1st District Democrats – Legislative Alert for March 23, 2021

The 2021 Legislative Session began on Monday, January 12, 2021 and is scheduled to end on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Friday, March 26, 2021 is the last day for bills to pass out of the opposite house committee (except for those bills in the House fiscal committees and the Senate Ways and Means and Transportation committees).

Friday, April 2, 2021 is the last day for opposite house bills to pass out of the House fiscal committees and the Senate Ways and Means and Transportation committees.

Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 5:00 PM is the last day that the legislature may consider and pass opposite house bills 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.

Sunday, April 25, 2021 is the last day allowed for the regular session under the WA State Constitution.

Top Action of the Week:

In order to be able to serve our state’s residents especially those that are marginalized and disenfranchised in our state we need you to deliver a message to your senators and representatives in regard to our state’s budget and revenue that WA State needs a new progressive revenue stream and not budget cuts.  Comprehensive tax reform is also needed to ease the disproportionately high tax burden on our poorest communities.

There are four tax proposals in the state legislature which are intended to shift our state’s current tax structure towards greater equity.

  1. SB 5096 (Capital Gains Tax) was passed out of the Senate on March 6 for the first time ever.  This is a huge win for Washington State.  If passed by the House and signed by Governor Inslee this would be the most equitable change in approximately 90 years.  It would affect only 0.2% of Washington’s wealthiest taxpayers but raise more than $500 million annually to invest in childcare and tax fairness.   This bill along with three other revenue related bills would help address our state’s upside down tax system.  Washington has the most regressive tax system in the US with those who make the least amount of money paying the highest percentage of their income in taxes. Whereas the very wealthy pay a very small share of their income in taxes. [1] 
  2. HB 1111 (B&O Tax Fairness) restores fairness to our state’s revenue by including the investment revenue of wealthy companies and nonprofits in the state’s tax base. removes the investment return tax deduction from the Business and Occupation (B&O) tax for companies and nonprofits outside the finance sector. “Under current law, nonfinancial companies and nonprofits deduct investment returns from their revenues prior to calculating their B&O tax on gross receipts. HB 1111 removes this deduction for companies and nonprofits while retaining it for individuals.”  Businesses would have a greater incentive to use their funds to expand activities associated with investing in their employees, equipment and research rather than using their monies to generate returns passively. It would also encourage nonprofits to put funds into services rather than the finance market. [2]
  3. HB 1406 and SB 5426 (Wealth Tax) would establish a 1 percent wealth tax on intangible financial assets of more than $1 billion.  Only approximately 100 people in Washington State would be affected.
  4. HB 1465 (Estate Tax) revamps the estate tax to make it more progressive by exempting small estates, reducing estate taxes on medium estates and increasing the estate tax on larger estates.  The exclusion amount is increased to $2.5 million with an annual adjustment to reflect the change in the Consumer Price Index for the Seattle Metropolitan area.

If you can only do one thing, contact your representative and senators) and let them know that you strongly believe that WA State needs a new progressive revenue stream and not budget cuts.  Comprehensive tax reform is also needed to ease the disproportionately high tax burden on our poorest communities.

You can contact your legislators by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1 800-562-6000.  You can also contact them by e-mail using this format:  firstname.lastname@leg.wa.gov.  If you need to look up your legislators, use the following link to find them: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Note:  Committee members for House and Senate Committees are listed at the end of this alert. 

We have also included hyperlinks on each of the bill actions below, which will take you to the WA State Legislature’s comment page for the bill where you can enter your support or opposition to the bill and include a comment (up to 1000 characters).

For a public hearing you may register to testify on the bill, submit written testimony or state your position without testifying.  If you want to testify or to state your position on a bill without testifying you must register for the hearing at least 1 hour prior to the start of the hearing.  Written testimony closes 24 hours after the start of the committee hearing.   To register for any of these options – click here and then choose the Senate or House and follow the instructions on the screen to register.

Civil and Equal Rights

Child Custody jurisdiction and enforcement related to countries who have the death penalty on the basis of religious beliefs, political beliefs, or sexual orientation

HB 1042 Revising the international application of the uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act to protect families from facing the death penalty in certain foreign jurisdictions on the basis of religious beliefs, political beliefs, or sexual orientation.

SUPPORT

HB 1042 allows Washington courts to refrain from applying Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act standards in international custody matters if a parent or child are at demonstrable risk of being subject to laws of a foreign country that carries a death sentence for apostasy, or a sincerely held religious belief or practice, or homosexuality.

Status:  HB 1042 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it is eligible for a vote by the full Senate.

Action:  Contact your senators and let them know you support HB 1042 and ask that they vote YES when it comes to the floor for a vote.

Legal aid for undocumented immigrants

HB 1072 Removing only one of the restrictions on the use of civil legal aid funds.

SUPPORT

HB 1072 removes a restriction on the Office of Civil Legal Aid (“OCLA”) funding that prohibits distributing funds to legal aid providers who use those funds to serve undocumented immigrants.

Status: HB 1072 is now in the Senate Rules Committee on its second reading and is eligible for a vote by the full Senate.

Action: Contact your senators and let them know that you support HB 1072 and ask for a YES vote when it comes to the floor.

Voter Eligibility

HB 1078 Restoring voter eligibility for all persons convicted of a felony offense who are not in total confinement under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections.

SUPPORT

HB 1078 changes the voting rights law to automatically restore a felon’s voting rights as long as the defendant is not in total confinement with the department of corrections.  It states that a person serving a term of community custody is not considered to be in total confinement of the department of corrections and does not include confinement imposed as a sanction for a community custody violation. A person who has had their voting rights restored must reregister to vote before voting

Status:  HB 1078 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action:  Contact your senators and let them know that you support Engrossed Substitute HB 1078 and ask for a YES vote when it comes to the floor.

Peace officer accountability

SB 5051 Concerning state oversight and accountability of peace officers and corrections officers.

SUPPORT

SB 5051 improves the certification, background check, and decertification of law enforcement officers.   The bill accomplishes this by

  • adjusting the membership of the Criminal Justice Training Center (CJTC) to a total of 17 persons including representatives who have not been employed in the last 10 years as a peace officer.  improving the process to decertify peace and corrections officers who have engaged in serious misconduct,
  • requiring the CJTC to issue public recommendations to the governing body of a law enforcement agency regarding the agency’s command decisions, inadequacy of policy or training, investigations or disciplinary decisions regarding misconduct, potential systemic violations of law or policy, unconstitutional policing, or other matters
  • requiring law enforcement agencies to report misconduct to the CJTC, and
  • requiring a public database containing information about all conduct investigated by the CJTC.

Status:  SB 5051 has passed out of the House Committee on Public Safety and is likely headed to the House Appropriations Committee.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Appropriations Committee and let them know you support Engrossed Second Substitute SB 5051 and ask for a YES to pass it out of committee.

5066 Concerning a peace officer’s duty to intervene

SUPPORT
SB 5066 requires a peace officer to intervene when the officer witnesses a fellow peace officer engaging in the use of excessive force. A peace officer who observes wrongdoing by a fellow officer is required to report the wrongdoing to the officer’s supervisor. Law enforcement agencies must adopt written policies on the duty to intervene and ensure that all law enforcement officers obtain training on the policy through the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Status:  SB 5066 has passed out of the House Public Safety Committee and is likely headed to the House Appropriations Committee.

Action:  Contact your representatives in the House Appropriations Committee and let them know you support Substitute SB 5066 and ask for a YES vote to pass it out of committee.

Unlawfully Summoning Police

SB 5135 Concerning unlawfully summoning a police officer

SUPPORT

SB 5135 creates a private cause of action which allows a person to sue in a civil action for damages against any person who knowingly causes a law enforcement officer to arrive at a location with the intent to:

  • Infringe on the other person’s constitutional rights
  • Discriminate against the other person
  • Cause the person to feel harassed, humiliated or embarrassed,
  • Cause the person to be expelled from a place in which the person is lawfully located, or
  • Damage the person’s
    • reputation or standing in the community, or
    • financial, economic, consumer, or business prospects or interests. 

Status:  SB 5135 is in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee where it is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, March 23 at 10 AM and an executive session on Friday, March 26 at 8 AM.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee let them know you support Engrossed Substitute SB 5135.

Economic Equity and Support for Low Income Individuals and Families

Housing for low-income households and households in need

HB 1070 Modifying allowed uses of local tax revenue for affordable housing and related services to include the acquisition and construction of affordable housing and facilities.

SUPPORT

HB 1070 allows county and city governments to submit an authorizing proposition to the voters at a special or general election that modifies allowed uses of local tax revenue for affordable housing and related services, to include the acquisition and construction of affordable housing and facilities.  HB 1070

  • Expands the allowable uses of a portion of revenues from the local sales and use tax for housing and related services to include acquiring affordable housing.
    • Requires a county that seeks to acquire a facility using funds from the local sales and use tax for housing and related services to consult with the city in which the facility is located prior to acquisition and to ensure that at least 15 percent of the services provided in an acquired facility are provided for residents of that city.
    • Clarifies that affordable housing includes emergency, transitional, and supportive housing for purposes of the local sales and use tax for housing and related services.
    • Expands the allowable uses of a portion of revenues from the state shared lodging tax to include housing and facilities for homeless youth for counties with a population of at least 1.5 million.

Status HB 1070 is in the Senate Rules Committee, where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action:  Contact your senators on the Senate Rules Committee to let them know you support Engrossed Substitute HB 1070, and ask them to schedule a floor vote.

