WA State National Organization for Women

Legislative Alert for March 26, 2017

The 2017 Legislative Session began on Monday, January 9, 2017 and is scheduled to end on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

  • Wednesday, March 29 is the last day for bills to pass out of committee and read them into the record on the floor from opposite house, except House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees.
  • Tuesday, April 4 is the last day for bills to pass out of the House fiscal committees and the Senate Ways and Means Transportation Committees
  • Wednesday, April 12 at 5 PM is the last day to pass opposite house bills except for 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 23 is the last day allowed for the regular session under our state’s constitution.

Top ACTION for the Week:

If you can only do one thing this week, pick one of the two items listed below and contact your Senator or Representatives.

The Senate Budget Proposal (http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/Budget/Detail/2017/soSummary_0321.pdf) was released on Tuesday, March 21st and was passed off the Senate Floor on Thursday, March 23rd. While the budget proposal makes some necessary investments in K-12 and higher education, as well as the critical support for mental health care in Washington, it makes some terrible cuts to health care; human services and child care programs. These programs cuts will be damaging for the many women and families that depend on them and use them to develop autonomy and independence in their own live:

  • Working Connections Child Care – changes in child care eligibility of $44 million making it more difficult to get state subsidies for needed child care
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/ Work First- $16 million in cuts to TANF by denying exemptions that allow individuals to access services before seeking services before seeking work and another $16 million in cuts to the Work First program.
  • State Food Assistance Program – $4 million in cuts
  • Health Professional Loan Repayment Program
  • Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Program – $52 million in cuts that provide housing to those with mental disabilities and addiction issues

These programs must be funded fully and offered in ways that allow current and future participants of these programs the most latitude and authority in decision making that will enhance their lives and their family’s lives.

The Senate budget offers no new revenue including:

  • No capital gains tax for those profiting from huge investments,
  • NO significant business tax loopholes closed, and
  • NO carbon tax on those polluting our atmosphere.

The House will soon release their budget proposal in the coming week most likely on Monday and we expect that it will be more realistic in addressing the needs of meeting the McCleary decision to fully fund education and the critical safety net needs of our state’s residents; as well as generating revenue to meet these needs. Call your members and let them know you support fully funding these important programs.

HB 1234 Addressing private health plan coverage of contraceptives.
SUPPORT
HB 1234 requires a health benefit plan that includes coverage for contraceptive drugs, to provide reimbursement for a twelve-month supply of contraceptive drugs obtained at one time by the enrollee, unless the enrollee requests a smaller supply or the prescribing provider instructs that the enrollee must receive a smaller supply.

HB 1234 was amended so that a health benefit plan may limit refills in the last quarter of the year after a full year supply has been dispensed.

Status: HB 1234 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 HB 1234 and request a YES vote when it comes to the floor. If your Senator is a member of the Rules Committee, ask that they pull HB 1234 to the floor for a vote by the full Senate.

 

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 and Equal Rights

Use of Deadly Force

SB 5280 – Making crimes and threats against persons because of their occupation as a law enforcement officer a hate crime.

OPPOSE

SB 5280 classifies any threats or crimes against a police officer as a hate crime. Killing a police officer already has stiff penalties, as it should.   King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg told us he was opposed to this bill because hate crimes should be limited to persons with immutable characteristics.  Hate crimes are often for crimes of harassment and intimidation, such as cross burning or swastikas, as well as more violent crimes.

Status: SB 5280 passed out of the Senate by a 35 to 14 vote. It is now in the House Public Safety Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing

Action: Contact your Representatives on the House Public Safety Committee and tell them that you oppose SB 5280 as hate crimes should be limited to persons with immutable characteristics.

Sentencing Laws and Practices

HB 1789 Concerning rehabilitated offenders.

SUPPORT

Creates the community review board within the office of the governor to review incarcerated offenders for possible early release after twenty years of confinement. Authorizes an offender, convicted of and incarcerated for one or more crimes, to petition the community review board for early release after serving at least twenty years of total confinement. Requires the governor to review each decision of the community review board to approve or deny a petition for release. Requires the sentencing guidelines commission to contract for the services of an external consultant to evaluate the state’s sentencing laws and practices.

