The Wa State Legislature has completed its first week of the session.

Legislative Alert for January 19, 2014

Top Action of the Week: Support the Prohibition on the Sexual Orientation Change Therapy Bill

HB 2451 will be heard on Wednesday January 22, 2013. This bill provides a definition of “sexual orientation change efforts” for purposes of the uniform disciplinary act. It prohibits health professionals from performing sexual orientation change efforts on a patient under age eighteen. This type of therapy is a risky harmful practice as it contributes to increased self-loathing, which can lead to depression, suicide and substance abuse.

When: Wednesday, January 22nd at 8:00 AM

Where: JLOB (John L. O’Brien) Hearing Room B at the state Capitol

Whether or not you can make this hearing – if you can only do one thing, contact your legislators and tell them to protect the health and safety of our lesbian, gay, transgender and question youth in WA State. Conversion or reparative therapy has been shown to promote guilt and anxiety leading to critical health risks including suicide, substance abuse and other dangers with little or no potential for achieving changes in sexual orientation.

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.

Civil Rights

HB 2451 – Restricting the practice of sexual orientation change efforts
SUPPORT
HB 2451 is sponsored by Representative Marcus Liias. HB 2451 provides a definition of “sexual orientation change efforts” for purposes of the uniform disciplinary act. It prohibits health professionals from performing sexual orientation change efforts on a patient under age eighteen. This type of therapy is a risky harmful practice as it contributes to increased self-loathing, which can lead to depression, suicide and substance abuse.

Status: HB 2451 is currently in the House Health and Wellness Committee where it will have a public hearing on Wednesday, January 22 at 8:00 AM.

Action: Contact your members of the legislature and the members of the House Health and Wellness Committee and ask them to support and vote YES on HB 2451.

Economic Supports for Low Income Individuals and Families

Child Care

HB 2377 & SB 6127, Relating to Improving Quality in the Early Care and Education System
SUPPORT
This bill establishes the early start act to integrate childcare and preschool in an effort to promote full-day programming in order to improve long term and short term outcomes for children. Incentives for providers are included to promote participation in the Early Achievers – quality rating and improvement system. Children would be eligible for childcare subsidies through Working Connections for a twelve-month period and may not be deemed ineligible due to a change in circumstances.

Status: HB 2377 is currently in the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing.
SB 6127 is currently in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. It had a public hearing on Friday, January 17. It is now eligible for an executive session where it can be voted out of committee.

Action: Contact your member of the committee and tell them that you support HB 2377 and SB 6127 as early care and education for children birth to 5 is critical to maximizing a child’s future development.

Family Leave

HB 2238 – Addressing Paid Vacation Leave
SUPPORT

Requires minimum paid vacation leave for employees who work an average of twenty or more hours per week. Requires the state institute for public policy to evaluate the impact of this act on the economy of the state and the health and well being of employees.

Status: HB 2148 is currently in the House Labor & Workforce Development Committee where it will have a public hearing on Friday, January 24 at 1:30 PM.

Action: Contact your representatives and members of the Labor & Workforce Committee and ask them to support the Paid Vacation Leave bill HB 2238.

Reproductive Rights and Health Care

Reproductive Parity Act

HB 2148 – the Reproductive Parity Act
SUPPORT
HB 2148 is sponsored by Representative Eileen Cody and is in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee.

Status: HB 2148 is currently in the House Health and Wellness Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.

Action: Contact your members of the legislature and the members of the House Health and Wellness Committee. Tell them to protect the freedom and privacy of women in Washington State to make the decision on whether or not to become a parent themselves by supporting HB 2148. The voters of Washington State have upheld this right numerous times!

This bill would ensure that women in WA State continue to have access to abortion coverage in the health insurance plans, as our state implements the Affordable Care Act.

Breast Feeding

HB 2329 – Creating the breastfeeding-friendly Washington designation
SUPPORT
HB 2329 establishes breastfeeding-friendly Washington which is a voluntary program to encourage and recognize hospitals, health care providers, workplaces, and child day care centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. Requires the department of health to create the breastfeeding-friendly Washington designations.

Status: HB 2329 is currently in the House Health Care and Wellness Committee where it is eligible for a Public Hearing.

Action: Contact your member of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee and tell them that you support HB 2329 and request that HB 2329 be scheduled for a public hearing and voted out of committee.

Violence Against Women

Female Genital Mutilation

HB 2190 – Female Genital Mutilation
MONITOR
HB 2190 creates the crime of female genital mutilation. Requires county prosecuting attorneys to: (1) Keep annual statistics of certain information regarding offenders that are charged with female genital mutilation; and (2) Submit their annual report to the administrative office of the court.

Status: HB2190 is currently in the House Public Safety Committee where it can be scheduled for a public hearing.

This bill would make it a state crime to circumcise, excise, or infibulate the whole or any part of the labia majora, labia minora, or clitoris of a minor under the age of 18. WA State NOW is concerned with one paragraph in the current proposed legislation, which would require the prosecuting attorney to report anyone arrested or charged with this crime who is not a US citizen to the US Immigration and Naturalization Service. We are concerned because we believe that these cases would not be reported because of fear by the victim or their family that the parents would be turned over to the INS and deported out of the country.

HOUSE COMMITEES
Early Learning and Human Services Committee:
Ruth Kagi (Chair), Roger Freeman (Vice Chair), Maureen Walsh, Elizabeth Scott, Susan Fagan, Jessyn Farrell, Roger Goodman, Drew MacEwen, Mary Helen Roberts, David Sawyer, Tana Senn, and Hans Zeiger

Health Care and Wellness Committee:
Eileen Cody (Chair), Marcus Riccelli (Vice Chair), Joe Schmick, Paul Harris, Judy Clibborn, Richard DeBolt, Tami Green, Laurie Jinkins, Matt Manweller, Jim Moeller, Dawn Morrell, Jay Rodne, Charles Ross, Shelly Short, Steve Tharanger, and Kevin Van De Wege

Labor & Workforce Committee:
Mike Sells (Chair), Chris Reykdal (Vice-Chair), Matt Manweller, Cary Condotta, Leonard Christian, Tami Green, Jim Moeller, and Timm Ormsby

Public Safety Committee:
Roger Goodman (Chair), Mary Helen Roberts (Vice Chair), Brad Klippert, Dave Hayes, Sherry Appleton, Jeff Holy, Mike Hope, Luis Moscoso, Eric Pettigrew, Charles Ross, and Dean Takko

SENATE COMMITEES
Early Learning and K-12 Committee:
Steve Litzow (Chair), Bruce Dammeier (Vice Chair), Rosemary McAuliffe, Christine Rolfes, Andy Billig, Sharon Brown, Annette Cleveland, Joe Fain, Andy Hill, Mark Mullett, and Ann Rivers

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/