Public assistance for low-income households and households in need

HB 1151 – Bolstering economic recovery

SUPPORT.

HB 1151 establishes a consolidated emergency assistance program (CEAP) for families with children.  Benefits can be provided to alleviate emergent conditions resulting from insufficient income.  These benefits may be used to provide for: food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other necessary items.  They may also be used for family reconciliation services, family preservation services, home-based services, short-term substitute care in a licensed agency, crisis nurseries, therapeutic childcare, or other necessary services.

Federal emergency assistance funds will be used to supplement the state funds appropriated for the operation of this program as long as other departmental programs are not adversely affected by the receipt of federal funds. If state funds appropriated for the consolidated emergence assistance program are exhausted, the department may discontinue the program.

During a governor ordered a state of emergency and pursuant to an order from the governor benefits under this program may be extended to individuals and families without children and the 12-month period may be extended.

The House Housing, Human Services & Veterans Committee passed a substitute version of HB 1151 which amends this bill to:

  • Allow Consolidated Emergency Assistance to be provided more than once in a 12-month period when directed by the Governor.
  • Requires the Department of Social and Health Services to update the standards of need for cash assistance programs. Currently cash grants are lower than the standard of need for food, clothing, shelter, and other household costs.
  • Adds an emergency clause with an immediate effective date for the provisions related to the CEAP.
  • Requires a one-time cash benefit for households whose eligibility for Basic Food is ending to be funded with state funds.

Status:  Substitute HB 1151 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the for Senate

Action:  Contact your senators and let them know you support Substitute HB 1151 and ask them to vote YES when it comes to the floor.

SB 5214 – Concerning economic assistance programs.

SUPPORT

SB 5214 amends the current law that limits the amount of time an adult can receive economic assistance from the state.  It states that the current 60-month limit may be extended if, in addition to the current exceptions, the recipient is participating satisfactorily in the program, is temporarily prevented from working or looking for a job, and/or is in need of mental health or substance use disorder treatment. SB 5214 has been amended twice in committee and adds the following additional requirements:

  • the extension is the equal to the number of months that the person received a TANF grant during a month of unemployment at or above 7 percent, and must be applied sequentially following other hardship extensions that may apply; and
  • provides that the bill applies retroactively as of March 1, 2020 as well as prospectively
  • provides that a person receiving a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant in any month after March 2020 in which the state unemployment rate is at or above 7 percent is eligible for a hardship extension to the 60-month lifetime time limit for TANF grants, if the person is otherwise eligible for TANF except that they have exceeded 60 months. 

STATUS:  SB 5214 is scheduled for an executive session on Tuesday, March 23 at 8:00 am and if not passed out on the 23rd, it is again scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 1:30 pm in the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans Committee.

ACTION:   Contact your representatives in the House Committee on Housing, Human Services & Veterans, tell them you support Second Substitute SB 5214 and ask that it be passed out of committee.

Economic inclusion

SB 5241 – Promoting economic inclusion.

SUPPORT

SB 5241 directs the department of commerce to establish and oversee the implementation of economic inclusion grants for local communities with an emphasis on economically distressed communities as defined by the department of commerce. The purpose of these grants is to promote equity, economic inclusion, and a stable financial foundation for people experiencing poverty (at or below 200% of the federal poverty level). Recipients of the grants are required amongst other provisions to

  • Coordinate existing poverty reduction resources and benefits to make them easier to access
  • Develop a local leadership coalition or use an existing local partnership that includes people experiencing poverty, people of color, homelessness programs, and representatives of the workforce development council, community service offices, Medicaid, accountable communities of health, and associate development organizations, and may include other members
  • Work with people experiencing poverty to ensure they have access to multiple benefits to help them meet their basic needs
  • Ensure equitable access to state and local government services for people with disabilities
  • Ensure options for career development, English language learners, and other services for both parents in two-parent families, including childcare if desired by the family, and
  • To the extent allowable under federal law, access to benefits may not be conditioned upon seeking employment nor limited to people pursuing individual career plans, and benefits must be available to people experiencing poverty who are in need of financial stability whether or not they are pursuing career plans.

The bill also allows the Department of Commerce in consultation with the steering committee and to apply for federal waivers to remove federal barriers to coordinating service delivery across multiple programs, where possible.

STATUS:  Second Substitute SB 5241 is scheduled for an executive session on Tuesday, March 23 at 8:00 am and if not passed out on the 23rd, it is again scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 1:30 pm in the House Housing, Human Services & Veterans Committee.

ACTION:  Call you representatives in Housing, Human Services & Veterans, tell them you support Second Substitute SB 5241 and ask then to pass it out of committee.

Working Families tax exemption

HB 1297 – Concerning working families tax exemption

SUPPORT
HB 1297 updates and simplifies the structure of the working families tax exemption (WFTE). It also expands the tax exemption to include those with individual taxpayer identification numbers or an individual who has a spouse or dependent without a social security number who would otherwise be eligible. Remittance calculations are restructured.  The department of revenue is to design and implement a public information campaign to inform potentially eligible persons of the WFTE.

STATUS:  HB 1297 has passed out of the Senate Human Resources, Re-entry & Rehabilitation Committee and is now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session.

ACTION: Contact your senators in the Senate Ways and Means Committee and let them know you support Engrossed Substitute HB 1297 and ask them to pass it out of committee. 

.

Assistance for homeowners navigating the foreclosure process

HB 1108 Maintaining funding and assistance for homeowners navigating the foreclosure process.

SUPPORT

Homeownership is a key determinant to building wealth and there is a serious racial wealth gap here as in the nation.  Washington’s Foreclosure Fairness program has been underfunded and needs a permanent fund source to stabilize to ensure housing counseling, legal aid and mediation to Washington’s families. The Covid-19 pandemic will very likely lead to a rush of foreclosures once foreclosure moratoriums are lifted. Rep. Orwall is introducing a series of bills to address foreclosure prevention.  She is promoting revamping the estate tax, as proposed by the Economic Opportunity Institute, to make it more progressive. The proposal would generate over $100 million in the current biennium of which a portion would be dedicated to homelessness prevention including foreclosure prevention.

HB 1108 puts in place a temporary stopgap remedy requiring banks and credit unions that own or service a mortgage for a residential property to offer foreclosure mediation services even though they may have done less than 250 foreclosures in 2020. Also, the fees increased from $300 to $325 per nonjudicial foreclosure trustee sale. The expiration date of the remediation requirement is December 31, 2022.

The House passed an Engrossed Substitute Bill: It extends the mediation and certain other pre-foreclosure requirements under the Deeds of Trust Act and the Foreclosure Fairness Act (FFA) to residential real property of up to four units and removes the requirement that a property be owner-occupied to the existing bill.

Please ask budget writers to include the funding below for foreclosure prevention in the operating budget, as Governor Inslee did, and keep an eye out for a sign-on letter for:

$3.875m in FY 2021 in the proposed supplemental budget and $7.307m in both FY 2022 and 2023 in the proposed biennial budget for foreclosure prevention, specifically “to assist current and prospective homeowners, and homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Funding provided in this section may be used for activities to prevent mortgage or tax lien foreclosure, housing counselors, a foreclosure prevention hotline, legal services for low-income individuals, mediation, and other activities that promote homeownership. The department may contract with other foreclosure fairness program state partners to carry out this work.” 

Status:  HB 1108 is now in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate

Action:  Contact your senators and let them know you support  HB 1108 and ask the Rules Committee to schedule it for a vote by the full Senate and for a YES vote from your senator when it comes to the floor.

Property Tax

HB 1332 Concerning property tax deferral during the COVID-19 pandemic

SUPPORT

Interest and penalties on delinquent property taxes are suspended during the COVID-19 state of emergency and for 12 months thereafter. During the COVID-19 state of emergency, extensions of the due date for any property taxes payable in April 2021 for any real property used for business purposes for which the owner demonstrates a loss of at least 20 percent of revenue for 2020 compared to 2019 shall be available. Taxpayers have to file an application provided by the Department of Revenue to obtain this extension. If the application is approved, the county treasurer shall defer property taxes due in April of 2021 to become due and payable before October 31st, 2021.

The House Finance Committee amended HB 1332 to allow deferral of all 2021 taxes for qualifying businesses via the establishment of a payment plan.  Penalties and interest will not be applied to taxes under a deferral payment plan.

Status: Engrossed SHB 1332 is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.

Action:  Contact your senators on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and let them know you support HB 1332.

Notification of recorded documents with unlawful racial restrictions

HB 1335 Concerning review and property owner notification of recorded documents with unlawful racial restrictions.

SUPPORT

HB 1335 was amended in committee and now requires institutions of higher learning to provide research related to review of existing recorded covenants and deed restrictions to identify those documents that include racial or other restrictions on property ownership or use against protected classes that are unlawful.  After identifying these, the institution of higher learning they must notify the current owner of the property with information on how the property owner may record a document striking from the referenced original instrument all provisions that are void and unenforceable under law.

Many homeowners would never find out about the existence of racial covenants. A number of real estate companies have created a process through which racial covenant or deed restrictions are identified when a property is listed, but that will only capture properties when they are sold. This bill is needed to take proactive measures to assure that these covenants and deed restrictions that are void and unenforceable are removed from these documents.  This bill has the support of the realtors.

Status: HB 1335 has passed out of the House on a 91 yea to 1 nay vote.  It is now in the Senate Business, Financial Services and Trade Committee where it scheduled for an executive hearing on Tuesday, March 223 at 8 AM.