Status: HB 1789 is in the Senate Law and Justice Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Law and Justice Committee and let them know that you support passage of HB 1789.

Voting Rights Act

HB 1800 Enacting the Washington voting rights act of 2017

SUPPORT

Establishes in law that no method of election may be imposed or applied in a manner that impairs the ability of members of a protected class to have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice or an equal opportunity to influence the outcome of an election as a result of the dilution or abridgment of the rights of voters who are members of a protected class. The Voting Rights Act promotes equal voting opportunities by authorizing district-based elections, requiring redistricting and new elections in certain circumstances and establishes a cause of action to redress lack of voter activity. SB 5267 is very similar to the Voting Rights Act that WA State NOW has supported for the last four years.

Status: HB 1800 is eligible for an executive session in the Senate State Government Committee

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate State Government Committee and let them know that you support HB1800 and request that they pass it out of committee.

Women’s Suffrage Commemoration

HB 2007 Making provisions to commemorate the centennial of national women’s suffrage.

SUPPORT

HB 2007 requires the Washington women’s history consortium to:

(1) Provide leadership for a 2020 statewide commemoration of the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (women’s right to vote);

(2) Begin preparations for the statewide commemoration;

(3) Create and distribute a portfolio of public humanities programs to engage the citizens with important aspects of the women’s right to vote movement;

(4) Encourage private organizations and local governments to organize and participate in activities; and

(5) Administer a grant program for certain public agencies, educational institutions, and organizations to assist with the activities.

Status: HB 2007 is scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday, March 29 at 8 AM in the Senate State Government Committee

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate State Government Committee and let them know that you support HB 2007 and request that they pass it out of committee.

Economic Supports for Low Income Individuals and Families

WorkFirst Poverty Reduction Task Force

HB 1482 Establishing the legislative-executive WorkFirst poverty reduction oversight task force.

SUPPORT

HB 1482 creates the legislative-executive WorkFirst poverty reduction oversight task force to, among other responsibilities: (1) Reduce the overall percentage of people living below two hundred percent of the federal poverty level; (2) Prevent and address adverse childhood experiences and the trauma of children who are living in poverty; and (3) Direct the department of social and health services to develop a five-year plan and a ten-year plan to address intergenerational poverty. Creates the intergenerational poverty advisory committee to assist the task force. Authorizes the department of social and health services to establish and maintain a system to track intergenerational poverty.

Status: HB 1482 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 and Means Committee and request that they schedule HB1482 for a public hearing and executive session.

WorkFirst Vocational Training/Education

HB 1566 Concerning the definition of work activity for the purposes of the WorkFirst program.

SUPPORT

HB 1566 revises the definition of “work activity” for purposes of the WorkFirst temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program to change the amount of vocational training time, from twelve months to twenty-four months, to qualify as work activity

Status: HB 1566 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 and Means Committee and request that they schedule HB 1566 for a public hearing and executive session.

Work Hours for Health Care Employees

HB 1715 Addressing meal and rest breaks and mandatory overtime for certain health care employees.

SUPPORT

Addresses meals and rest periods for licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, surgical technologists, diagnostic radiologic technologists, cardiovascular invasive specialists, respiratory care practitioners, and certified nursing assistants. Prohibits an employer from:

(1) Using prescheduled on call time to fill chronic or foreseeable staff shortages; and

(2) Scheduling nonemergency procedures that would require overtime.

Status: HB 1715 is in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee let them know that you support HB 1715 and request that they pass it out of committee.

Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Women

HB 1796- Providing reasonable accommodations in the workplace for pregnant women SUPPORT

Addresses reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. This bill is the strongest bill for protecting pregnant workers and includes:

  • A flexible definition of “reasonable accommodation” to meet the needs of every pregnant worker; Applies to employers with 8 or more employees;
  • Does not require written certification from a health care provider, but allows an employer to request it;
  • Requires accommodations “for pregnancy” and not just pregnancy-related health conditions, so accommodations can help a pregnant employee avoid developing a separate health condition; and
  • Specifically covers the need to express breast milk.

