We’re still celebrating the groups that joined us at IFAD 2023 and who continue to raise their voices! Pictured here are Temple Beth Am, Seattle and the Washington Poor Peoples’ Campaign at Interfaith Advocacy Day. You can see other photos of the day in our Facebook album and watch the video of the morning sessions at our YouTube page. We have updated our Blog with an inspiring prayer that FAN Governing Board Chair Rev. Carol Jensen delivered to legislators in the House chamber on the morning of IFAD. May it inspire our continued advocacy!
Sign in “Pro” and Testify
Please Note: For your sign-in choice to be counted, you need to sign in more than an hour prior to the beginning of the hearing. Also, if you are interested in signing in PRO on other bills, the general link for Committee Hearing Sign-Ins is https://app.leg.wa.gov/csi.
Today is the policy committee cutoff date; next week, February 24 is the fiscal committee cutoff date, the last day for reports from House fiscal committees, Senate Ways & Means, and Transportation Committees in house of origin.
Please take action on these bills:
By Monday 8am: SB 5427 Bias Incident Hotline would establish a reporting hotline, track hate crimes and bias incidents, and create an assistance fund. This bill will have a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on February 20 at 9:00am. Sign in PRO here.
By Monday noon: HB 1447 Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Improvements would strengthen the ability of TANF to meet the foundational needs of children, adults, and families. This bill will have a public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations on February 20 at 1:30pm. Sign in PRO here.
By Tuesday noon: HB 1513 Traffic Safety for All would end stops for non-moving violations, to reduce disproportionate impacts on communities of color while allowing officers to stop people for impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding, and unrestrained passengers – the leading causes of traffic accidents. This bill passed the House Committee on Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry and will have a public hearing in the House Transportation Committee on February 21 at 1:30pm. Sign in PRO here.
Please ask members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee to pass:
- SB 5078 Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act.
- SB 5236 Safe Healthcare Staffing.
Please ask members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee to hold hearings on:
- SB 5109 Unemployment Benefits for Undocumented Workers.
- SB 5125 Washington Future Fund “Baby Bonds.”
- SB 5241 Keep Our Care Act.
- SB 5339 Free School Meals for All Students.
Please ask members of the House Appropriations Committee to pass:
- HB 1131 Washington Recycling and Packaging (WRAP) Act.
- HB 1260 Aging, Blind, & Disabled (ABD) Fix.
- HB 1445 AG Investigations & Reform.
Please ask members of the House Appropriations Committee to hold hearings on:
- HB 1025 Access to Fairness for victims of police misconduct and their families.
- HB 1095 Unemployment Benefits for Undocumented Workers.
- HB 1143 Require a Permit to Purchase Firearms.
- HB 1238 Free School Meals for Students.
- HB 1388 Protecting Renters from predatory residential rent practices.
- HB 1389 Concerning Residential Rent Increases.
Legislative Session Week 6 in Review
Last Monday, HB 1784 Hunger Relief had a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee and was unanimously passed out of committee later in the week. This bill would address the “hunger cliff’ facing many states across the nation. This stop-gap measure would provide $20 million to supply food to food banks, $6 million for senior meals, and $2 million for fruit and vegetable incentives.
HB 1024 Real Labor Real Wages Act substitute bill passed out of the House Appropriations Committee. The initial aim of the bill was for incarcerated workers to be paid minimum wage instead of the current $0.49/hour average wage. Though minimum wage compensation will not happen this session, progress was still made. The substitute bill moving forward would mandate that incarcerated persons participating in certain Correctional Industries work programs must be paid no less than $1.50 an hour. It would also require that the amount paid to an incarcerated person participating in a Class III work program must be no less than $200 a month. The Department of Corrections would also be required to submit a report related to debt incurred by incarcerated persons for the cost of items and services while incarcerated.
HB 1087 Solitary Confinement Reform was scheduled for executive session, but no action was taken in the House Committee on Appropriations.
On Tuesday, the 3-day Environmental Lobby Days started with Rep. Beth Doglio, Chair of the Environment & Energy committee, speaking to the participants about the current environmental bills. These are the priority bills that you should contact your legislators about passing:
- HB 1181/SB 5203 Planning for a Climate Friendly Future, which would improve the state’s climate response by updating the Growth Management Act.
