Attend Online IFAD on Thursday 2/10

You can still register for Interfaith Advocacy Day before next Thursday, and if we already have legislative appointments reserved for your legislative district, you are welcome to join them. If not, while the deadline is passed for reserving appointments, you can still take part in the 9am-noon morning sessions that will include updates about what is moving forward during this fast session, workshops on the issues on FAN’s legislative agenda, and a chance to meet with other members of your legislative district to plan IFAD visits with legislators, or future strategies for meeting with them.

Register today at bit.ly/IFAD2022 if you want to receive our updates and online preparations!


Week 4 of Session

This Thursday, February 3, was the legislative cutoff date for bills to progress out of committee and remain viable or die. Bills with budget impacts get four extra days. Exceptions include House fiscal committees and Senate Ways & Means and Transportation committees. Don’t forget to follow our Bill Tracker or Bill Information at leg.wa.gov if you are looking for the progress of a particular bill.

The Washington Coalition for Police Accountability (WCPA) held a rally on Thursday on the Washington State Capitol steps. They are concerned that legislation introduced this year would roll back the progress made in 2021. They say that some bills this year are politically motivated and not really about clarifications and fixes, and that they would make our communities less safe.

WCPA’s statement: “In 2021 we all worked tirelessly to get new laws passed to protect the lives of people most likely to be the target of police violence and injustices: young people; Black, brown, and Indigenous people; people experiencing mental health crises; houseless people; and poor people. Now lawmakers have introduced bills to roll back the protections they put in place last year. Young people and BIPOC communities will be at increased risk for racial profiling. We need you all to show up and remind lawmakers why we marched in the streets in 2020, and let them know we have the community’s back!” Legislative committee approves changes to police reform law with bi-partisan support | KOMO (komonews.com)

HB 1202 Peace officer accountability did not pass and HB 1507 Independent prosecutions unit for police criminal use of force was tabled.

HB 1756 Restriction of solitary confinement. Good news! HB 1756 was voted out of House Appropriations (along party lines, 19-13) and will keep moving this session. The next stop for the bill is the House Rules Committee, and then it goes to the House floor, where all representatives will have an opportunity to vote on the bill.

SB5426 Wealth tax on the ultra-wealthy had a hearing in Senate Ways and Means on February 1. This bill will have billionaires pay their fair share with a new 1% tax on stocks, bonds, and other intangible assets worth over $1 billion. SB 5426 will not move forward this session.

Also on February 1, FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang testified in opposition to SB 5463, which would have gutted $1.2 billion per year from state revenue. Before giving tax breaks to those who are well off, we must first provide more basic services and cash to working families and everyday Washingtonians.

HB 2048 TANF extensions was heard on February 1 in Appropriations Committee. TANF is a critical lifeline that makes it possible for many Washingtonians to afford the basics: food on the table, a roof overhead, and other necessities to stay safe and healthy. Substitute House Bill 2048 helps ensure that families can get help when they need it and averts additional harm to families by extending important policy fixes to TANF.

SB 5438 Providing unemployment benefits to workers regardless of immigration status was heard February 2. Though this bill is not going to pass this session, it helps lay a foundation for providing benefits for all our neighbors in the future.

To learn more about FAN’s policy work, please contact Policy Engagement Director Kristin at Ang@fanwa.org.


Take Action

We encourage you to meet with your legislators at their virtual town halls and emailing them about the issues and bills you care about. Here is a link to a list of legislative town halls scheduled. 2022 Virtual and Telephone Town Halls – Washington State House Democrats and House Republicans

Please contact your legislators about the following bills:

Economic Justice: Tell your representatives to support these safety-net bills for low-income households: HB 1878 Expanding free school meals, HB 1947 Diaper Subsidy for TANF, and HB 1888 an implementation fix bill for the Working Families Tax Credit to ensure all eligible families will be able to access the tax credit as intended.

Criminal Justice: HB 1756 Restriction of Solitary Confinement. SB 5036 Clemency Reform. Oppose bills that would lower standards of police accountability.

Environment: HB 1099 Climate Resiliency.

Housing: HB 1904 Protecting tenants from excessive rent and related fees by providing at least six months’ notice for rent increases over a certain amount, allowing tenants the right to terminate a tenancy, and limiting late fees.

Healthcare: HB 1616 Expanding Charity Care

Call the Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000 to advocate for these bills. To learn more about each bill, go to apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo and enter the bill number or check out FAN’s Issue Fact Sheets, and Bill Tracker.


Film, Conversation, & Call to Action, 2/6

FAN is co-sponsoring this conversation with Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center, Jesuits West Collaborative, and other partners about the powerful film, Since I Been Down. Join in to better understand why we support clemency and criminal justice reform in our state. When you register for this event, you will receive a private link to view the film at your convenience before February 6. Then on February 6, 7-8:30pm, join a Zoom conversation with Kimonti Carter, leader of the Black Prisoners’ Caucus and a founder of TEACH, to discuss the film and identify ways to take action to transform our justice system. Register here.


Events & Opportunities

February 5, 5:00pm: Black Dollar Days Task Force and King County Reparations Project present Remembering Black Wall Street, with Dr. Phil Armstrong, Director of Black Wall Street Museum, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In person with mask and vaccination card at Washington Hall, 153 14th Avenue, Seattle, or online. RSVP to 206-480-7797 and receive instructions.

February 9, 7:00pm: Health Care for All-Washington addresses homelessness and healthcare when Dr. Nancy Connolly presents Ending Homelessness: Housing + Health Care + Community-based Solutions on Zoom. RSVP here!

Upcoming Meaningful Movies sponsored by faith communities:
February 6: Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story with Online Panel Discussion
February 17: John Lewis: Good Trouble

Earth Ministry/WA Interfaith Power & Light is recruiting for their next Executive Director. Learn more and share from their web page.

Communities for Our Colleges, a project of the Alliance for a Just Society, is looking for their next Education Justice Project Director/Lead Organizer. Email leeann@juststrategy.org for info or to apply.