Legislative Update: Week Four

E-Alert from February 2, 2018

Week Four in Review

Highlights from week four of the 2018 State Legislative Session:

Tuesday: FAN’s Interfaith Leadership Council had their annual meeting with Governor Inslee last week. Fourteen faith leaders from American Baptist, Lutheran, Quaker, Jewish, Muslim, United Church of Christ, and Methodist traditions along with partners from Earth Ministry and the Church Council of Greater Seattle gathered to talk about criminal justice, racial justice, the environment, the supplemental budget, and poverty.

WednesdayBreakfast After the Bell (HB 1508) passed off the Senate floor with only 5 ‘no’ votes! It already passed through the House, so after concurrence on a minor issue, it will go to the Governor’s desk for signatures. This will increase access to school breakfast at public schools with 70% free and reduced population, which focuses on high poverty schools. This will narrow the opportunity gap and raise test scores for kids of color.

Thursday: The Dept of Corrections Ombuds bill (HB 1889 Pettigrew) passed out of the House Committee on Public Safety (9-2) and is now waiting to be scheduled for a hearing and vote in the House Appropriations Committee. The primary goals of this bill are to increase the overall health and welfare of those serving time in our state prisons, as well as their family member relations so that when they get out, there will be less chance of returning. The other goal is to reduce litigation by those in prison or their families against the State Department of Corrections.

Also on Thursday, a bill that would enhance background checks for assault weapon purchases (SB 5444 Frockt) passed out of the Senate Committee on Law & Justice (4-3). The bill will require purchasers to be at least 21 years old, to have safety training, and to have an annual background check renewal.

Friday: This was the policy committee cutoff day, meaning any bills that have not yet been voted out of their policy committees are considered dead for this session.

Looking Ahead to Week Five

Monday: The Senate Ways & Means Committee will hear a bill called Keep Washington Working (SB 5689 Wellman). This bill will keep ICE agents from sharing and obtaining information about undocumented immigrants who are being detained in a local jails.

Tuesday: February 6 is the second cutoff day, meaning that Tuesday is the last day to pass bills out of fiscal and Transportation committees in their house of origin.

Take Action Now

  1. Keep Washington Working (SB 5689 Wellman) must be voted out of the Senate Ways & Means Committee before February 6, or it will die for this session. Now is the time to contact your Senator, especially if they are on the Ways & Means Committee, and urge them to support immigrants and Washington’s economy.  Click here to ask your Senator to support this bill. 
  2. Repeal the Death Penalty (SB 6052 Walsh) must be voted on by the whole Senate and passed before the February 14 cutoff day. Click here to contact your Senator and let them know you want them to support this bill. Click here for more information about the bill, and here to learn more about the broad support for this effort in Washington State.
  3. The Dept. of Corrections Ombuds bill (HB 1889 Pettigrew) must be voted out of the House Appropriations Committee by the February 6 fiscal cutoff day. If one of your House members is in that committee, your advocacy is especially helpful on this.

To contact your legislators, use the email formula [email protected], or use the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000 between 8 AM and 7 PM, Monday through Friday. To find out who your legislators are, click here.