Amended: A section was added requiring health care facilities to adopt room-in and skin-to-skin contact policies. The null and void clause was removed. Disability discrimination was removed as one of the type of laws not preempted by the bill.

Status: HB 1796 is in theSenate 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 request that HB 1796 be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

Reproductive Rights and Health Care

Contraceptive Health Care

HB 1234 Addressing private health plan coverage of contraceptives.
SUPPORT
HB 1234 requires a health benefit plan that includes coverage for contraceptive drugs, to provide reimbursement for a twelve-month supply of contraceptive drugs obtained at one time by the enrollee, unless the enrollee requests a smaller supply or the prescribing provider instructs that the enrollee must receive a smaller supply.

HB 1234 was amended so that a health benefit plan may limit refills in the last quarter of the year after a full year supply has been dispensed.

Status: HB 1234 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 HB 1234 and request a YES vote when it comes to the floor. If your Senator is a member of the Rules Committee, ask that they pull HB 1234 to the floor for a vote by the full Senate.

Preventive Health Care Coverage

HB 1523 Requiring health plans to cover, with no cost sharing, all preventive services required to be covered under federal law as of December 31, 2016.

SUPPORT
HB 1523 requires a health plan to provide health care coverage for the same preventive services required to be covered under: (1) 42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-13 (2016); and (2) Federal rules or guidance in effect on December 31, 2016, implementing 42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-13 (ie the Affordable Care Act).

Status: HB 1523 is in the Senate Health Care Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Health Care Committee and let them know that you support HB 1523 and request that they pass it out of committee

Assisted Living Facilities

HB 1671 Concerning assistance with activities of daily living.

SUPPORT
HB 1671 expands the definition of “activities of daily living,” for purposes of assisted living facilities requirements, to include self-care activities related to personal care.

Status: HB 1671 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

Action: Contact your Senators and ask for their support for HB 1671 and to vote YES on HB 1671. If your Senator is a member of the Rules Committee, ask that they pull HB 1671 to the floor for a vote by the full Senate.

Violence Against Women

Sexual Assault Community Response Teams

HB 1109 Supporting victims of sexual assault.
SUPPORT
HB 1109 creates the Washington sexual assault initiative pilot project within the office of the attorney general to provide funding to support multidisciplinary community response teams engaged in seeking a just resolution to sexual assault cases resulting from evidence found in previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits.

Creates the joint legislative task force on sexual assault forensic examination best practices to:

(1) Review best practice models for managing all aspects of sexual assault examinations; and

(2) Reduce the number of untested sexual assault examination kits that were collected.

Requires the criminal justice training commission to provide training for persons responsible for investigating sexual assault cases involving adult victims. HB 1109 also establishes fees for admission to sexually oriented live adult entertainment establishments to fund policies and programming for investigating sex crimes and supporting trafficking and sex crime victims in Washington.

HB 1109 was amended in the House Appropriations Committee to (1) Remove the sexually oriented live adult entertainment patron fee from the underlying bill. (2) Rename the sexually oriented business fee account as the sexual assault prevention and response account. (3) Eliminate the expiration date (June 30, 2017) for the 6.2 percent fee on most liquor licenses and permits issued by the Liquor and Cannabis Board, established by the Legislature in 2015. (4) Direct the revenue from the 6.2 percent fee to the sexual assault prevention and response account.

Status: HB 1109 is in the Senate Law and Justice Committee where it is eligible for an executive session

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Law and Justice Committee and let them know that you Support HB 1109 and request that it be passed out of committee.