Action:  Contact your senators on the Senate Business, Financial Services and Trade Committee and let them know that you support  Engrossed Second Substitute HB 1335.

Protection from certain types of garnishment

HB 1525 Concerning enforcement of judgments.

SUPPORT

With HB 1525 certain funds held in bank accounts, savings and loan accounts, stocks, bonds, or other securities, are given automatic protection from garnishment (an order to compel third parties to divert funds from a debtor), attachment (a legal judgement to secure property from a debtor), and execution (a judgement to require payment of money or property) if the debt falls into one of these categories:

• For private student loan debt: $1,000 in value is automatically protected.

• For consumer debt: $1,000 in value is automatically protected.

• For all other debts: $500 in value is automatically protected.

A writ of garnishment must contain instructions to financial institutions directing them to comply with the above automatic protections and release protected funds to the debtor. The financial institution is directed to only hold funds for the creditor if the debtor’s accounts contain value in excess of the automatically protected total.

Status: HB 1525 is now in the Senate Business, Financial Services and Trade Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 10:30 AM.

Action:  Contact your senators on the Senate Business, Financial Services and Trades Committee and Senator Pedersen (Chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee) and let him know that them know you support  HB 1525

Consumer Protection Act

SB 5025 Concerning the Consumer Protection Improvement Act.

SUPPORT

SB 5025 is legislation requested by the Washington State Attorney General that provides an update to the civil penalties allowed in the Consumer Protection Act. Maximum civil penalties as passed by the Senate for violation of the CPA were increased as follows:

  • violation of any injunction issued under the CPA—$215,000
  • any contract, trust, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce or monopolization or attempt to monopolize any part of trade or commerce—$260,000 for an individual or $1,300,000 for a corporation; and

• unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in trade or commerce—$13,350 for each violation.

Also, an enhanced penalty of $10,000 would apply to unlawful acts or practices targeting specific individuals or communities based on demographic characteristics, including age; race; national origin; citizenship or immigration status; sex; sexual orientation; presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; religion; veteran status; or status as a member of the armed forces.

House Amendment: An important amendment just passed the house on March 17, reducing penalties in the bill as follows:

  • violation of any injunction issued under the CPA—$125,000
  • any contract, trust, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce or monopolization or attempt to monopolize any part of trade or commerce—$180,000 for an individual or $900,000 for a corporation; and

• unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in trade or commerce—$7,500 for each violation.

Also, an enhanced penalty of $5,000 shall apply to unlawful acts or practices targeting specific individuals or communities based on demographic characteristics, including age; race; national origin; citizenship or immigration status; sex; sexual orientation; presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; religion; veteran status; or status as a member of the armed forces.

Status:  SB 5025 has passed out of the House Consumer Protection & Business Committee with the amendments noted above and is being sent to the House Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action:  Contact your representative and let them know that you support Substitute SB 5025.

Debt-based Driver’s License Suspension

SB 5226 Concerning the suspension of licenses for traffic infractions.

SUPPORT

SB 5226 deals with modifications as to when a WA State Driver’s license can be suspended:

• Eliminates drivers’ license suspension for the failure to pay, respond, or appear at a requested hearing for a traffic infraction for a moving violation.

• Authorizes the Department of Licensing (DOL) to reinstate all driver’s licenses suspended for reasons that are no longer grounds for suspension.

• Requires DOL to take reasonable steps to notify anyone whose driver’s license was suspended who may qualify for reinstatement and create an online application process for people to use to determine whether they are eligible for reinstatement, within 90 days of the effective date of the legislation.

Status:  SB 5226 is in the House Transportation Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the Transportation Committee and let them know that you support Engrossed SB 5226  and ask that it be scheduled for an executive session to pass out of committee.

Homestead Exemptions

SB 5408 Concerning the homestead exemption

SUPPORT

SB 5408 is primarily sponsored by Northwest Consumer Law Center.  Senator Derek Stanford introduced this bill to increase the amount of the homestead exemption to protect Washington state families from losing their homes or a substantial amount of equity in their homes from a forced sale and to allow those in need, the ability to file a federal bankruptcy case without losing their primary residence or a substantial amount of the equity to creditors.

At $125,000—a figure last updated in 2007—Washington’s homestead exemption is currently one of the nation’s lowest. Increases in home prices have dramatically reduced the value of the exemption throughout the state—for example, home prices in Okanogan and Chelan counties rose by 37 percent in 2020 alone. SB 5408 restores homestead fairness to Washington. 

The bill as amended in the Senate Law and Justice Committee does the following:

  • Changes the homestead exemption to the greater of $125,000 or the county median sale price of a single family home.
  • Defines a forced sale to include any sale of the homestead property in a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Allows appreciation of the property to be included in the exemption after a bankruptcy filing, even if it exceeds the statutory limit.
  • Allows Washington residents to claim the homestead exemption for property in other states.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of Washington homeowners rely on the homestead exemption to protect their homes from creditors. Yet, rising home values have put this option out of reach for many at the time they need it the most. SB 5408 addresses that problem.

Status: SB 5408 was passed by House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee.  The bill passed with an amendment to clarify the language regarding dependents and another amendment by Rep Gilday to have the entire state set the homestead at the median value of a home in King County was defeated. However, the Sponsor agreed to continue working on language in the bill with republican colleagues. Now the bill will most likely be sent to the House Rules where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action:  Contact your representatives and let them know you support Engrossed Substitute SB 5408.  Let them know that at time when our state budget is strained by the COVID-19 pandemic and potential COVID-19 relief, SB 5408 provides real, tangible relief to vulnerable working people and ALL homeowners without costing taxpayers a cent.

Education

Lead in drinking water

HB 1139 Taking action to address lead in drinking water.

SUPPORT

HB 1139 Requires public and private elementary and secondary schools with buildings built, or with all plumbing replaced, before 2016, to have drinking water outlets tested for lead contamination to: communicate test results and other information; and take specified actions if test results reveal lead concentrations that exceed 5 parts per billion.

It requires the Department of Health (DOH) to conduct lead testing of drinking water in public elementary and secondary schools by specified deadlines and according to stated technical requirements and designates the DOH, rather than community water systems, as the principal agency in regard to lead testing, remediation, and other actions at elementary and secondary schools.

While elimination of any potential lead contamination in school drinking water is absolutely critical, this bill encompasses the vast majority of schools in the state and falls short on many levels. The level of contamination is well below the national standard and there is no funding provided for the staffing and remediation costs that may accrue to our school districts. It also contains no provision for remediation of potential upstream contamination over which the districts have no control. 

This bill has a clause that states that if specific funding is not provide in the budget for this purpose that this bill would be null and void.

Status: HB 1139 has passed out of the House and is now in the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session.

Action: Contact your senators on the Senate Ways & Means Committee and let them know that you support the safety provisions of  Engrossed 2nd Substitute HB 1139 and that funding must be covered in the budget appropriations. We cannot afford another unfunded mandate.

High School graduation

HB 1162 Concerning high school graduation credit and pathway options.

SUPPORT

HB 1162 is an act relating to creating new graduation credit and pathway options. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities of institutions, including the education system. The 24-credit requirement doesn’t allow students to fail a class and still graduate on time. The limited number of graduation pathways discourages students from entering the trades, and by making credit waivers difficult to attain, students are forced to take courses that do not align with their career paths. This bill will make graduation more flexible and equitable and will ensure that all students have access to courses that will help them in their careers. It reduces the number of credits required for high school graduation from 24 to 20 and applies the revised credit requirements to the graduating class of 2021 and subsequent classes. It establishes an additional graduation pathway option that enables students to meet graduation pathway requirements by completing a performance exhibition meeting specified criteria—to give equitable access to programs already established in multiple WA high schools. And it modifies credit waiver provisions by limiting a two-credit individual student waiver to students in the graduating class of 2019 and 2020, per pandemic mic. Without this emergency measures, many districts in the state will be unable to maintain services.

Status: HB 1162 is in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee where it was scheduled for an executive session on March 19 but no action was taken.

Action: Contact your senators on the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee and let them know that you support Substitute HB 1162 and ask that it be scheduled for an executive session to pass out of committee by the March 26 cutoff date.

Learning assistance program

HB 1208 Modifying the learning assistance program.

SUPPORT

HB 1208 Is an act relating to modifying the learning assistance program to enable school districts to focus on identifying and addressing student academic deficits in basic skills resulting from, or exacerbated by, the COVID-19 pandemic by granting greater local control over, accountability for, and flexibility with program funds, and to authorize continued flexible use of program funds through the framework of the Washington integrated student supports protocol. This bill will allow schools to use the LAP funds according to critical needs in this national emergency and updates the language to allow districts to utilize the funds according to needs identified since it was first enacted.

Status: HB 1208 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action: Contact your senators and let them know that you support Substitute HB 1208 and ask for a YES vote when it comes to the floor.

Affordable childcare and early development programs

HB 1213 Expanding accessible, affordable childcare and early childhood development programs.

SB 5237 Expanding accessible, affordable childcare and early childhood development programs.

SUPPORT

HB 1213 and SB 5237 establish the Fair Start for Kids Act and expand access to affordable childcare and early childhood development programs by

  1. Expanding eligibility and decreasing copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and expanding eligibility in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
  2. Providing increased rates, training, grants, and services for childcare and early learning providers.
  3. Establishing a new account for childcare and early learning purposes and includes a non-exhaustive list of allowable fund uses.
  4. Increasing supports for families of children from birth to age 3, as well as their providers.

