Ready to raise your voice?
Register now for Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia, Thursday, February 9, 9am-3pm. Please register by January 29 at this link so we can arrange legislative meetings for you.
Overnight accommodations are available at Gwinwood Retreat Center in Lacey for those traveling from a distance. Cost for a single room and shared bathroom is $35. Please indicate in your registration, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Follow our legislative agenda here.
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.
ECONOMIC JUSTICE and FOOD SECURITY
HB 1238/SB 5339 Free School Meals for All Students would define school meals as part of basic education and provide free breakfast and lunch to all of Washington’s 1.1 million students. This would be a giant step toward ending child hunger. HB 1238 will have a hearing in the House Committee on Education at 4:00pm on Tuesday, January 24. SB 5339 will have a hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education at 1:30pm on Monday, January 23. Sign in PRO: for HB 1238 here and for SB 5339 here.
HB 1075 Expanding Eligibility for the Working Families’ Tax Credit (WFTC) would expand eligibility to everyone in Washington age 18 and older. Along with HB 1477 WFTC Technical Fixes, HB 1075 will have a hearing in the House Finance Committee at 1:30 pm on Thursday, January 26. The hearing is not yet listed for testimony, but it should be posted by Monday. Navigate to it from this page to sign in PRO before Thursday.
HB 1388 Stopping Excessive Rent Hikes would protect tenants by prohibiting predatory residential rent practices and by applying the consumer protection act to the residential landlord-tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act. HB 1389/SB 5435 Rent Stabilization would limit residential rent increases. Both bills will have hearing in the House Committee on Housing on at 4:00pm on Tuesday, January 24. Sign in PRO: for HB 1388 here and for HB 1389 here.
PUBLIC SAFETY and GUN RESPONSIBILITY
HB 1025 Access to Fairness Act would provide a legal remedy for victims of police violence whose rights have been violated by law enforcement. It is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee at 8:00am on Wednesday, January 25. Sign in PRO here.
HB 1143 Firearms Permit Updates would require a comprehensive background check, safety training, and a waiting period to purchase a firearm in Washington. HB 1240 Banning the Sale of Assault Weapons would prohibit the sale, manufacture, transport, and import (but not possession) of assault weapons. These bills will have a joint hearing in executive session of the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee on Friday, January 27. Please contact members of the committee beforehand to urge them to pass the bills to the committee.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
SB 5135 Solitary Confinement Reform would make confinement practices in state prisons more humane. It is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Human Services at 10:30am on Monday, January 23. Sign-in PRO here.
HB 1329/SB 5366 Extreme Heat Utility Shut-Off Moratorium would prohibit utility providers from discontinuing electric or drinking water services to customers during extreme heat. It is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Environment & Energy committee at 1:30pm on Monday, January 23. Sign in PRO here.
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS and JUSTICE
SB 5109 Unemployment Insurance for Undocumented Workers would create a permanent separate unemployment system for undocumented workers. It is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce at 8:00am on Thursday, January 26. Sign in PRO here.
Legislative Session Week 2
On Monday, both the House and Senate passed resolutions to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1964, Dr. King said: “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.” An innovative bill in both chambers this year would build on Dr. King’s idea. HB 1094/SB 5125 The Washington Future Fund, “Baby Bonds” would help address the wealth gap and disrupt the generational cycle of poverty by allocating a sum of money to children born under the state’s Medicaid Apple Health program. Recipients would have access to the funds between the ages of 18 and 35 to use for education, housing, or small business. FAN’s Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang testified in both the Senate and House committees in strong support of the legislation. We all benefit when people are housed, when people are educated and trained to be part of our workforce, and when people build small businesses to enrich our community.
Also on Monday, SB 5087 Repealing Unconstitutional Statutes in State Law including the death penalty was heard in the Senate Law & Justice Committee. It passed out of committee on Thursday.
On Tuesday, numerous bills on FAN”s legislative agenda had public hearings:
- SB 5236 Safe Hospital Staffing Standards was heard in the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. This bill would improve worker safety and patient care in health care facilities by addressing staffing needs, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and enforcement.
- HB 1177 Creating a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People Cold Case Investigations Unit was heard in the House Committee on Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry. Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the bill would provide a victims’ navigator and a designated prosecutor.
- HB 1240 Banning the Sale of Assault Weapons was heard in the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee. Rep. Peterson, the bill’s sponsor, aims to limit the expansion and continuing use of weapons like the AR-15 that was used to kill three teens eight years ago in his district. The committee also heard HB 1143 Firearm Permit Updates, which includes a ten-day waiting period, state patrol background check, and safety training for first-time gun owners.
- SB 5078 Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act was heard in the Senate Law & Justice Committee. It passed out of committee on January 19 on partisan lines (6 Democrats to 5 Republicans). The bill would ensure that victims have access to justice when the firearms industry fails to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
- HB 1181/SB 5203 Planning for a Climate Friendly Future was heard in the Senate Committee on Local Government, Land Use, and Tribal Affairs, and in the House Committee on Local Government. It would require all counties planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) to plan for resilience and address the impacts of climate change in land use plans. It would also require cities and counties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure Washington is meeting its climate transportation goals.
- SB 5154 Washington Recycling and Packaging (WRAP) Act had hearings in both the Senate and House. This bill would modernize our recycling system by requiring manufacturers and producers to fund a residential recycling program, by creating a bottle deposit system, and by establishing minimum post-consumer recycled content requirements for thermoform plastic containers, plastic tubs, single-use plastic cups, and more.
On Thursday, SB 5249 Expanding Eligibility for the Working Families’ Tax Credit (WFTC) was heard in the Senate Ways & Means committee. The WFTC provides individuals and families up to $1,200 a year. This bill would expand eligibility for this credit from people ages 25-64 to everyone age 18 and over. Steve Clagett, co-lead of FAN’s Economic Justice Working Group, noted that this key change will dramatically assist young adults graduating out of foster care at the moment they likely need financial assistance the most.
Today (Friday), HB 1024 The Real Labor, Real Wages Act cleared its first legislative hurdle when it was voted out of the House Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry Committee with a vote of 6-3. This bill would mandate that incarcerated workers be paid state minimum wage. Sponsored by Rep. Tarra Simmons (D-Bremerton), the first formerly incarcerated legislator in the United States, HB 1024 would make Washington the first state in the nation to pay its incarcerated population minimum wage.
To connect more about FAN’s policy work, please contact Policy Engagement Director Kristin at Ang@fanwa.org.
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. E-mail email@example.com to register.
January 26, 5:00-6:30pm, online. Sacredly Speaking: God-Talk About Reproductive Freedom, presented jointly by Seattle First Baptist Church, The Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Pre-register using this link.
2023 LOBBY DAYS (that we know so far):
January 21, 8:30am-3:00pm, in Spokane & online, Eastern WA Legislative Conference, register here.
January 26, 11:30am, in Olympia, Support Capital Gains Rally. Join this event to stand for economic justice and support the capital gains tax. register here.
February 6-8, online, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Days, 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, online, Children’s Alliance Have a Heart for Kids Day, register here.
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