U-Visas for Immigrant Survivors

HB 1022 Enhancing crime victim participation in the criminal justice system process.
SUPPORT
HB 1022 establishes the Enhancing Victim Participation in the Criminal Legal System Act which will require law enforcement and prosecution agencies to provide immigrant victims of certain crimes—like domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking—with the certification form they need to apply for immigrant visas under the federal Violence Against Women Act. Many law enforcement and prosecution agencies in Washington State are helpful to victims in this process, but others have either delayed responding or have refused to provide them at all. Failure to act puts immigrant survivors of violence in further danger and undermines their ability to live safely and securely in the U.S

Status: HB 1022 is in the Senate Law & Justice Committee where it is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, March 28 at 10 AM.

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Law and Justice Committee and let them know that you support HB 1022 and request that it be passed out of committee.

Trafficking statute of limitations

HB 1078 and SB 5030 Concerning Human Trafficking, Prostitution, and Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
SUPPORT
HB 1078 and SB 5030 address the statute of limitations for trafficking, commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor. This bill does the following:

  • Specifies that these crimes can be committed for anything of value (rather than a fee or other property
  • Extends the statute of limitations for the commercial sexual abuse of a minor and promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor until the victim’s thirtieth birthday
  • Extends the statute of limitation for trafficking to 10 years after the commission of the offense

Status: HB 1078 has passed out of the House on a unanimous vote and has been sent to the Senate Law and Justice Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session.

SB 5030 and is in the House where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House.

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Law and Justice Committee and let them know that you support HB 1078 and request that it be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

Contact your Representatives and ask for their support for SB 5030 and to vote YES on SB 5030. If your Representative is a member of the Rules Committee, ask that they pull SB 5030 to the floor for a vote by the full House.

Vacating convictions of victims of trafficking

SB 5272 Vacating convictions arising from offenses committed as a result of being a victim of trafficking, promoting prostitution, or promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor.

SUPPORT
SB 5272 establishes a procedure for vacating prostitution convictions when the person who committed the offense did so as a result of being a victim of trafficking, promoting prostitution in the first degree, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, or trafficking in persons under the trafficking victims protection act.

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

Action: Contact your Representative and ask for their support for SB 5272 and to vote YES on SB 5272. If your Representative is a member of the Rules Committee, ask that they pull SB 5272 to the floor for a vote by the full House.

Rape Survivors Safety Bill

HB 1543 Concerning parental rights and responsibilities of sexual assault perpetrators and survivors.

SUPPORT
HB 1543 Establishes a process where a survivor, who becomes pregnant as a result of a sexual assault and who elects to raise the child, can seek the court’s assistance in avoiding continued forced interactions with the rapist which eliminates another barrier to healing from the assault.

HB 1543 was amended: The court must determine on the record whether affidavits and documents submitted for the fact-finding hearing should be sealed and whether the proceedings should be closed to the public. Closure of the proceedings must be based on good cause and consistent with Article I, section 10 of the state Constitution.

A temporary order allowing an alleged perpetrator residential time or decision-making authority may be entered if the alleged perpetrator is a presumed parent and the court find that the child would suffer irreparable harm if a temporary order is not entered. Evidence of voluntary intoxication of the alleged victim and/or alleged perpetrator must not be a basis, in itself, to conclude that the alleged victim consented to sexual activity or that the alleged perpetrator did not commit a sexual assault. If the court enters an order providing that no child support obligation may be established or collected, the court must forward a copy of the order to the Washington state support registry.

A parent who is the victim of a sexual assault where the adoptee is born as a result may indicate by affidavit or sworn testimony that he or she does not want to dispense with the consent to adoption by the parent who committed the sexual assault.

A second and inconsistent definition of “sexual assault” is removed, and a number of revisions were made to address clarity and inconsistent language.

Status: HB is in the Senate Law and Justice Committee where it is eligible for an executive session.

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Law and Justice Committee and let them know that you support HB 1543 and request that it be passed out of committee.

Sexual Assault Protection Orders

HB 1384 and SB 5256 Concerning sexual assault protection orders.
SUPPORT
HB 1384 and SB 5256 Address the duration and renewal of an ex parte order regarding sexual assault protection.