Status: HB 1213 is in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee it is scheduled for an executive session on Wednesday, March 24 at 10:30 AM..

SB 5237 is in the House Children, Youth and Families Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Wednesday, March 24 at 8:00 AM and if not heard on the 24th, it is scheduled for a second executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 10 AM.

Action: Contact your senators on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee to let them know you support Engrossed 2nd Substitute HB 1213 and ask that it be passed out of committee

Contact your representatives on the House Children, Youth and Families Committee and let them know that you support Engrossed 2nd Substitute SB 5237 and ask that they pass it out of committee.

School safety and security services

HB 1214 Providing K-12 public school safety and security services by classified staff or contractors.

SUPPORT

HB 1214 creates a category of safety and security staff for kindergarten through grade 12 public schools.  It provides requirements for safety and security staff agreements, data collection, and training, for educational service districts, school districts, and charter schools.

Status: HB 1214 has passed out of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee and is likely headed to the Senate Ways and Means Committee for their consideration.

Action: Contact your senators on the Senate Ways & Means Committee and let them know you support Engrossed Substitute HB 1214 and ask for a YES vote to pass it out of committee.

Education for youth from institutional education facilities

HB 1295 Providing public education to youth in or released from institutional education facilities.

SUPPORT

HB 1295 Establishes new and modified duties for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), and the State Board of Education related to the provision of public education to youth in, or released from, secure facilities, including duties related to education access and delivery, student supports, data collection and reporting, and facility policies. It directs the OSPI and the DCYF to jointly develop recommendations by November 1, 2022, for the establishment, implementation, and funding of a reformed institutional education system and establishes numerous provisions related to the recommendations of the OSPI and the DCYF, including the identification of 13 issues that must be addressed, the creation of an advisory group, and the selection of a third-party entity to facilitate the development of the recommendations and staff the advisory group.

Status: HB 1295 is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 4 PM.

Action: Contact your senators on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and let them know you support Engrossed 2nd Substitute HB 1295.

Enrollment Stabilization

HB 1476 Addressing enrollment declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic

SUPPORT

HB 1476 relates to enrollment stabilization funding to address enrollment declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and declares an emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the delivery of education across the state and impacted our schools financially, as school districts transitioned to remote learning environments to protect the health of students and staff. However, inflexible, current state funding formulas are largely driven by enrollment. The pandemic has resulted in unforeseen, temporary enrollment declines in many districts, which, if left to the current funding formulas, will result in corresponding funding declines. The funding formulas do not take into account the pandemic or the temporary nature of the enrollment changes and this can affect a district’s ability to maintain the staffing and resources needed to deliver education services. With this act, the legislature intends to provide stabilizing funding to districts that have seen temporary enrollment declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without this emergency measures, many districts in the state will be unable to maintain services. 

HB 1476 now addresses only a policy change in the approach to local school levy, with no impact on ensuring schools are made whole from the effects of the pandemic. The only means of protecting school budgets now is through the legislative budget proposals.

Status: HB 1476 is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it can be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

Action: Contact your senators and let them know that you support passage of Engrossed Substitute HB 1476 and let them you SUPPORT a budget that fully funds ours schools.

Broadband Access

HB 1336 Creating and expanding unrestricted authority for public entities to provide telecommunications services to end users.

SUPPORT

HB 1336 authorizes public utility districts, port districts, second-class cities, towns, and counties to provide retail telecommunications services. This bill is a bipartisan project. The last year has demonstrated to all that highspeed broadband is essential for modern life. Washington is in a minority of states with restrictions on some local governments’ ability to provide broadband services. Many in the rural areas do not have access to services that PUDs could provide. This bill is not just about the rural areas. Plenty of people have access but it is unreliable and unaffordable. This bill is about getting broadband to the kids who need it so they can become citizens. With the pandemic, kids need broadband access even more. It represents a crucial policy shift that addresses economic, education, healthcare, and equity issues. There is currently an inequitable arrangement where people in more populated areas have high speed Internet and rural areas do not.

Status: HB 1336 is in the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 10:30 AM

Action: Contact your senators on the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee to let them know that you support Engrossed Substitute HB 1336 and ask that they vote YES to pass it out of committee and that that funding must be included in the appropriations budget. An unfunded mandate will only harm schools’ COVID financial burden even further.

Inappropriate Use of Native American Names

HB 1356: Prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native American names, symbols, or images as public school mascots, logos, or team names

SUPPORT

HB 1356 Prohibits public schools from using Native American names, symbols, or images as school mascots, logos, or team names. Establishes exceptions if certain requirements are met, including tribal consultation and authorization. Allows for phasing out uniforms or other materials if specified requirements are met. Creates a grant program, administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to provide grants to school districts to support schools that incur costs as a result of compliance with this act.

Status: HB 1356 is scheduled for executive session in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, March 25 at 4:00 PM.

Action: Contact your senators and members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee to let them know that you support Substitute HB 1356.

Technology equipment for public school students and instructional staff

HB 1365 Procuring and supporting appropriate computers and devices for public school students and instructional staff.

Support with Concerns

HB 1365 Requires each educational service district (ESD) to provide technology consultation, procurement, and training according to specified requirements, and allows procurement to be performed in consultation and contract with the Department of Enterprise Services. It directs, subject to state funding, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to develop and administer a technology grant program to accomplish three stated goals. It requires the OSPI to report to the Legislature biennially with a summary of the activities performed by the ESDs, the status of the state’s progress to accomplish its stated goals, and an update of activities performed in collaboration with other state, local, and community-based initiatives related to learning devices and other technologies. **** This is an alternate to a bill that did the same thing, but actually provided funding to the districts so that they can accomplish the goals.

Status: HB 1365 is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session

Action: Contact your senators on the Senate Ways & Means Committee to let them know that you support Engrossed 2nd Substitute HB 1365 and that you support FULLY FUNDING HB 1365.

Housing for school district employees

SB 5043 Providing housing to school district employees.

SUPPORT

There is a housing affordability crisis in our communities. Many educators are priced out of the communities they work in. Lack of housing is an obstacle to the retention of teachers in all school districts. Teachers living out of district also leads to increased carbon emissions and congestion. This legislation is a way to provide housing to first responders in addition to school staff, all while not increasing education costs, particularly for small, remote school districts. SB 5043 would allow districts to put to the people the question of whether they should be able to provide housing to teachers through levy funds and expands the use of a 100-year-old law in Washington State to all districts. It enables school districts to better retain staff, particularly staff in underrepresented communities that might otherwise be deterred by housing costs.

Status: SB 5043 is in the House Education Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 1:30 PM.  Should it not be heard on the 25th, it is then scheduled for a second executive session on Friday, March 26 at 10 AM.

Action: Contact your representatives on the House Education Committee to let them know that you support SB 5043 and ask that it be passed out of committee.

Student Transportation During an Emergency

SSB 5128: Concerning student transportation funding during a local, state, or national emergency

SUPPORT

Currently, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) calculates each school district’s transportation allocation using the Student Transportation Allocation Reporting System (STARS). Although transportation expenses decreased very little, by these current formulas based on student ridership, school district transportation funding will be gutted, just as it is most needed to return students to the classroom. SB 5128 provides an alternative student transportation allocation formula and allows expanded transportation services during certain local, state, and national emergencies. This will partially address the expected underfunding. It also allows school districts to apply for additional funding and allows OSPI to use student transportation data from prior reporting periods to calculate transportation allocations immediately following an emergency.

Status: SB 5128 is in the House Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action: Contact your representatives on and let them know that you support Engrossed SSB 5128 but without the threat of withholding funds to force teachers into in-person support – just when those funds are most needed to be able to open schools safely.

Media literacy and digital citizenship training.

SB 5242 Supporting media literacy and digital citizenship.

SUPPORT

SB 5242 requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to establish a grant program for supporting media literacy and digital citizenship. It requires OSPI to convene two regional conferences on the subject of media literacy and digital citizenship and mandates that at least one grant awarded in each award cycle must be for developing and utilizing a curriculum that contains a focus on synthetic media. This bill is another intended to bridge our digital divide in schools. We learned in no uncertain terms this last year that access is one thing, but training is absolutely critical to our teachers and students for them to function in a digital world

Status: SB 5242 is in the House Education Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 1:30 PM.  Should it not be heard on the 25th, it is scheduled for a second executive session on Friday, March 26 at 10 AM.

Action: Contact your representatives on the House Education Committee to let them know that you support SB 5242.

Mastery-based learning

SB 5249 Supporting mastery-based learning.

SUPPORT

SB 5249 Requires the Mastery-Based Learning Work Group to develop a Washington State profile of a high school graduate, in consultation with the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee and others. It places a representative from an approved teacher preparation program with experience in mastery-based learning on the work group, directs the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop rules relating to the profile of a graduate and requires the SBE to perform a survey on graduation pathways that includes high school students and recent graduates. Mastery-based Learning provides an alternative to the traditional education model path to graduation.

Status: SB 5249 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Education Committee on Tuesday, March 23 at 8 AM.

Action: Contact your representatives on the House Education Committee to let them know that you support Substitute SB 5249.

College bound scholarship

SB 5321 Expanding access to the college bound scholarship.

