Spread the word » Facebook Twitter
TODAY: Take action to support a public health approach for substance use disorders and to update the 2009 Death with Dignity Act. Read on for updates on all the bills the League is following.

Read this newsletter in your browser.

League of Women Voters Logo

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.
 
Support a Public Health Approach for Substance Use Disorders

In State v. Blake, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the state law criminalizing possession of controlled substances is unconstitutional. That ruling gives the legislature the opportunity to adopt a new approach to substance use disorders—once that is centered in public health, not arrest and incarceration. SB 5476 is a positive step in this direction and will ensure that we don’t end up with a patchwork of local laws that will just take us back to the failed war on drugs. 

► Ask your state representatives to vote yes.

Ask Your Senator to Get Lead Out of Children's School Drinking Water Now

E2SHB 1139 requires school buildings built or had plumbing replaced before 2016, be tested for lead contamination at drinking water outlets and that the results be shared with the school community.

Considering the danger to children of lead in their school drinking water, it is essential that this bill pass this session, testing by the Department of Health begin, fountains are closed that test over 5ppb, and work begin. Ask your state senator to vote yes.

► Ask your state representatives to vote yes.

Update the 2009 Death with Dignity Act

This is the final weekend that ESHB 1141, Improving Access to the Death with Dignity Law, has a chance to be passed. On behalf of terminally ill Washingtonians, please urge your Senator to help bring this bill to the floor for a vote!

► Ask your state senator to vote yes on ESHB 1411.

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


Legislative Session Moving into Next Phase

By Kathy Sakahara, Elections Issue Chair

Today, Sunday, April 11, is the deadline for all bills to pass the second chamber, except for bills that are determined to be NTIB—“Necessary To Implement the Budget.” This typically refers to revenue and tax exemption bills, such as the proposed capital gains tax and the working families tax exemption, as well as the budget itself.

Also, all other bills that have passed the second chamber with amendment must be sent back to the original chamber for concurrence. The original chamber can accept or reject the amendments. If they reject the amendments, the second chamber can withdraw their amendments or request a conference committee to resolve the differences. The budget bills passed by each chamber almost always go to a conference committee.

Because this Legislative Newsletter is published before this evening's deadline, please keep in mind that the status of some bills may have changed by the time you see this, and others will change today.


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 | Voting rights restoration passes the Senate.

Election Security | Ensure secure, accurate, and transparent elections.
 
Money in Politics | Speak up for SR 1 in Congress.
 
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 Many climate bills still working through the legislative process.
 
Energy | Energy bills this session mostly focused on reducing climate change.

Natural Resources | Get lead out of children's school drinking water now.

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 Justice | Visit our Issue Web Page for additional social justice bills that need action.
 
Gun Safety | Ask your representatives to vote yes on ESSB 5038.
 
Housing and Homelessness Increased investment in affordable housing and homelessness prevention programs.
Health Care, Behavioral Health and Reproductive Rights Your life. Your death. Your choice.

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 BudgetHelp pass fair and adequate revenue.

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  

  • April 11Last day to consider (pass) opposite house bills (5 p.m.) (except initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, differences between the houses, and matters incident to the interim and closing of the session).

  • April 25—Last day allowed for regular session under state constitution.

Other ways to follow the state legislature

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