A Sexual Assault Protection Order (SAPO) provides an important civil protection for victims of sexual assault. They are particularly helpful when criminal charges are not, or have not yet, been filed. The order requires the perpetrator to stay away from the victim and places the victim frequents, and to have no further direct or indirect contact with the victim.  A significant problem with the current order is that it must be reissued every two years. All other protection orders for victims in Washington, including domestic violence, anti-harassment and stalking, allow for judicial discretion in the length of time a protection order is in place. SAPOs, however, are unique and there is a two-year cap on the orders. This requires victims of sexual assault to return to court every two years if they need continued protection, placing an unnecessary burden on victims and discouraging them from using a law that is designed to offer protection. HB 1384 and SB 5256 bring the SAPO in line with other protection orders in WA State.

Status: HB 1384 has passed out of the House and is now in the Senate Law and Justice Committee where it can be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

SB 5256 has passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and most likely will be sent to the Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full House

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Law and Justice Committee and let them know you support HB 1384 and request a public hearing and executive session to be scheduled.

Contact your Representatives and ask for their support for SB 5256 and to vote YES on SB 5256. If your Representative is a member of the Rules Committee, ask that they pull SB 5256 to the floor for a vote by the full Senate.

 

Budgetary & Revenue & other Governmental Procedure Bills

-REVENUE REQUESTS

Working to pass new progressive policies is important. However, in order to ensure these policies have adequate funding, we must advocate for a healthy budget that invests in our schools, protects the most vulnerable and supports strong women and strong families. We must support measures that aim to restructure our regressive tax system that currently relies the most heavily on taxes from the least affluent. This is wrong. Call and write to your legislators and let them know that the state needs new revenue and you will stand behind legislators that vote for increasing revenue to invest in our state.

The state’s revenue forecast came out this past week. Revenue is projected to come in $313 million higher than previously anticipated over the next two years. This represents “less than 1 percent variation in the state budget as a whole” according to the Washington State Budget & Policy Center (B&PC) and is “negligible compared to what we actually need to build thriving communities in every corner of our state in the years ahead.”

For additional analysis see “Tax Reform Can’t Wait, New Revenue Forecast Shows”:
(http://budgetandpolicy.org/schmudget/tax-reform-can2019t-wait-new-revenue-forecast-shows)

More information on Revenue proposed by Governor Inslee can be found here:

(http://ofm.wa.gov/budget17/highlights/201719_highlights_revenue.pdf)

Business & Occupation (B&O) Tax

SB 5113 Investing in education by modifying the business and occupation tax and providing small business tax relief.

SUPPORT

SB 5113 modifies the B&O and provides small business tax relief to invest in education. This bill

  • Adds an addition tax rate of 1% to the services and other activities of the B&O tax classification, increasing the total rate to 2.5%
  • Increases the filing threshold for business paying under the service and other activities classification to $100,000 on July 1, 2017 and all other businesses on July 1, 2018
  • Increases the small business tax credit to $125 for businesses paying under the service and other activities classification on July 1, 2017 and for all other businesses on July 1, 2018.
  • Increased revenues are deposited in the Education Legacy Trust.

Status:

SB 5113 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate. Note: SB 5113 is still alive as it has a revenue component and can be considered necessary to implement the budget.

Action: Contact your Senators and let them know that you support SB 5113 and request a YES vote on SB 5113 to send it on to the House of Representatives. If your Senator is a member of the Rules Committee ask that SB 5111 be pulled from Senate Rules and brought to the floor for a vote.

Capital Gains Tax

SB 5111 Enacting an excise tax on capital gains to improve the fairness of Washington’s tax system and provide funding for the education legacy trust account

SUPPORT

SB 5111 institutes a capital gains tax for selling or exchanging long-term capital assets or receiving Washington capital gains. Exempted from this are funds received from retirement accounts, sell of a principle residence, assets sold pursuant to or under imminent threat of condemnation proceedings, sale of livestock if more than 50% of the individual’s income is from farming or ranching, and some other sales associated with agriculture and timber and property used in trade or business (there are limitations based on qualifications outlined in these three areas). The purpose of this is to provide funding for the education legacy trust account.