SUPPORT

SB 5321 Eliminates the requirement that a student sign a pledge to be eligible for the College Bound Scholarship, directs the office of financial assistance to develop a process for auto-enrolling eligible students, requires that all eligible students receive notification of their enrollment in the program and eligibility criteria and creates a new $500 stipend for eligible students with family incomes between 65 and 100 percent median family income upon high school graduation.

Status: SB 5321 is scheduled for an executive session in the  House College and Workforce Development Committee on Wednesday, March 24 at 8 AM.  Should it not be heard on the 24th, it is then scheduled for a second executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 10 AM.

Action: Contact your representatives on the House College and Workforce Development Committee to let them know that you support Engrossed Substitute SB 5321.

Broadband investment acceleration program

SB 5357 Establishing and making appropriations for the capital broadband investment acceleration program.

SUPPORT

In 2019, the Legislature enacted 2SSB 5511 to establish the Statewide Broadband Office to encourage, foster, develop, and improve affordable, quality broadband within the state. The 2019-21 operating budget provided funding for the office through the Department of Commerce. SB 5357 creates the Broadband Investment Acceleration Program in the Statewide Broadband Office. Unfortunately, this bill had a requirement for $200M, which was not included in the Governor’s budget.

Status: SB 5357 is in the House Capital Budget Committee where it is scheduled an executive session on Tuesday, March 23 at 1:30 PM.

Action: Contact your representatives on the House Capital Budget Committee and let them know that you support Engrossed Substitute SB 5357.  Let your representatives know that you expect to see funding for this in the appropriations budget as well.

Reproductive Rights and Health Care

Requiring student health plans to cover maternity care and related services, including abortion

HB 1009 Relating to student health plans.

SUPPORT

HB 1009 requires student health plans to cover maternity care and related services. This includes abortion coverage. It ensures that student health plans are not exempt from state laws and rules requiring abortion coverage and are held to the same standard as other market health plans.

Status:  HB 1009 passed out of the House and was assigned to the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee where executive action was taken on March 19th.  It is now headed to the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action:  Contact your senators and let them know you support HB 1009 and ask for a YES vote when it gets to the floor.

Issuing certificates of birth resulting in stillbirth

HB 1031 Concerning the government issuance of a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.

SUPPORT

HB 1031 creates a process allowing any person who gives birth to a stillborn fetus to request and receive a certification of birth resulting in stillbirth from the applicable state or local registrar.

Status:  HB 1031 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action:  Contact your senators and let them know you support HB 1031 and ask for a YES vote when it gets to the floor.

Expanding Paid Family Leave

HB 1073 Expanding coverage of the Paid Family and Medical Leave program.

SUPPORT
HB 1073 expands access to the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program. It changes the eligibility criterion from working at least 820 hours for an employer to making at least $1,000 with that employer, and it expands the legal definition of family member to include any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association is the equivalent of a family member and includes child, grandchild, grandparent, sibling or spouse of an employee.

Status:  HB 1073 is now in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action:  Contact your senators and tell them you support Engrossed Second Substitute HB 1073 and ask for a YES vote when it comes to the floor.

SB 5097 Expanding coverage of the Paid Family and Medical Leave program.

SUPPORT

SB 5097 expands access to the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program.  It changes the eligibility criterion from requiring an employee to work for an employer with 50 or more employees to having been employed by their current employer for 90 days or more.

Status:  SB 5097 is in the House Appropriations Committee it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Appropriations Committee and let them know that you support Engrossed Substitute SB 5097

Comprehensive Public Health Districts

HB 1152 Supporting measures to create comprehensive public health districts

SUPPORT

HB 1152 requires counties to form comprehensive public health districts beginning January 1, 2023 and repeals provisions related to establishing and operating local boards of health, local health districts, local district boards of health, and city county health departments.

Status:  HB 1152 passed the House and was assigned to the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. It is scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday, March 24th at 8am.

Action:  Contact your senators on the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee and let them know you support Engrossed Second Substitute HB 1152 and ask that it be scheduled for an executive session before the March 26 cutoff date.

School based health centers

HB 1225 Supporting school based health centers.

SUPPORT

HB 1225 creates a school-based health center program office within the department of health to award grants and coordinate with other agencies and entities to provide support, training, and technical assistance to school-based health centers. School-based health centers advance equity by providing health care access and support at schools.

Status:  HB 1225 passed the House and has been assigned to the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee where executive action was taken on March 19th.  It has now been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session.

Action:  Contact your senators on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and let them know you support Substitute HB 1225 and ask that it be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

Menstrual products in schools

HB 1273 Menstrual hygiene products in school bathrooms.

SUPPORT

HB 1273, starting in the 2022-2023 school year, would require schools and post-secondary institutions to make available, at no cost, menstrual hygiene products in all gender neutral and bathrooms designated for females. This applies to schools and institutions serving students in grades 6 through 12 and institutions of higher education. HB 1273 was amended and requires that menstrual hygiene products also be available in a school health room or other location designated by the principal for grades 3 through 5.

Status:  HB 1273 passed the House and has been assigned to the Senate Early Learning and k-12 Education Committee where executive action was taken on March 19th.  It has now been referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session.

Action:  Contact your senators on the Senate Ways and Means Committee and let them know you support Engrossed Substitute HB 1273 and ask that it be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

Health Equity Zones

SB 5052 Creating health equity zones.
SUPPORT
SB 5052 requires the Department of Health to use health outcome data to identify potential health equity zones and coordinate with community organizations in those zones to identify projects to address the zone’s most urgent needs related to health disparities. The Department is then required to report annually on the projects implemented in each zone.

Status: SB 5052 passed the Senate and passed the House Health Care & Wellness Committee. It was referred to the House Appropriations Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Appropriations Committee and let them know you support  Engrossed 2nd SSB 5052. And ask that it be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

Expanding medicaid coverage during the postpartum period

SB 5068 Improving maternal health outcomes by extending coverage during the postpartum period.

SUPPORT

SB 5068 extends Medicaid coverage to new birth parents from 60 days post-birth to 365 days post-birth.

Status:  SB 5068 is in the House Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action: Contact your representatives and let them know you support Substitute SB 5068 and ask for a YES vote when it comes to the floor.

Miscarriage-related patient care

SB 5140 Protecting pregnancy and miscarriage-related patient care.

SUPPORT

SB 5140 Prohibits health care entities from stopping health care providers from providing health care services related to miscarriage management and treatment for ectopic pregnancies.

Status:  SB 5140 passed out of the Senate and passed the House Health Care & Wellness Committee. It has been referred to House Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action:  Contact your representatives and let them know you support Substitute SB 5140 and ask for a YES vote when it gets to the floor.

Universal Health Care

SB 5399 Creating a universal health care commission.

SUPPORT

SB 5399 creates a universal health care commission for the purposes of developing a plan to create a health care system in Washington that provides coverage and access through a universal financing system including, but not limited to, a single-payer financing system, for all Washingtonians. By November 1, 2024, the commission must report its findings to the legislature, along with recommendations on implementing a universal health care system in Washington to be implemented by 2026.

Status:  SB 5399 is in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Tuesday, March 24 at 8 am.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Health Care and Wellness Committee and let them know you support SSB 5399.

Health Equity in Medical Training

SB 5228 Requiring health equity training in medical school courses.

SUPPORT

SB 5140 Requires the state’s two medical schools, University of Washington and Washington State University, to add health equity training in the required courses. The bill also requires the medical schools to set a goal to be more representative of the demographics of the state of Washington.

Status:  SB 5228 is now in the House Appropriations Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 3:30 PM.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Appropriations Committee and let them know you support Substitute SB 5228

SB 5229 Requiring health care professionals to complete health equity continuing education.

SUPPORT

SB 5229 Requires a licensed health care professional to complete health equity continuing education training at least once every four years and requires health equity courses to teach skills that enable a health care professional to care effectively for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities, varying in race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, religion, age, ability, and socioeconomic status.

Status:  ESSB 5229 passed out of the Senate and passed the House Health Care & Wellness Committee and has been referred to House Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action:  Contact your representatives and let them know you support Engrossed Substitute SB 5229

Health Insurance Discrimination

SB 5313 Making it an unfair practice for health carriers to discriminate against enrollees seeking gender affirming treatment.

SUPPORT

SB 5313 Reduces discrimination by health carriers for enrollees seeking gender affirming treatment. Specifically, it amends the law (RCW 49.60.178, 41.05.017; 49.60.040, 48.30.300) to make it an unfair practice for health plans issued or renewed on January 1, 2022, to deny, exclude, reduce or terminate benefits when a participant seeks provider prescribed gender affirming treatment. Also, if the health carrier does not have an adequate network of providers with experience with gender affirming treatment, the health carrier shall ensure the delivery of timely and geographically accessible medically necessary gender affirming treatment at no greater expense than if the health carrier had an in-network, geographically accessible provider available.

Status:  SB 5313 is in the House Rules Committee, where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action:  Contact your representatives and let them know you support Second Substitute SB 5313 and ask for a YES vote when it comes to the floor.

