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PASS BILLS OUT OF HOUSE ORIGIN BY MARCH 9

By Cynthia Stewart, Housing and Homelessness, Transportation and Revenue Issue Chair

Today is the beginning of week eight of the legislative session. This coming week will be the second of two weeks dedicated to floor action, where legislators are debating and voting on bills that have proceeded through the committee processes and made it this far. The cut-off for passing bills in the house of origin is March 9. Only bills necessary to implement the budget can survive this deadline. After March 9, committees will commence consideration of bills that were passed by the other chamber. The House will be considering Senate bills and vice versa.

Many bills will not make it out of the rules committee to the floor. There are more bills than there is time for the legislature to handle. Hence there are several more Action Alerts than usual which we urge you to use.  

Take a look at the list below and if you do nothing else this week, please take these actions to get critical bills passed.


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.
 
Tell your Legislator we need restrictions on police use of force

It is time to strengthen safeguards for the public against use of force by law enforcement officers. House Bill 1310 would achieve that goal by requiring that officers use force only as a last resort: When it is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury or death. This is the legal standard that should govern officers’ interactions with the public, one which makes human life paramount in public safety. Ask your representatives to vote yes on HB 1310!

Pass the capital gains tax

The proposed capital gains tax, Senate Bill 5096, is needed to both generate additional revenue and help reverse the upside-down tax code in Washington state. This measure has been contemplated for several years. This year, with the clear highlighting of wealth and racial inequities by the COVID pandemic, it is time to act. This tax would only apply to the people at the top 1% of income, who have the means to pay. It would help fund education and address other financial needs of the state. Ask your senator to vote yes on SB 5096.

Help pass the public bank

Consideration of a public bank for Washington state has gone on for 10 years or more. A public bank would allow public funding to be pooled for infrastructure loans and bonding at much lower rates than are currently possible in the private sector bank system. This could increase the state and local governments’ capacity for financing infrastructure. Senate Bill 5188 has a chance of passing this year. Please support this bill.

Help pass the environmental justice bill on Senate floor

The environmental justice bill, Senate Bill 5141, is on the Senate floor. Ask your senator to press for a vote because all voices must be heard so all lives can flourish. Ask your senator to vote yes on SB 5141.

Visit the Current Actions page to learn how to support all actions.


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 | Major successes with voting rights restoration and protection of election officials.

Election Security | Ensure secure, accurate and transparent elections.
 
Money in Politics | Let's finally close the lobbying revolving door!
 
Redistricting and Census | Speak Up Schools have started. Don't miss out on the fun. Your voting power starts here.
   
FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTS
 
Climate Change | Bills now in line for floor votes; contact your legislators.
 
Energy | Energy bills this session mostly focused on reducing climate change.

Natural Resources | Forest bills made it out of fiscal committees!

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 | Ask your legislators to vote yes on priority criminal justice bills!
 
Social Justice | Expand economic, political and social opportunities and protections for historically marginalized groups.
 
Gun Safety | Assure public safety and free speech.
 
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 | Establish 12 months of post-partum care for mothers.

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 | Help pass the capital gains tax.

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  

  • Saturday, March 6 LWV of Clark County presents "Speak Up School" training to prepare testimonies to the Redistricting Commission. 
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  • Saturday, March 6 LWVWA, DKG, FDF present "Speak Up School" training to prepare testimonies to the Redistricting Commission.
  •      
  • Tuesday, March 9Last day to pass bills in the state legislature in their house of origin by 5 p.m.

OTHER WAYS TO FOLLOW THE STATE LEGISLATURE

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