Thank you for your advocacy for women’s rights here in WA State.

Top Action of the Week: The Budget

The March Revenue Forecast has been issued and the revenue picture has worsened, with another $200 million dollar drop in expected revenue collection. The Majority Caucus in the Senate is expected to release their proposed 2013-15 Budget late this coming week.
Action: Contact your Senators and ask them to NOT balance the need for additional funding for K-12 and Higher Education by cutting even more funding out of safety net programs such as TANF, Working Connections Child Care and assistance for the disabled. We need to look at additional revenue sources by cutting tax loopholes and/or instituting new revenue streams such as the Capital Gains tax proposed in SB 5738 to help fund educational programs.

You can contact your legislators or committee chairs 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.

NOTE: The cut-off for all bills to pass their House of origin was Wednesday, March 13th, at 5 PM. Many good bills failed to make the cut-off, but many bad bills died as well. Bills now must be scheduled and passed out of the policy committee in the opposite House by the end of the day on Wednesday, April 3rd. The March revenue forecast is due on March 20th, which will have a big impact on legislation in terms of what can be funded. The following is the list of deadlines for the remainder of the legislative session this year:

· April 3rd – Bills must be out of the policy committee in the opposite house

· April 9th – Bills must be out of the fiscal committee in the opposite house

· April 17th – Last day to consider bills from the opposite house (except initiatives and alternatives to initiatives, budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets, differences between the houses, and matters incident to the interim and closing of the session)

· April 28th – Last day of the regular session

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

Reproductive Rights

Reproductive Parity Act

HB 1044 – the Reproductive Parity Act
SUPPORT
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.

Status: HB 1044 is now in the Senate Health Care Committee where it is scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, April 1st at 10 AM.

Action: Contact your Senator and ask that 1044 be voted out of Senate Health Care Committee and brought to the Senate floor for a vote ASAP.

Economic Supports for Low Income Individuals and Families

Child Care

SB 5157 – Relating to Child Care
OPPOSE

SSB 5157 This bill passed the Senate removing the requirement to cooperate with child support enforcement prior to receiving help with childcare. It still punishes childcare providers if they received a second overpayment that they knowingly received in violation of department rules they are prohibited from receiving any future subsidy payments.

Status: SB 5157 is in the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee and is eligible for an executive hearing.

Action: Contact the chair and your member of the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee and ask them to OPPOSE SB 5157.

HB 1671 and SB 5595 – Relating to Child Care Reform
SUPPORT

HB 1671 and SB 5595 increase the reimbursement rates paid to providers who serve low-income children from the Working Connections Child Care Program. Currently our state pays 85% of the rate that centers charge privately paying families. It would also reduce the copays to the 2010 levels and provide quality incentives to child care providers. A work group would be established to review and provide suggestions for improving the payment system, co-pays and licensing of childcare.

Status: SB 5595 is in the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee where it is scheduled for public hearing on Tuesday, March 26th at 1:30 PM.

HB 1671 is in the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.

Action: Contact you member of the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee and ask them to support SB 5595 and vote it out of committee.
Contact you member of the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee and ask that they support HB 1671 and vote it out of committee.

TANF – Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

SB 5279 – Public Assistance Benefits
OPPOSE

SSB 5279 seeks to reform aspects about how the TANF cash grant can be used. Specifically it would not allow it to be used for the purchase of marijuana, it was supposed to exclude medical marijuana, but does not yet do so. It would not allow the use of the benefits card to purchase alcohol etc.

Status: SSB 5279 is in the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee where it is scheduled for public hearing on Tuesday, March 26th at 1:30 PM.

Action: Contact your member of the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee and ask that SB 5279 not be passed out of committee. It would discriminate against people on TANF by not allowing them to purchase legal medical marijuana with their TANF grant.

Family Leave

SB 5159 – Repealing the family and medical leave insurance act
OPPOSE

SB 5159 would repeal our state’s paid family leave law, which would provide a modest weekly amount to families starting in October 2014 at the birth or adoption of a child, allowing lower income working families time to bond with their new child.

Status: SB 5159 did not come up for a vote in the Senate and is therefore technically dead. However, it could be deemed NTIB (necessary to implement the budget), which would keep it in play all the way to the end.

Action: Let your Senator know you oppose the repeal of our State’s Paid Family Leave Law.

Child Support

HB 1027 – Implementing changes to the child support schedule
SUPPORT

Every 4 years the state is required to convene a workgroup to review the state’s child support laws. HB 1027 adopts a new child support economic table that does not differentiate amounts based on a child’s age, requires the standard calculation include consideration of “children not before the court”, amends the post secondary support statute require the court to consider grants/scholarships awarded to the child and clarifies low income limitations.