Violence

Sexual assault victims

HB 1109 Concerning sexual assault victims

SUPPORT
HB 1109 requires that if a sexual assault kit results in in hit in the combined DNA index system shall upon request of the attorney general report changes in case status as to any related criminal investigation and prosecution to the office of the attorney general.  The attorney general’s office is directed to establish reporting requirements and to submit semiannual reports on the status of investigations and prosecution of sexual assault cases.  HB 1109 also requires that the criminal justice training commission conduct an annual review of case files from law enforcement agencies in order to identify changes to training and investigatory practices necessary to optimize outcomes in sexual assault investigations and prosecutions. The analysis must include the impact that race and ethnicity have on sexual assault case outcomes. The bill also expands the rights of sexual assault victims to:

  • Receive written notice of receive written notice of his or her right to a medical forensic exam at no cost and other benefits under the Crime Victim Compensation Program
  • Receive a referral to a community sexual assault program and if the victim is a minor to a children’s advocacy center
  • Consult with a sexual assault survivor advocate throughout the investigatory process and prosecution and court proceedings
  • Receive timely notification from the law enforcement agency and prosecuting attorney as to the status of the case
  • Access interpreter services where necessary to facilitate communication
  • For minor survivors to provide remote testimony when appropriate and safeguard minor’s security in the courtroom.

Status:  HB 1109 has passed out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee and is now in the House Rules Committee where it is eligible to be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action:  Contact your senators urge them to vote YES on Engrossed Substitute HB 1109.

Domestic violence task force

HB 1315 Creating a task force to identify the role of the workplace in helping curb domestic violence

SUPPORT
HB 1315 states that the workplace may be the only location in which an individual experiencing domestic violence may be free from a perpetrator and feel safe. In either a physical or remote environment, individuals experiencing domestic violence may also find the workplace a place of shared confidences. Therefore, the legislature intends to create a task force to explore ways in which the employer and employee community may help curb domestic violence.

The task force will be a (up to) 12-member committee comprised of representation across industries, violence and sexual assault coalitions, and to include a federally recognized tribe. The preliminary report is due 12/1/2021, with final recommendations due 12/1/2022.

Status:  HB 1315 has passed out of the Senate Labor, Commerce, & Tribal Affairs Committee and is now in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action: Contact your senators and let them know that you support HB 1315 and ask that they vote YES when it comes to the floor for a vote. 

Civil protection orders

HB 1320 Modernizing, harmonizing, and improving the efficacy and accessibility of laws concerning civil protection orders.

SUPPORT
HB 1320 consolidates the six types of civil protection orders into a single chapter of the RCW. The six types of civil protection orders are (a) Domestic violence protection orders; (b) vulnerable adult protection orders; (c) antiharassment protection orders; (d) sexual assault protection orders; (e) stalking protection orders; and (f) extreme risk protection orders. It also creates a pathway to consolidate jurisdictional divisions to a more consistent approach with protection orders. The consolidation will come from recommendations from the Washington State Women’s Commission in consultation with the administrative office, the Gender and Justice Commission, and representatives of the courts, and is due 12/1/2021.

Status: HB 1320 is in the Senate Law & Justice Committee. It is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 10:30 am.

Action:  Contact your senators on the Law & Justice Committee and let them know you support Engrossed Second Substitute HB 1320 and ask for a YES vote when it comes to a vote.

Prohibiting open carry of weapons at public demonstrations and the state capitol

SB 5038 Prohibiting the open carry of certain weapons at public demonstrations and the state capitol.

SUPPORT
SB 5038 prohibits a person from knowingly carrying a firearm or other weapon while attending a demonstration – a march, rally, vigil, sit-in or picket which has the effect or intent of attracting a crowd – at a public place or within 1000 feet of a demonstration.  The bill also prohibits any person to knowingly open carry a firearm or other weapon on the state capitol grounds, in any building on the state capitol grounds, in any state legislative office, or at any location of a public legislative hearing or meeting during the hearing or meeting.

SB 5038 was amended with the following changes:

  • Adds an exception for federal law enforcement agents and armed forces of the United States and Washington State. 
  • Specifies buildings on the state capitol grounds and defines the west state capitol campus grounds. 
  • Change demonstrations to permitted demonstrations. 
  • Changes the distance from 1000 feet to 250 feet within a permitted demonstration for a person who may not open carry a firearm.

Status: SB 5038 is currently in the House Rules Committee where it is eligible to be scheduled for a vote in the full House. 

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee to let them know you support Engrossed Substitute SB 5038 and ask for a YES vote to pass it out of committee.

Victims of nonfatal strangulation

SB 5183 Concerning victims of nonfatal strangulation.

SUPPORT
SB 5183 directs the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) to develop practices for local communities to increase access to forensic nurse examiner services in nonfatal strangulation assaults, and to publish those best practices to its website by 1, 2022.  It also directs OCVA to develop strategies to make forensic nurse examiner training available throughout the state without causing unreasonable travel or expenses for nurses and report those strategies to the Governor and Legislature by October 1, 2022. The Crime Victims Compensation Program is authorized to pay for forensic examination of domestic violence victims of nonfatal strangulation and prohibits charging the victim for the examination.

Status:  SB 5183 has passed out of the Senate it is currently in the House Public Safety Committee, where it is scheduled for an executive session on Tuesday, March 23rd at 1:30PM.

Action: Contact your representatives on the House Public Safety Committee and let them know you support Second Substitute SB 5183 and ask that they vote YES to pass it out of committee.

Crime victim safety

SB 5245 Concerning the safety of crime victims.

SUPPORT
SB 5245 was amended in committee and now provides that that the department of correction and witness notification programs are expanded to add victims by domestic violence offenders, certain assault offenders, vehicular homicide offenders, and controlled substance homicide offenders to receive notification of the offender’s pending release. Note that violent offenders, sex offenders, and domestic violence protection order offenders are already included in this RCW.

Status: SB 5245 has passed out of the House Public Safety Committee and is likely headed to the House Appropriations Committee for their consideration.

Action: Contact your representatives on the House Appropriations Committee and let them know you support Engrossed Substitute SB 5245 and ask that they vote YES to pass it out of committee.

Budget/Revenue

Tax deduction repeal to provide funds for basic needs.

HB 1111. Concerning investment income tax deductions
SUPPORT

HB 1111 repeals current existing investment tax deductions currently granted to companies and nonprofits that have sufficient revenues to be able to make financial investments

Status:  HB 1111 is eligible for an executive session in the House Finance Committee.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Finance Committee and let them know that you support HB 1111 and ask that it be scheduled for an executive session to pass out of committee.

2021-2023 Operating Budget.

HB 1094 Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations

SB 5092 Making 2021-2023 fiscal biennium operating appropriations
SUPPORT

HB 1094 and SB 5092 are the starting bills for the 2021 2023 operating budget.  Governor Inslee proposed this budget as presented in these bills just before the beginning of this year’s legislative session. His proposal is a good starting place for meeting our state’s needs.  But our legislators need to hear from us now and during their budget negotiations. The details in these bills will change. 

The House and Senate versions of the budget are expected to be released this week.  They were waiting for the revenue forecast, which was released on Wednesday, March 17. The forecast projects $1.2 billion beyond what was anticipated in last November’s forecast, which has led many to say that the state does not need new revenue.  These estimates though do not reflect the lived experiences of many of our state’s residents.  The wealthiest individuals in our state are amassing more and more wealth at the expense of everyone else due to our state’s upside down regressive tax system which costs those at the lower end of the economic ladder paying the highest percentage of their income in taxes – making it difficult for our poorest individuals and families to survive especially BIPOC and other disenfranchised groups.

Our state’s economy crashed this past year because consumer demand collapsed overnight after initial mandatory closures due to COVID-19. In the months since, consumer spending further collapsed as thousands of businesses have closed and more than 1.4 million Washingtonians filed first-time unemployment claims.

While our State’s budget picture has improved since last fall, the state still faces significant fiscal challenges.  The revenue forecast does not reflect the economic lives of hundreds of thousands of our state’s residents with

  • more than 250,000 households have trouble paying for their basic needs,
  • one in ten household and one third of small businesses being behind in their rent
  • one third of our state residents are going hungry – 60% of these household include children and forty percent are families of color
  • 15,000 individuals are persons with developmental disabilities on waitlists to receive basic supports

For additional information see the Washington Budget and Policy Center’s March 17 report – Revenue Forecasts Don’t Reflect the Lived Experience of Communities.

We also cannot rely on one time federal aid to bolster our recovery in the years to come.  New revenue is needed support the recovery effort and protect vital state services especially for the people hardest hit by the pandemic and to protect previous investments in state services.

Funds are needed to

  1. strengthen WA’s public health system,
  2. provide support for childcare providers struggling during the pandemic,
  3. provide food assistance and unemployment insurance,
  4. provide relief for hungry and homeless families,
  5. preserve environmental protections,
  6. support agencies that keep our communities safe, and
  7. provide adequate funding for K-12 education and make investments in higher education opportunities. 

Status: HB 1094 was scheduled for a public hearing on, January 14 in the House Appropriations Committee. 

SB 5092 is scheduled for a 2nd public hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday, March 26 at 1 PM.

Neither bill has yet been considered in executive session and both will likely be replaced by legislative proposals.  It is anticipated that the House and Senate will release their budget proposals this week.

Action:  In order and be able to serve our states residents especially those that are marginalized and disenfranchised in our state we need you to deliver a message to your representatives in regard to HB 1094 and senators in regard to SB 5092 that WA State needs a new progressive revenue stream and not budget cuts.  Comprehensive tax reform is also needed to ease the disproportionately high tax burden on our poorest communities.

Wealth Tax

HB 1406 Improving the equity of Washington state’s tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets

SB 5426 Improving the equity of Washington state’s tax code by creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets.

SUPPORT

HB 1406 and SB 5426 establish a 1 percent wealth tax on intangible financial assets of more than $1 billion.  Only approximately 100 people in WA State would be affected.