- HB 1131/SB 5154 Washington Recycling and Packaging (WRAP) Act, which would modernize our recycling system by incentivizing producers to use reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging and significantly increase recycling rates for beverage containers by establishing a deposit return system.
- HB 1329/SB 5366 Extreme Heat Utility Shutoff Moratorium, which would prohibit utility providers from discontinuing electricity and drinking water services to residential customers during extreme heat.
FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang testified before the Senate Ways & Means Committee in support of SB 5533 Creation of a Model Vehicle Pursuit Policy. This bill would set up a deliberative stakeholder process, including research and data gathering, to create a vehicular pursuit model policy that uses modern technology. She asserted that the policy work group should be inclusive and consist of law enforcement, community organizations, experts in police tactics, and academics and researchers in criminal justice and transportation safety. This would be a way to properly identify the problems, evaluate the impacts, and produce substantive data-driven solutions. Currently, pursuits are allowed only for violent crimes, sexual offenses, escapes, and DUIs. The goal of the statewide legislative change in 2021 was to decrease the significant number of individuals, particularly bystanders, who were killed or injured due to vehicular pursuits. Preliminary evidence suggests that the current law is saving lives by decreasing fatalities.
One of our economic justice priorities, HB 1473/SB 5486 Extreme Wealth Tax was heard in the House Finance Committee. This wealth tax would collect a 1% property tax on intangible property over $250 million from multi-millionaires and billionaires, by taxing wealth held in stocks, bonds, and other financial intangible property that currently remains untaxed by Washington’s revenue system. Fewer than 0.01% of Washingtonians would ever pay this tax. Anti-taxman Tim Eyman testified against the bill, citing how unfair it would be to very wealthy people. Rep. Thai, the bill’s sponsor, countered that the tax would raise billions of dollars to help people with disabilities and fund early learning, childcare, and housing, the programs we need to make Washington a healthier state.
On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee heard HB 1131 Washington Recycling and Packaging (WRAP) Act, which would modernize our recycling system, and HB 1260 Aging, Blind, & Disabled (ABD) Fix, which would end the requirement that extremely low-income, disabled people pay back ABD benefits. Your advocacy is needed before the 2/24 fiscal cutoff.
Thursday was Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) Advocacy Day. Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, along with many organizers, spoke at the rally on the Capitol steps. Sen. Saldaña is a sponsor of the Health Equity for Immigrant’s Campaign (HEIC) budget ask, which would help create a health coverage program by 2024 for people who are ineligible for federal assistance. She is also the prime sponsor of HB 1095/SB 5109 Unemployment Benefits for Undocumented Workers. The House bill passed out of the House Committee on Labor & Workforce Standards earlier in the week and was referred to Appropriations. The Senate bill also passed out of its Senate policy committee and was referred to Ways & Means.
As part of Environmental Lobby Days, FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang presented at the BIPOC breakout session, “Building Power in our Communities.” She spoke about decarbonizing the transportation industry and HB 1723/SB 5651 Environmental Justice in the Growth Management Act, which would require that both climate change and environmental justice are explicitly addressed in local comprehensive planning, with specific goals, progress reports, and measures to reduce impacts and disparities. The bill would ensure that overburdened communities and populations vulnerable to climate change are specifically considered as a priority, not as an afterthought or sacrifice. It passed out of the Senate Committee on Local Government, Land Use, & Tribal Affairs that day.
Other bills heard on Thursday included:
- HB 1445 AG Investigations & Reform was heard in the House Appropriations Committee. This bill would give the Attorney General’s office $3.5 million per biennium for investigations, litigation, outreach to law enforcement, and help ensure a fundamental baseline for policing across Washington state.
- SB 5236 Safe Health Care Staffing was heard in the Senate Ways & Means Committee. This bill would establish minimum staffing standards, improve rest and meal breaks, and create overtime provisions to improve worker safety and patient care. This KUOW story highlights some of the current issues with nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals.
- SB 5241 Keep Our Care Act passed out of the Senate Committee on Law & Justice and was referred to Ways & Means. This bill would ensure that health entity consolidations improve rather than harm access to affordable health care, including reproductive, gender-affirming, and end-of-life dignity care.
Today (Friday) is policy committee cutoff, and we are awaiting the outcomes of morning executive sessions on SB 5435 Concerning Residential Rent Increases in the Senate Committee on Housing, and on SB 5566 Hunger Free Campus in the Senate Committee on Higher Education & Workforce Development.
Connect with FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang at email@example.com.