Status:

SB 5111 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate. Note: SB 5111 is still alive as it has a revenue component and can be considered necessary to implement the budget.

Action: Contact your Senators and let them know that you support SB 5111 and request a YES vote on SB 5111 to send it on to the House of Representatives. If your Senator is a member of the Rules Committee ask that SB 5111 be pulled from Senate Rules and brought to the floor for a vote.

Carbon Tax

SB 5127 & HB 1555 Establishing a carbon pollution tax and investment program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, facilitate the transition to a clean energy economy, and invest in K-12 education and other vital public services.

SUPPORT

SB 5127 and HB 1555 establish the carbon pollution tax and investment act. They impose a carbon pollution tax on:

  1. The sale or use of fossil fuels, including fossil fuels used in generating electricity
  2. The sale or consumption of electricity generated through the combustion of fossil fuels

They create the carbon pollution reduction account and the carbon reduction investment fund.

Status:

Note: SB 5127 and HB 1555 are still alive as these bills have a revenue component and can be considered necessary to implement the budget.

SB 5127 is in the Senate Rules Committee where it can be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate.

HB 1555 is in the House Finance Committee where it can be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

Action: Contact your Senators and let them know that you support SB 5127 and request a YES vote on SB 5111 to send it on to the House of Representatives. If your Senator is a member of the Rules Committee ask that SB 5111 be pulled from Senate Rules and brought to the floor for a vote.

Contact your Representatives on the House Finance Committee and request that they schedule HB 1555 for a public hearing and executive session to pass it out of committee.

SB 5509 & HB 1646 Creates a carbon pollution mitigation tax on fossil fuel emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.

SUPPORT

SB 5509 and HB 1646 do the following

  1. Create a carbon pollution mitigation tax on fossil fuel emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
  2. Create the carbon program oversight board to oversee implementation of this act and advise the governor on the achievement of greenhouse gas emission reductions.
  3. Create an economic and environmental justice oversight panel as a joint body between the office of the governor, the department of ecology, and the department of health.
  4. Require the department of revenue to establish and administer a low-income carbon pollution mitigation tax grant for state residents to assist in the equitable transition to lower carbon emission energy sources.
  5. Involve the following in some role regarding the imposition of the carbon tax: The department of ecology, the department of revenue, the department of commerce, the department of health, the Washington State University extension energy office, the recreation and conservation office, the office of the attorney general, and other state agencies with control of expenditures of carbon pollution mitigation tax receipts.
  6. Create the clean energy account, the clean water climate program account, the sustainable forest health account, the carbon reduction investment fund, the sustainable infrastructure fund, and the equitable transition fund.

Status: Note: SB 5509 and HB 1646 are still alive as these bills have a revenue component and can be considered necessary to implement the budget.

SB 5509 is in the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee where it is eligible for a public hearing and executive session.

HB 1646 is in the House Committee on Environment where it is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, March 14 at 1:30 PM.

Action: Contact your Senators on the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee and request that SB 5509 be scheduled for a public hearing and executive session.

Contact your Representatives on the House Environment Committee and let them know that you support HB 1646 and request that it be passed out of committee.

 

-BUDGET PROPOSALS –

The Senate Budget Proposal (http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/Budget/Detail/2017/soSummary_0321.pdf) was released on Tuesday, March 21st and was passed off the Senate Floor on Thursday, March 23rd. While the budget proposal makes some necessary investments in K-12 and higher education, as well as the critical support for mental health care in Washington, it makes some terrible cuts to health care; human services and child care programs. These programs cuts will be damaging for the many women and families that depend on them and use them to develop autonomy and independence in their own live:

  • Working Connections Child Care – changes in child care eligibility of $44 million making it more difficult to get state subsidies for needed child care
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/ Work First-       $16 million in cuts to TANF by denying exemptions that allow individuals to access services before seeking services before seeking work and another $16 million in cuts to the Work First program.
  • State Food Assistance Program – $4 million in cuts
  • Health Professional Loan Repayment Program
  • Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) Program – $52 million in cuts that provide housing to those with mental disabilities and addiction issues

These programs must be funded fully and offered in ways that allow current and future participants of these programs the most latitude and authority in decision making that will enhance their lives and their family’s lives.