Status: HB 1406 had a public hearing on February 2 in the House Finance Committee. 

SB 5426 is eligible for a public hearing and executive session in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Both bills are considered necessary to implement the budget.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Finance committee and let them know that you support  HB 1406 and request that it be scheduled for an executive session to pass out of committee. 

Contact your senators on the Senate Ways and Means Committee in regard to SB 5092 and ask that it be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session to pass out of committee. 

Let your legislators in BOTH HOUSES know that you support a new progressive revenue stream and not budget cuts.  Our poorest communities can no longer afford the disproportionately high tax burden they currently face.

Estate Taxes

HB 1465 Making the estate tax more progressive by exempting small estates, reducing estate taxes on medium estates, increasing the estate tax on larger estates, and addressing equity in homeownership and homelessness.

SUPPORT

HB 1465 revamps the estate tax to make it more progressive.   For an estate of an individual dying on or after August 1, 2021, changes are made to the estate tax. The exclusion amount is increased to $2.5 million and the language providing for annual adjustment is updated to reflect the change in the Consumer Price Index for the Seattle metropolitan area. The rates for estates over $3 million through $9 million are increased. Additional rate classes are created for estates over $9 million.

The bill further dedicates 10% of the proceeds to the Equity in Housing Account to be used to address homelessness, including foreclosure prevention, rental assistance, outreach engagement services, housing services, and behavioral health, with priority for agencies, programs, and services which address current and historical racial inequities

Note:  For the estate of a married decedent, all of the community property and all of the decedent’s separate property are reported on the estate tax return. The community property assets are then reduced by 50 percent to reflect the deceased individual’s share of the property.

Status: HB 1465 is in the House Finance Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.  This bill is considered necessary to implement the budget and thus is still alive for consideration by the legislature.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Finance Committee and let them know you support  HB 1465 and ask that they pass it out of committee.  Let your legislators know that you support a new progressive revenue stream and not budget cuts.  Our poorest communities can no longer afford the disproportionately high tax burden they currently face.

Capital gains tax

SB 5096 Concerning an excise tax on gains from the sale or exchange of certain capital assets
SUPPORT

WA State has the most regressive tax system in the US with those who make the least amount of money paying the highest percentage of their income in taxes. Whereas the very wealthy paying a very small share of their income in taxes. 

The senate passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5096 amending it to impose a 7 percent tax on capital gains from long term assets.  “Washington capital gains” are defined as an individual’s adjusted capital gains allocated to Washington state less a standard deduction of $250,000 for all filers, whether filing as an

individual or jointly. The standard deduction will be annually adjusted for inflation.

Long-term assets include intangible or tangible personal property:

  • For intangible personal property, the capital gains tax will apply if the taxpayer was domiciled in Washington at the time of sale or exchange.
  • For tangible personal property, the capital gains tax will apply if the property was located in Washington at the time of the sale or exchange. The sale of tangible personal property will also be subject to the state’s capital gains tax if:
    • the property was located in Washington at any time during the current or immediately preceding taxable year;
    • the taxpayer was a Washington resident at the time of the sale or exchange; and the sale was not subject to income or excise tax on the adjusted capital gain by another taxing jurisdiction.

The following assets are exempt from the capital gains tax:

  • all real estate;
  • controlling interest in an entity that sold property subject to real estate excise tax to the extent capital gain or loss is from the controlling interest sale is directly attributable to real property;
  • retirement assets, including 401(k), a tax-sheltered annuity and custodial account, deferred compensation plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Roth IRAs, employee defined contribution programs, employee defined benefit programs, or similar retirement saving vehicles;
  • assets condemned by the government;
  • cattle, horses, or breeding livestock, if 50 percent of the taxpayer’s gross income for the year is from farming or ranching;
  • certain depreciable property used in a trade or business;
  • goodwill received from the sale of an automobile dealership; and
  • timber, timberlands, or receipts from a Real Estate Investment Trust.

The proceeds from the tax must be distributed as follows, adjusted annually for inflation:

  1. The first $350,000,000 collected each fiscal year must be deposited into the Education Legacy Trust Account;
  2. The next $100,000,000 collected each fiscal year must be deposited in the State General Fund; and
  3. The remainder each fiscal year will be deposited into the newly created Taxpayer Fairness Account.

The capital gains tax may soon be passed by the legislature in order to help estimate how much money is available for the spending budget.  The appropriations budgets will not be adopted until after the next economic forecast on March 20.

For a more in-depth explanation of what a capital gains tax in WA would do, see the Budget and Policy Center’s report on Closing the Tax Break on Capital Gains.  SB 5096 if implemented will be the most equitable change to our state’s tax code in almost 90 years. It would affect only 0.2% of Washington’s wealthiest taxpayers but raise more than $500 million annually to invest in childcare and tax fairness.

Status:  SB 5096 is currently in the House Finance Committee where it eligible for an executive session.   This bill is considered necessary to implement the budget.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Finance Committee and let them know you supportESSB 5096. Let them know that you support the Capital Gains Tax to address our state’s regressive tax system – where our state’s residents with the lowest incomes pay the highest percentage in state taxes than the highest income individuals.  This tax would apply to only 0.2% of Washington’s wealthiest taxpayers and the income generated would invest the revenue in our state’s community needs.  Ask that they pass it out of committee.

State bank

SB 5188 An act relating to the creation of the Washington State public financial cooperative.
SUPPORT

SB 5188 establishes a public financial cooperative as a cooperative membership organization to receive deposits from state, local or federally recognized tribal governments and invest the deposits in lawful funds.  The cooperative can also develop and conduct a program to make loans (other than to the state) to its members for project costs of infrastructure and development projects. Debt is issued in the name of the bank rather than the State of Washington. The financial cooperative may be activated under the following conditions:

  • the state treasurer completes a study that provides recommendations on staffing and operational needs for the financial cooperative;
  • an appropriation is provided from the state that is sufficient to allow the state to issue debt with a competitive rating;
  • articles of activation are completed in a format approved by the State Finance Committee and filed with the Secretary of State; and
  • a duplicate of the original articles of activation and additional information is filed with the Department of Financial Institutions.

Status:  SB 5188 has passed out of the Senate and is now in the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee where it is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday, March 25 at 10 AM.

Action:  Contact your representatives on the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee and let them know you supportEngrossed Second Substitute SB 5188 and ask that it be passed out of committee.

HOUSE COMMITEES

Appropriations Committee:
Timm Ormsby (Chair), Steve Berquist  (Vice Chair), Mia Gregerson (Vice Chair),  Nicole Macri (Vice Chair), Matt Boehnke, Kelly Chambers, Chris Corry, Michele Caldier, Bruce Chandler, Frank Chopp, Eileen Cody, Laurie Dolan, Mary Dye, Joe Fitzgibbon, Noel Frame, Drew Hansen, Paul Harris, Larry Hoff, Cyndy Jacobsen, Jesse Johnson, Debra Lekanoff, Drew MacEwen, Gerry Pollet, Skyler Rude, Cindy Ryu, Joe Schmick, Tana Senn, Larry Springer, Mike Steele, Drew Stokesbary, Monica Stonier, Pat Sullivan, and Steve Tharinger

Capital Budget Committee:
Steve Tharinger (Chair), Lisa Callan (Vice Chair), David Hackney (Vice Chair), Peter Abbarno, Jessica Bateman, Mary Dye, Carolyn Eslick, Greg Gilday, Shelley Kloba, Vicki Kraft, Mari Leavitt, Drew MacEwen, Jacquelin Maycumber, Joel McEntire, Gina Mosbrucker, Strom Peterson, Marcus Riccelli, Alicia Rule, Mike Steele, Sharon Tomiko Santos, Mike Sells, Sharon Shewmake, and Mike Volz

Children Youth and Families:
Tana Senn (Chair), Tarra Simmons (Vice Chair), Alicia Rule (Vice Chair), Lisa Callan, Rob Chase, Tom Dent, Carolyn Eslick, Roger Goodman, Lillian Ortiz-Self, Brad Klippert, Bob McCaslin, Emily Wicks, and Jesse Young

Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee
Drew Hansen (Chair), Tarra Simmons (Vice Chair), Peter Abbarno, Lauren Davis, Debra Entenman, Greg Gilday, Roger Goodman, Jenny Graham, Steve Kirby, Brad Klippert, Tina Orwall, Strom Peterson, My-Linh Thai, Javier Valdez, Amy Walen, Jim Walsh, and Alex Ybarra

College and Workforce Development Committee:
Vandana Slatter (Chair), Debra Entenman (Vice Chair), Mari Leavitt (Vice Chair), Kelly Chambers, Bruce Chandler, Drew Hansen, Larry Hoff, Cyndy Jacobsen, Vicki Kraft, Dave Paul, Gerry Pollet, Mike Sells, and Robert Sutherland

Commerce and Gaming Committee:
Shelley Kloba (Chair), Emily Wicks (Vice Chair), Drew MacEwen, Kelly Chambers, Steve Kirby, Melanie Morgan, Eric Robertson, Brandon Vick, and Sharon Wylie

Community & Economic Development
Cindy Ryu (Chair), Dave Paul (Vice Chair), Matt Boehnke, Rob Chase, Chris Corry, Noel Frame, Cyndy Jacobsen, Jesse Johnson, Vicki Kraft, John Lovick, Alicia Rule, Robert Sutherland, and Jamila Taylor