Status: HB 1027 is in the Senate Law & Justice Committee where it can be scheduled for a public hearing.

Action: Contact your member of the Senate Law & Justice Committee and them to support HB 1027.

HB 1922 – Concerning highway construction workforce development
SUPPORT

HB 1922 would require the Washington State Department of Transportation of spend up 1.9 million dollars of Federal Highway funds on the recruitment and apprenticeship training of women and people of color.

Status: HB 1922 has passed out of the House and is now in the Senate Transportation Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing.

Action: Contact your member of the Senate Transportation Committee and ask them to support HB 1922.

Violence Against Women

HB 1108 – Marital Rape
SUPPORT
HB 1108 would add marital rape in the third degree to our current marital rape statutes. Currently, this crime cannot be charged and victims may have no other criminal recourse.

Status: HB 1108 now in the Senate Law and Justice Committee where it is scheduled for a public hearing on Friday, March 29th at 8:00 M

Action: Contact your member of the Senate Law & Justice Committee and ask that they vote HB 1108 out of committee, because all victims of rape deserve access to the criminal justice system.

HB 1307– Clarifying sexual assault protection orders

HB 1307 modifies procedures governing sexual assault protection orders including permissible methods of service, the issuance and renewal of ex parte orders, and the modification or termination of orders.

Status: HB 1307 is in the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee where it is eligible for an executive hearing.

Action: Contact your member of the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee and ask them to support HB 1307.

HB 1383 – Stalking Protection Orders
SUPPORT
HB 1383 creates a stalking protection order as a remedy for victims who do not qualify for a domestic violence order of protection.

Status: HB 1383 is now in the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee where it is scheduled for a public hearing on Thursday, March 28th at 10:00 AM.

Action: Contact your member of the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee and ask that they support HB 1383 and vote it out of committee.

Civil Rights

Voting Rights

HB 1413 –The Voting Rights Act
SUPPORT

HB 1413 would allow a judicial remedy in local elections (city, county and school boards for example) where a pattern of racially polarized voting can be proven. There are several possible remedies the court could order, the most common of which is district based, rather than district wide, voting.

Status: HB 1413 is in the Senate Governmental Operations Committee where it is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, March 26th at 10:00 AM

Action: Contact your senator and ask them to support HB 1413, the Voting Rights Act and to vote it out of the Senate Governmental Operations Committee.

Gender Equality

SB 5077 – Gender based terms
SUPPORT

Gender-specific terms and references are made gender-neutral in several RCW Titles. For example, references to his are changed to his or her and clergyman is changed to member of the clergy. Titles relating to public service are included and made gender-neutral throughout. Other code sections are included, such as sections that contain public health and safety regulations, to modify specific references to man or men.

Status: SB 5077 is in the House Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action: Contact your members of the House and ask them to vote YES on SB 5077.

The Budget

The March Revenue Forecast has been issued and the revenue picture has worsened, with another $200 million dollar drop in expected revenue collection. The estimated shortfall in revenue is over $2 billion (counting $1.2 billion in spending for WA State Supreme Court’s McLeary decision in regards to K to 12 education). The Majority Caucus in the Senate is expected to release their proposed 2013-15 Budget late this coming week. With Initiative 1053 ruled unconstitutional the legislature can close tax loopholes and raise existing taxes or levy new taxes by a simple majority vote in both chambers. (See below for additional information on possible revenue options.)

Action: Contact your Senators and ask them to NOT balance the need for additional funding for K-12 and Higher Education by cutting even more funding out of safety net programs such as TANF, Working Connections Child Care and assistance for the disabled. We need to look at additional revenue sources by cutting tax loopholes and raise existing taxes or levy new taxes.

As we reported earlier this year in the January 2013 WA State NOW Activist, we need to look at revenue sources in order to be able to meet the requirements of the McCleary decision to significantly increase the state’s funding of the constitutionally mandated funding for K-12 without starving the services that protect and raise the quality of life for all here in WA state. We again are recommending that the WA State Legislature follow the recommendations to increase funding as recommended by the Economic Opportunity Institute
Small steps
End Tax Preferences

2013-15 Revenue $ millions

End sales tax exemption on securities trading, investment management, financial planning

$103.4

End sales tax exemption on custom software

$78.6

B&O tax for farms with gross annual income over $200,000

$64

End sales tax exemption for non‐organic fertilizers and sprays

$92.3

End sales tax exemption for consumer services (hair & personal care, admissions, sport lessons, tax preparation)

$90.9
Progressive Rate Increases

Extend 0.3% B&O tax surcharge on services

$536

Increase petroleum manufacturing tax rate to 1%

$114.2

Luxury tax on motor vehicles, vessels, aircraft ‐ 10% over $50,000

$66.4
Total

$1,146
New Revenue Streams – Capital Gains Excise Tax

A 5% capital gains tax with exemptions to exclude middle- and lower income state residents (as proposed in 2012 in HB 2563), would raise $1.4 billion per biennium – enough for significant progress toward education reform goals.

