  • Saturday, Feb. 20Spokane Area LWV presents "Day 2 Speak Up School" to prepare people to testify before the Redistricting Commission.
  • Monday, Feb. 22Last day to pass bills out of committee in the state legislature and read them into the record on the floor for the House fiscal committees; Senate Ways and Means Committee; and
    transportation committees in the house of origin.

OTHER WAYS TO FOLLOW THE STATE LEGISLATURE

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