Consumer Protection and Business Committee:
Steve Kirby (Chair), Amy Walen (Vice Chair), Chris Corry, Jeremie Dufault, Cindy Ryu, Sharon Tomiko Santos, and Brandon Vick

Education Committee:
Sharon Tomiko Santos (Chair), Laurie Dolan (Vice Chair), April Berg, Steve Berquist, Lisa Callan, Bob McCaslin, Joel McEntire, Lillian Ortiz-Self, Skyler Rude, Mike Steele, Monica Stonier, Jim Walsh and Alex Ybarra

Environment & Energy Committee:
Joe Fitzgibbon (Chair), Davina Duerr (Vice Chair), Peter Abbarno, Liz Berry, Mary Dye, Matt Boehnke, Jake Fey, Keith Goehner, Kirsten Harris-Talley, Mark Klicker, Alex Ramel, Sharon Shewmake, and Vandana Slatter

Finance Committee:
Noel Frame (Chair), April Berg (Vice Chair), Amy Walen (Vice Chair), Ed Orcutt, Rob Chase, Frank Chopp, Jeremie Dufault, Kirsten Harris-Talley, Melanie Morgan, Tina Orwall, Alex Ramel, Larry Springer, Drew Stokesbary, My-Linh Thai, Brandon Vick, Sharon Wylie, and Jesse Young         

Health Care and Wellness Committee:
Eileen Cody (Chair), Jessica Bateman (Vice Chair), Dan Bronoske, Michelle Caldier, Lauren Davis, Paul Harris, Nicole Macri, Jacquelin Maycumber, Marcus Riccelli, Skyler Rude, Joe Schmick, Tarra Simmons, Monica Stonier, Steve Tharinger, and Alex Ybarra

Housing, Human Services, and Veterans Committee:
Strom Peterson, (Chair), Jamila Taylor (Vice Chair), Andrew Barkis, Jessica Bateman, Michele Caldier, Frank Chopp, Greg Gilday, Mari Leavitt, and My-Linh Thai,

Labor and Workplace Standards Committee:
Mike Sells (Chair), Liz Berry (Vice-Chair), Dan Bronoske, Lillian Ortiz-Self, Paul Harris, Larry Hoff, and Gina Mosbrucker

Local Government Committee:
Gerry Pollet (Chair), Davina Duerr (Vice Chair), Tina Berg, Keith Goehner, Dan Griffey, Eric Robertson, and Tana Senn

Public Safety Committee:
Roger Goodman (Chair), Jesse Johnson (Vice Chair), Lauren Davis, Jenny Graham, Dan Griffey, David Hackney, Brad Klippert, John Lovick, Gina Mosbrucker, Tina Orwall, Bill Ramos, Tarra Simmons and Jesse Young

Rules Committee:
Laurie Jinkins (Chair), Steve Berquist, Micelle Caldier, Lauren Davis, Tom Dent, Jeremie Dufault, Greg Gilday, Jenny Graham, Mia Gregerson, Paul Harris, Cyndy Jacobsen, Mark Klicker, Joel Kretz, John Lovick, Melanie Morgan, Lillian Ortiz-Self, Tina Orwall, Alex Ramel, Marcus Riccelli, Eric Robertson, Tarra Simmons, Larry Springer, Monica Juarado Stonier, Pat Sullivan, My-Linh Thai, Amy Walen, and J.T. Wilcox

Rural Development, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee:
Mike Chapman (Chair), Sharon Shewmake (Vice Chair), Bruce Chandler, Tom Dent, Mary Dye, Joe Fitzgibbon, Mark Klicker, Shelley Kloba, Joel Kretz, Debra Lekanoff, Joel McEntire, Melanie Morgan, Ed Orcutt, Erick Pettigre, Bill Ramos, Joe Schmick, Larry Springer, and Jim Walsh

State Government and Tribal Relations Committee:
Javier Valdez (Chair), Debra Lekanoff (Vice Chair), Laurie Dolan, Jenny Graham, Mia Gregerson, Mike Volz, and Jim Walsh

Transportation Committee:
Jake Fey (Chair), Sharon Wylie (1st Vice Chair), Dan Bronoske (2nd Vice Chair), Bill Ramos (2nd Vice Chair), Andrew Barkis, Liz Berry, Mike Chapman, Tom Dent, Davina Duerr, Debra Entenman, Carolyn Eslick, Keith Gohner, Dan Griffey, David Hackney, Mark Klicker, John Lovick, Bob McCaslin, Ed Orcutt, Dave Paul, Marcus Riccelli, Eric Robertson, Vandana Slatter, Robert Sutherland, Jamila Taylor, Javier Valdez, Mike Volz, Jim Walsh, and Emily Wicks

SENATE COMMITEES

Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee:
Kevin Van De Wege (Chair), Jesse Salomon (Vice Chair), Judy Warnick, Jim Honeyford, Christine Rolfes, Derek Stanford, and Shelly Short

Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long-Term Care Committee:
Manka Dhingra (Chair), Keith Wagoner, David Frockt, T’wina Nobles, and Judy Warnick

Business, Financial Services and Trade Committee:
Mark Mullet (Chair), Bob Hasegawa (Vice Chair), Perry Dozier, Sharon Brown, David Frockt, Steve Hobbs, and Lynda Wilson

Early Learning and K-12 Committee:
Lisa Wellman (Chair), T’wina Nobles (Vice Chair – K12 Education), Claire Wilson (Vice Chair – Early Learning), Perry Dozier, Brad Hawkins, Sam Hunt, Jim McCune, Mark Mullet, and Jamie Pedersen,

Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee:
Reuven Carlyle (Chair), Liz Lovelett (Vice Chair), Doug Ericksen, Phil Fortunado, Sharon Brown, Mona Das, Steve Hobbs, Marko Liias, Joe Nguyen, Tim Sheldon, Shelly Short, Derek Stanford, and Lisa Wellman

Health and Long Term Care Committee:
Annette Cleveland (Chair), David Frockt (Vice Chair), Ron Muzzall, Steve Conway, Jeff Holy, Karen Keiser, Mike Padden, Emily Randall, Ann Rivers, June Robinson, Kevin Van De Wege, and Jeff Wilson

Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee:
Emily Randall (Chair), T’wina Nobles (Vice Chair), Jeff Holy, Sharon Brown, Doug Ericksen, and Marko Liias

Housing and Local Government Committee:
Patty Kuderer (Chair), Mona Das (Vice Chair), Phil Fortunato, Annette Cleveland, Chris Gildon, Liz Lovelett, Shelly Short, Jesse Solomon, and Judy Warnick

Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee:
Jeanne Darneille (Chair), Joe Nguyen (Vice Chair), Chris Gildon, Perry Dozier, Jim McCune, Rebecca Saldaña, and Claire Wilson

Labor, Commerce, & Tribal Affairs Committee:
Karen Keiser (Chair), Derek Stanford (Vice Chair – Commerce & Tribal Affairs), Steve Conway (Vice Chair-Labor), Curtis King, John Braun, Jim Honeyford, June Robinson, Rebecca Saldaña, and Mark Schoesler

Law & Justice Committee:
Jamie Pedersen (Chair), Manka Dhingra (Vice Chair), Jeanne Darneille, Mike Padden, Jeff Holy, Patty Kuderer, Jim McCune, Jesse Salomon, and Keith Wagoner

Rules Committee:
Denny Heck (Lt. Gov – Chair). Karen Keiser (Vice Chair), Andy Billig, John Braun, Reuven Carlyle, Annette Cleveland, Chris Gildon, Bob Hasegawa, Curtis King, Patty Kuderer, Marko Liias, Ron Muzzall, Joe Nguyen, Jamie Pedersen, Ann Rivers, Shelly Short, and Claire Wilson

State Government & Elections Committee:
Sam Hunt (Chair), Patty Kuderer (Vice Chair), Jeff Wilson, Bob Hasegawa, and Brad Hawkins

Transportation Committee:
Steve Hobbs (Chair), Rebecca Saldaña (Vice Chair), Curtis King, Annette Cleveland, Mona Das, Phil Fortunato, Brad Hawkins, Liz Lovelett, Joe Nguyen, T’wina Nobles, Mike Padden, Emily Randall, Tim Sheldon, Claire Wilson, and Jeff Wilson

Ways & Means Committee:
Christine Rolfes (Chair), David Frockt (Vice Chair – Capital), June Robinson (Vice Chair – Operating and Revenue), Lynda Wilson, John Braun, Sharon Brown, Reuven Carlyle, Steve Conway, Jeanne Darneille, Manka Dhingra, Bob Hasegawa, Jim Honeyford, Chris Gildon, Sam Hunt, Patty Kuderer, Marko Liias, Mark Mullet, Ron Muzzall, Jamie Pedersen, Ann Rivers, Mark Schoesler, Kevin Van De Wege, Keith Wagoner, Judy Warnick, and Lisa Wellman,

Hint:  You can view bills by going to the following website and plug in the bill number for which you want to view the history and status:

http://dlr.leg.wa.gov/billsummary/

Thank you to the following people who contributed to this edition of the 2021 Weekly Legislative Alert

  • Cathy Baylor
  • Hannah Febach
  • Christina Henry
  • Amber Koens
  • Jackie McGourty
  • Linda Tosti-Lane
  • Lisa Weber

[1] https://budgetandpolicy.org/schmudget/washington-states-upside-down-tax-code-is-even-more-racist-than-you-think/

[2] http://www.opportunityinstitute.org/research/post/house-bill-1111-restoring-fairness-to-washingtons-tax-system/

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