March 1, 2022 Vol. 54, Issue 9
Lunell Haught, President
Joan Lawson, Advocacy Portfolio Director
Susan Fleming, Lobby Team Portfolio Director
Urgent Action Needed as Legislative Cutoff Looms for League Priority Bills
Between March 1 and 4, bills must pass out of the opposite chamber from that in which they were introduced. Bills introduced in the Senate must be passed by the House, and vice versa. And during this week, all of the legislative work will be floor action. The committee work has ended.
After March 4, only bills associated with the three budgets will be considered, along with the operating, capital and transportation budgets. That means that right now is the last opportunity League members will have to advocate with their respective legislators for League priorities.
The Action Alerts that follow are ones that the Lobby Team deems of high priority for the League as a whole. There are, of course, many other important bills still at issue; but we could only ask you to send a limited number of Alerts. These Alerts are asking legislators to move certain bills from the Rules Committee to the floor for a vote; and then to vote for the bills.
In each of the Alerts below, you will see a bill description and explanation of why an Action is important. Please click on the ones of interest to you and send your message to your legislators. You can tailor the message by modifying it before you send; or you can just send it as is.
Thank you for your help with League advocacy!
Click on the links below to learn more about bills currently being reviewed in the state legislature. You can “take action” on these most pressing bills by sending a suggested, editable email to legislators, encouraging them to vote to promote the League issue in question.
Require Oil Companies to Pay for Oil Spill Clean Up—Not Taxpayers
E2SHB 1691 requires oil vessels and facilities to demonstrate financial ability to pay for a “worst case” oil spill, and would stop oil companies from externalizing costs and relieve taxpayers of the financial burden.
Regulate and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Buildings Greenhouse gas emissions in buildings are second only to transportation in Washington, and the most promising approach to reducing these emissions is through electrification of heating, cooking, and similar energy needs. Market forces alone can no longer move change fast enough. We must apply regulations, explicit incentives, and market forces to ensure we stay on track to meet the states reduction objectives that are now in our law. SB 5722 applies regulations already in place for large buildings to buildings down to 20,000 square feet, and this will include more multi-family housing so those residents can benefit from healthier air and lower energy costs as we continue to electrify the grid. ► Please ask your Representative to vote yes on SB 5722
Establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board SB 5532 would coordinate with the Health Care Authority and others to review drugs with excessive price increases and establish a methodology for setting upper limits on payments for prescription drugs and biologics that the Board determines have led or will lead to excess costs. This is important in keeping the increases in cost of health care as low as possible and not contribute to excess profits for pharmaceutical manufacturers. ► Please ask your Representative to vote yes on SB 5532
Treat Chronic Homelessness as a Medical Condition with a Prescription for Housing This bill (HB 1866) would treat chronic homelessness as a medical condition and require that Apple Health address the needs of chronically homeless populations by pairing a health care problem with a health care solution. It establishes the Apple Health and Homes Program to provide a permanent supportive housing benefit and a community support services benefit to persons who meet eligibility criteria related to income, medical risk factors and barriers to finding stable housing. Permanent supportive housing is what many people who are chronically homeless need, because it provides wrap-around services as well as housing. This bill provides a clear mechanism by which people who need these services can obtain them. ► Please ask your Senator to vote yes on HB 1866
Support Creation of ADUs to Increase Housing HB 1660 is necessary to assure that comp planning jurisdictions will accommodate Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in traditionally single-family neighborhoods as one method of increasing urgently needed housing. Many cities are having NIMBY conflicts with residents when they attempt to add ADU provisions. Additionally, some jurisdictions are declining to try. This would not affect neighborhoods where the homes are too close together. ► Please ask your Senator to vote yes on HB 1660
Improve the State’s Climate Response through the GMA HB 1099 would add a goal of climate change mitigation to the listed goals of the Growth Management Act (GMA), add a climate change and resiliency element to the list of elements that must be included within the local comprehensive plans, and require the State Commerce Department to provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions in producing these plans. If not adopted this year, it will be too late for local jurisdictions to meet this requirement by the comp plan update deadline of June 2024. ► Please ask your Senator to vote yes on HB 1099
Other Ways to Follow the State Legislature
- Washington State Legislature website, leg.wa.gov.
- Washington State’s public affairs TV network, TVW.org.
League of Women Voters of Washington 1511 3rd Avenue, Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98101 206-622-8961 | 1-800-419-2596 | www.lwvwa.org