The Senate budget offers no new revenue including:

  • No capital gains tax for those profiting from huge investments,
  • NO significant business tax loopholes closed, and
  • NO carbon tax on those polluting our atmosphere.

The House will soon release their budget proposal in the coming week most likely on Monday and we expect that it will be more realistic in addressing the needs of meeting the McCleary decision to fully fund education and the critical safety net needs of our state’s residents; as well as generating revenue to meet these needs. Call your members and let them know you support fully funding these important programs.

For a more in depth analysis of the Senate Budget see the Washington Budget and Policy Center’s post http://budgetandpolicy.org/schmudget

 

-BUDGET REQUESTS –

Increase the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) grant that will stabilize people already on the program and provide them the opportunity to get off TANF.

The ask is full restoration of the 15% that was cut in 2011 — $30m/biennium

 

HOUSE COMMITEES
Appropriations Committee:
Timm Ormsby (Chair), June Robinson (Vice Chair), Bruce Chandler, Drew MacEwen, Drew Stokesbary, Steve Berquist, Vincent Buys, Michelle Caldier, Eileen Cody, Cary Condatta, Joe Fitzgibbon, Larry Haler, Drew Hansen, Paul Harris, Zack Hudgins, Laurie Jinkins, Ruth Kagi, Kristine Lytton, Matt, Manweller, Terry Nealey, Eric Pettigrew, Gerry Pollet, David Sawyer, Joe Schmick, Tana Senn, Larry Springer, Derek Stanford, Pat Sullivan, David Taylor, Stever Tharinger, Brandon Vick, Mike Volz, and J.T. Wilcox

Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee:
Cindy Ryu (Chair), Nicole Macri (Vice Chair), Gina McCabe, Andrew Barkis, Bill Jenkin, Kristine Reeves, and David Sawyer

Early Learning and Human Services Committee:
Ruth Kagi (Chair), Tana Senn (Vice Chair), Tom Dent, Joyce McDonald, Noel Frame, Roger Goodman, Dan Griffey, Christine Kilduff, Brad Klippert, John Lovick, Bob McCaslin, Dick Muri, and Lillian Ortiz-Self

Environment Committee:
Joe Fitzgibbon (Chair), Storm Peterson (Vice Chair), David Taylor, Jacquelin Maycumber, Vincent Buys, Mary Dye, Jake Fey, Ruth Kagi, and Joan McBride

Finance Committee:
Kristine Lytton (Chair), Noel Frame (Vice Chair), Terry Nealey, Ed Orcutt, Cary Condotta, Laurie Dolan, Gerry Pollet, Larry Springer, Drew Stokesbary, J.T. Wilcox, and Sharon Wylie

Health Care and Wellness Committee:
Eileen Cody (Chair), Nicole Macri (Vice Chair), Joe Schmick, Paul Graves, Michelle Caldier, Judy Clibborn, Richard Debolt, Paul Harris, Laurie Jinkins, Marcus Riccelli, June Robinson, Jay Rodne, Shelly Short, Monica Juarado Stonier, and Steve Tharinger

Higher Education Committee:
Drew Hansen (Chair), Gerry Pollet (Vice Chair), Jeff Holy, Louanne Van Werven, Larry Haler, Tina Orwall, Mike Sells, Melanie Stambaugh, and Gael Tarleton

Judiciary Committee
Laurie Jinkins (Chair), Christine Kilduff (Vice Chair), Jay Rodne, Dick Muri, Roger Goodman, Paul Graves, Larry Haler, Drew Hansen, Steve Kirby, Brad Klippert, Tina Orwall and Matt Shea