Please see our Bill Tracker for how other bills on our agenda are progressing. We update the Bill Tracker every Friday.
Moving Forward into 2023!
Thanks to the generosity of FAN donors during our Annual Dinner and in the weeks since, we are happy to announce that we have met and exceeded our $150,000 fundraising goal in December. You helped us move forward into this new year with strength, solidarity, and hope! Let’s continue to make changes that allow all people and our planet to flourish in 2023.
Announcing FAN’s Legislative Agenda
We are in full preparation for the 2023 State Legislative Session, which officially begins next Monday, January 9. We are proud to share our legislative agenda, shaped in collaboration with advocates who participate in FAN meetings year-round, coalition partners, and FAN’s Policy Committee, staff, and Governing Board. Fact sheets for the items on our legislative agenda will be posted as they become available, and our bill tracker will be updated throughout the session.
We are hosting pre-legislative-session trainings this week to help you prepare for the session. Please register and share in your communities:
- Thursday, January 5, 6-7pm, online, FAN 2023 Legislative Preview, an overview of what to expect this session and FAN’s legislative agenda. Register for Zoom link here.
- Sunday, January 8, 2-3pm, online, FAN Advocacy 101, presenting advocacy tools to use during the session. Register for Zoom link here.
We hope you will also plan to join us for Advocacy Days! Please register early and share with your communities:
Eastern Washington Legislative Conference, Saturday, January 21, in Spokane and online (see flyer and registration link on our webpage).
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN for Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia, Thursday, February 9, 9am-3pm. Please register to attend IN PERSON by January 29 at this link. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, there is no cost to attend this year. We will be gathering in person at The United Churches of Olympia in the morning and meeting with legislators in the afternoon. We are unsure at this point which portions of the day we will be able to offer for online participation; we will provide updates about that and registration for any online activities as more is known.
Please join us to raise voices of faith and conscience in our State Capitol!
Say No to Antisemitism!
Our friends at Kol HaNeshamah, a member of FAN’s Network of Advocating Faith Communities (NAFCs), have produced a poster that can be displayed in faith communities and homes. We are working with them to distribute these to you, in hopes you will join us in rejecting antisemitism and showing your support for Jewish people by displaying the poster. We stand in solidarity against hate and discrimination, as we stood together in support of our Muslim neighbors in 2017 by displaying posters.
FAN will have a supply of posters available at the Eastern Washington Legislative Conference on January 21, and at Interfaith Advocacy Day on February 9, as well as through our regional organizers. If you would like to order some to be mailed to you, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Faith Communities and individuals: We’ve been asked to share these helpful resources from Senior Housing Net: Washington independent living guide.
January 6, 9:00am Pacific time, online. White Christian Nationalism and the Capitol Riot: How did we get here and what comes next? Institute for Christian-Islamic-Jewish Studies, with author Brad Onishi. Register here.
January 10-16. Martin Luther King Community Workshop Series, online January 10-14, and in-person January 16, 9:30 – 10:50am, at Garfield HS Seattle. See webpage for information and registration. Special event: a community dialogue on mass incarceration and supporting Black and Brown men who were incarcerated as children and reentered the community as adults.
January 25, 5:30pm. Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Tacoma, will host an educational event on Passing Responsible Gun Legislation for WA, open to the Pierce County/Tacoma community. It will be held in their Fellowship Hall and include a light dinner. Featuring Tremayne Edwards from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, with training for effective advocacy and lobbying.
January 26, 5:00-6:30pm, online. Sacredly Speaking: God-Talk About Reproductive Freedom, presented by The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) in partnership with Seattle First Baptist Church and the Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches. Register here.
2023 LOBBY DAYS (that we know so far):
January 16, 9am, on Zoom. Statewide Poverty Action’s MLK Lobby Day, register here.
January 21, 8:30am-3:00pm, in Spokane & online, Eastern WA Legislative Conference, register here.
February 7, in Olympia, Hunger Action Day at Temple Beth Hatfiloh. Registration to come.
February 9, 9am-3pm, in Olympia, Interfaith Advocacy Day, register here.
February 15, online, Multifaith Restorative Justice Coalition, register here.
February 16, 9am-5pm, in Olympia, WAISN Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Day, register here.
February 20, 9am, virtual, Children’s Alliance Have a Heart for Kids Day, register here.
We always post the E-News to our website each week at fanwa.org/news/.
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