Currently there is a bill in the legislature – SB 5738 Capital gains tax, implementing to help fund educational programs. This bill as currently written would require residents to pay a 5% capital gains tax on all capital gains over $10,000 for single individuals and $20,000 for persons filing joint returns. This tax does not apply to the sale of a principle residence nor does it apply to distributions from age-qualified distributions for retirement accounts (i.e. IRAs, tax sheltered annuities, an employee defined contribution program, or other similar retirement savings vehicle.) There are other exemptions listed in this bill as well that deal with agricultural assets, and personal property used in a business

HOUSE COMMITEES
Appropriations Committee:
Ross Hunter (Chair), Timm Ormsby (Vice-Chair), Gary Alexander, Bruce Chandler, J.T. Wilcox, Vincent Buys, Reuven Carlyle, Eileen Cody, Cathy Dahlquist, Hans Dunshee, Susan Fagan, Tami Green, Kathy Haigh, Larry Haler, Paul Harris, Zach Hudgins, Sam Hunt, Laurie Jinkins, Ruth Kagi, Marcie Maxwell, Dawn Morrell, Kevin Parker, Jamie Pedersen, Eric Pettigrew, Liz Pike, Charles Ross, Joe Schmick, Larry Seaquist, Larry Springer, Pat Sullivan, and David Taylor

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

Government Operations and Elections Committee:
Sam Hunt (Chair), Sharon Wylie (Vice-Chair), Vincent Buys, David Taylor, Gary Alexander, Reuven Carlyle, Joe Fitzgibbon, Dan Christiansen, Matt Manweller, Tina Orwall, and Kevin Van De Wege

Finance Committee:
Reuven Carlyle (Chair), Steve Tharinger (Vice Chair), Terry Nealey, Ed Orcutt, Cary Condotta, Joe Fitzgibbon, Drew Hansen, Kristine Lytton, Gerry Pollet, Chris Reykdal, Larry Springer, Brandon Vick, and J.T. Wilcox

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

Judiciary Committee
Jamie Pedersen (Chair), Drew Hansen (Vice-Chair), Jay Rodne, Steve O’ban, Roger Goodman, Mike Hope, Laurie Jinkins, Steve Kirby, Brad Klippert, Terry Nealey, Tina Orwall, Mary Helen Roberts, and Matt Shea

Labor and Workforce Committee:
Mike Sells (Chair), Chris Reykdal (Vice-Chair), Matt Manweller, Cary Condatta, Tami Green, Jeff Holy, Jim Moeller, Timm Ormsby, & Shelly Short

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 COMMITTEES

Commerce & Labor Committee:
Janéa Holmquist Newbry (Chair), John Braun (Vice-Chair), Steve Conway, Bob Hasegawa, Mike Hewitt, Karen Keiser, and Curtis King

Governmental Operations Committee:
Pam Roach (Chair), Don Benton (Vice Chair), Bob Hasegawa, John Braun, Steve Conway, Karen Fraser, and Ann Rivers

Health Care Committee:
Randi Becker (Chair), Bruce Dammeier (Vice Chair), Karen Keiser, Barbara Bailey, Annette Cleveland, Doug Ericksen, David Frockt, and Linda Evans Parlette

Human Services and Corrections Committee:
Mike Carrell (Chair), Kirk Pearson (Vice Chair), Jeanne Darneille, Michael Baumgartner, James Hargrove, Nick Harper, and Mike Padden

Law & Justice Committee:
Mike Padden (Chair), Mike Carrell (Vice Chair), Adam Kline, Jeannie Darneille, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Kirk Pearson, and Pam Roach

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/. Also, there is a pilot bill comment project: “Pilot Project for Commenting on Bills Online”. E-Comments is a feature the Legislature is testing during the 2013 Session. Once you search for a bill number you can click the button at the top of the bill history page, which allows you to send comments on that bill to the legislators who represent your district. The first time you comment you will be asked to set up an account with your e-mail address and a password of your choice.

Linda Tosti-Lane
WA State NOW Co-Coordinator
wa.state.now.coordinator@gmail.com