Labor and Workplace Standards Committee:
Mike Sells (Chair), Mia Gregorson (Vice-Chair), Matt Manweller, Graham Hunt, Gina McCabe, Jim Moeller, and Timm Ormsby

Public Safety Committee:
Roger Goodman (Chair), Tina Orwall (Vice Chair), Matt Manweller, Gina McCabe, Beth Doglio, Noel Frame, and Liz Pike

Rules Committee:
Frank Chopp (Chair), Dan Kristiansen, Joel Kretz, Steve Berquist, Jessyn Farrell, Mark Hargrove, Mark Harmsworth, Jeff Holy, Norm Johnson, John Koster, Vicki Kraft, John Lovick, Joan McBride, Joyce McDonald, Tina Orwall, Eric Pettigrew, Marcus Riccelli, Shelly Short, Larry Springer, Derek Stanford, Monica Juado Stonier, Pat Sullivan, Gael Taleton, J.T. Wilcox, and Sharon Wylie

State Government Committee:
Zach Hudgins (Chair), John Koster, Mike Volz, Sherry Appleton, Laurie Dolan, Morgan Irwin, Vicki Kraft, and Mike Pelliciotti

SENATE COMMITEES
Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee:
Michael Baumgartner (Chair), John Braun (Vice Chair), Steve Conway, Bob Hasegawa, Karen Keiser, Curtis King, Dino Rossi, Rebecca Saldaña, and Lynda Wilson

Early Learning and K-12 Committee:
Ann Rivers (Chair), Joe Fain (Vice Chair), Andy Billig, Mark Mullet, Christine Rolfes, Judy Warnick, and Hans Zeiger

Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee:
Doug Ericksen (Chair), Tim Sheldon (Vice Chair), Reuven Carlyle, Sharon Brown, Steve Hobbs, Jim Honeyford, Kevin Ranker, Shelly Short, and Lisa Wellman

Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee:
Jan Angel (Chair), Joe Fain (Vice Chair), Doug Ericsen, Phil Fortunato, Steve Hobbs, Patty Kuderer, and Mark Mullet

Health Care Committee:
Ann Rivers (Chair), Randi Becker (Vice Chair), Barbara Bailey, Michael Baumgartner, Annette Cleveland, Steve Conway, Joe Fain, Karen Keiser, Patty Kuderer, Mark Miloscia, Mark Mullet, Steve O’Ban, and Maureen Walsh

Human Services, Mental Health and Housing Committee:
Steve O’Ban (Chair), Mark Miloscia (Vice Chair), Reuven Carlyle, Jeannie Darneille, Sam Hunt, Mike Padden, and Maureen Walsh

Law & Justice Committee:
Mike Padden (Chair), Steve O’Ban (Vice Chair), Jeannie Darneille, David Frockt, Jamie Pedersen, and Lynda Wilson

Rules Committee:
Cyrus Habib (Chair), Barbara Bailey, Randi Becker, Andy Billig, John Braun, Maralyn Chase, Annette Cleveland, Doug Ericksen, Joe Fain, Bob Hasegawa, Jim Honeyford, Curtis King, Marko Liias, John McCoy, Mark Miloscia, Sharon Nelson, Steve O’Ban, Kirk Pearson, Ann Rivers, Mark Schoesler, and Tim Sheldon

State Government Committee:
Mark Miloscia (Chair), Sam Hunt, Patty Kuderer, Kirk Pearson, and Hans Zeiger

Ways & Means Committee:
John Braun (Chair), Sharon Brown (Vice Chair), Jim Honeyford (Vice Chair), Barbara Bailey, Randi Becker, Andy Billig, Reuven Carlyle, Steve Conway, Jeannie Darneille, Joe Fain, David Frockt, Bob Hasegawa, Jim Honeford, Karen Keiser, Mark Miloscia, Mike Padden, Jamie Pedersen, Kevin Ranker, Ann Rivers, Christine Rolfes, Dino Rossi, Mark Schoesler, Judy Warnick & Hans Zeiger

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/