On Wednesday, FAN’s Interfaith Leaders Council met with Governor Inslee about bills we want to see passed this session—death penalty repeal, criminal justice reform, TANF equity, homelessness and housing bills, clean air and environmental bills, immigration (Courts Open to All), and addressing anti-Muslim rhetoric with Facts Over Fear. We also talked about the importance of faith communities in keeping people safe during coronavirus outbreaks.
Week Eight in Review
Monday was the fiscal cutoff, where over 150 bills were heard, amended, caucused, and voted on. Tuesday through Friday, around 200 bills were caucused, amended, debated on the floor, and voted on to pass out of the second house chamber before final negotiations and signature by the Governor.
On Tuesday, FAN held our annual Governor’s Meeting where interfaith leaders led discussions on FAN’s priority bills, and Governor Inslee emphasized safe health practices in the midst of the coronavirus. On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence met with the Governor for more on Washington state’s approach to this outbreak.
We celebrate 18 successes this week! Each of these bills made it past both chambers and will be concurred next week before being signed into law:
- HB 1590, Rep. Doglio – Gives authority to city and county councils to increase local sales and use taxes by one tenth of one percent to dedicate to affordable housing.
- HB 1694, Rep. Morgan – Allows apartment move-in fees to be paid in installments
- HB 1783, Rep. Gregerson – Establishes a state racial equity office within the Governor’s office
- HB 2231, Rep. Pellicciotti – Bail jumping bill: Reforms our current bail system to create more racial, economic, and legal equity by allowing judges the right to determine consequences for missed court hearings, rather than prosecutors. Needs concurrence by the House.
- HB 2277, Rep. Peterson – Bans the use of solitary confinement in our juvenile justice system
- HB 2441, Rep. Entenman – Reforms the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program around time limits and sanctions. Needs concurrence by the House.
- HB 2455, Rep. Kilduff – GRADS bill: Creates childcare opportunities for teenage parents to attend high school and create self-sufficiency.
- HB 2567, Rep. Thai – Courts Open to All Act: Prohibits federal immigration agents from communicating with and arresting people at and around county courthouses.
- HB 2576, Rep. Ortiz-Self – Authorizes the Department of Health to study the effects of private detention in our state agencies.
- HB 2602, Rep. Morgan – Establishes hair styles as a protected civil right, especially in workplaces.
- HB 2632, Rep. Valdez – Swatting bill: Designates the false reporting of crimes or emergencies as a felony offense.
- HB 2660, Rep. Riccelli – Increases access to free school meals for high-eligibility areas.
- HB 2793, Rep. Hansen – Automatically vacates criminal records for eligible people.
- SB 5947, Sen. McCoy – Sustainable Farms and Fields bill: Establishes a grant program to incentivize carbon sequestration by growers and food producers. Needs concurrence by the Senate.
- SB 6261, Sen. McCoy – Removes the nonprofit exemption from farm labor contracts to protect farm workers from unsafe practices and retaliation.
- SB 6309, Sen. Lovelett – Increases the WIC/Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program voucher amount to $28
- SB 6442, Sen. Saldaña – Prohibits the Department of Corrections from using private contractors for incarceration unless it is a Governor-declared emergency. Needs concurrence by the Senate.
- SB 6478, Sen. Nguyen – Reforms standards for economic assistance programs.
Looking Ahead to Week Nine
Next week is the last week of session! Concurrence of bills happens when a bill has a difference in policy between the two chambers – this process could begin as early as Saturday and continues through the final day on March 12. All three supplemental budgets – Operating, Transportation, and Capital – have been in negotiations this week and will continue through March 12. Any revenue bill that is necessary to implement the budget is still alive through March 12 as well.
Take Action for Justice!
Thank you for all your hard work advocating for bills this session! Because of your voices of faith and conscience, our state will move toward greater justice and equity for all. We will keep you updated on any emergency advocacy efforts needed next week, and we will send out a full list of successes following the end of session.
Faith Community Recommendations for COVID-19
Washington state and local jurisdictions have issued health warnings and safety procedures in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. We are thankful for the many denominational and interfaith responses to this developing event, and offer this reflection from Rev. Mike Denton, Conference Minister of the Pacific NW Conference of the United Church of Christ, for people of faith to consider in this time. We will also be updating state and federal recommendations on our homepage under “Latest News from FAN” – stay tuned for more.
With King County as the epicenter of the outbreak, we recommend tuning into the Seattle-King County Public Health weekly community meetings on Mondays at 4 PM:
Join Skype Meeting Join by phone: 1.206.263.8114, 560794#
Conference ID: 560794
Governor Inslee has also released workplace guidelines for businesses and workers.
Finally, Theresa Crecelius from MAPS-AMEN has begun to compile a list of resources, FAQs, and anti-stigma information to share. Thanks Theresa!
We hope your community stays healthy and takes appropriate measures to stop the spread of this virus, especially to its most vulnerable members. Our work for justice continues, as we recognize that the impacts of this moment will be amplified by injustices in health care, income inequality, homelessness, workers’ rights, and more. May we find ways to stay connected even as our physical interactions are limited during this time.
Census 2020: 10 Questions ~ 10 Minutes ~ 10 Years of Impact!
During the past months of preparation for Census 2020, we’ve invited you to display posters, share an announcement or bulletin insert, and work with FAN to make sure Everyone Counts! These are still helpful activities, and you can find sources for multiple faith traditions and languages at our Census Toolkit webpage: https://fanwa.org/advocacy/advocacy-toolkit/census-2020/.
Today we’re asking you to plan a Census Action Day sometime between now and April 1, which is the official census day. Our Census Equity Outreach staff member Elizabeth Dickinson has prepared a list of helpful suggestions for your planning—please download it and share with others. We encourage you to make this fun and let us know what you have planned—take photos and share them with us! You can reach Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk through suggestions.
Download our Census Equity Action Day guide and get started planning. Follow us on Facebook to see what others are doing!
U.S. Census Bureau postcards will begin to arrive in households across our state beginning next week, March 12. They will invite households to fill out the census online, over the phone, or request a paper copy. There will be several reminder postcards, then in May census workers will be sent out to households that have not yet responded. You can take a look at the questionnaire itself and some of the resources that explain confidentiality, protections, and rights.
Thanks to heroic efforts and effective organizing happening across the state, we will make sure Everyone Counts in Census 2020.
Events & Opportunities
In light of state and local recommendations for community health practices during the coronavirus outbreak, many groups have chosen to cancel or postpone their upcoming events. Be sure to check event links ahead of time for updates.
Census 2020 is still hiring! It’s not too late to apply for a temporary part-time position with the 2020 Census. The positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training, and weekly paychecks.