Our longtime volunteer in Olympia, Trevor Sandison, has been spending long days into evenings this week in Olympia as the House worked overtime to pass bills before House of Origin cutoff. Trevor is point person for us on some of the anti-hunger bills. Here is Trevor pictured with Lin Crowley from the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, Darcy Huffman, Olympia School Board President, and Kristin Ang, FAN Policy Engagement Director.

We’ve passed the House of Origin cutoff this week, and thanks to your advocacy, we celebrate that several bills on our legislative agenda are now ready to be considered in the opposite chamber. That means there are several public hearings coming up next week, and multiple ways to support bills by signing in PRO or offering written testimony. Please Take 5 minutes to support these seven bills!

Take Action

Please remember to take action more than an hour before the hearing; these are listed chronologically Monday-Thursday. If you would like to submit written or verbal testimony, start here.

HB 1477 WFTC Fixes would extend eligibility to Married Filing Separately tax filers, which would help survivors of domestic violence; increase the time limit to file claims to 3 years; and create a legislative reporting requirement. The bill has a hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on March 13 at 4:00pm.

HB 1784 Hunger Relief would provide funding to food banks, support senior meals, and invest in the fruit and vegetables incentive, to replace federal pandemic food benefits that have ended. The bill has a hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on March 13th at 4:00 PM.

HB 1181 Planning for a Climate Friendly Future would address climate change and resiliency in our communities by updating the growth management act. The bill passed the House (57-41) and is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Local Government, Land Use & Tribal Affairs on March 14 at 8:00 AM.

SB 5078 Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act would require the firearms industry to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls. The bill passed the Senate (28-21) and is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary on March 14 at 10:30 AM.

SB 5087 Repealing Unconstitutional State Statutes including the Death Penalty would correct defects and omissions in the Revised Code of Washington. The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary on March 15th at 8:00 AM.

SB 5236 Safe Health Care Staffing would establish minimum staffing standards to improve worker safety and patient care. The bill has a public hearing in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards on March 15th at 8:00 AM.

HB 1469 Shield Law would protect healthcare providers and patients who access reproductive health care services and gender-affirming treatment in Washington state from out-of-state legal action. Nationwide, there are more than 270 bills targeting all aspects of trans lives, many with felony charges against parents, caregivers, and medical providers. HB 1469 has a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on March 16th at 8:00 AM.

WEEK 9 Legislative Session Recap

Wednesday March 8 was the legislative cutoff for bills to the pass the floor in the house of origin. Bills that do not pass by the cutoff are considered dead for the session. Generally, bills die if they are not the priority of the majority party and lack the adequate amount of yes votes. Bills also do not pass cutoff because there are too many bills and too little time for all good bills to move forward through the process. This past week has meant long nights for our legislators as they moved bills by the cutoff deadline.

FAN-supported safety net protections were the first bills to pass, including those addressing funding for food banks, free school meals for more children, and hunger-free campuses. Among our public safety bills that passed were HB 1177 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & People (MMIWP) Cold Case Unit and HB 1579 Independent Prosecutor for police accountability. Climate bills that passed included HB 1181 Planning for a Climate Friendly Future addressing climate change and resiliency, as well as HB 1328 Extreme Heat Utility Shutoff Moratorium.

Two of FAN’s gun responsibility bills were debated for many hours on the House floor on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. HB 1143 Firearms Permit Requirements passed Tuesday around 11pm (52-44). The bill would require a comprehensive background check, safety training, and a 10-day waiting period to purchase a firearm in Washington. HB 1240 Ban on the Sale of Assault Weapons was the final bill debated on the House floor before Wednesday cutoff and passed (55-42)! It would prohibit the sale, manufacture, transport, and import (but not possession) of assault weapons.

SB 5486 Extreme Wealth Tax had a hearing in Senate Ways & Means on Thursday. The bill would tax extreme wealth derived from the ownership of stocks, bonds, and other financial assets, with the proceeds dedicated to education, housing, disability services, and tax credits for working families. The first $250 million of assessed value is exempted, meaning only the wealthiest people in Washington would pay the tax. This bill is important to FAN’s economic justice priorities in fixing our state’s regressive tax system.

HB 1447 Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Improvements would strengthen the ability of TANF to meet foundational needs of families. It passed the House (58–38) last week, and had a hearing this week in the Senate Human Services committee. The bill expands the list of resources and increases the amount of assets exempt from being considered at the time of application for cash assistance; increases the amount of earnings families eligible for cash assistance may keep; and provides that the 60-month life time limit for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) does not apply to child-only TANF.

HB 1260 Aged Blind and Disabled (ABD) Fix which passed the House (92-4) last week had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Human Services. The ABD Fix bill would end the requirement that extremely low-income disabled people pay back ABD cash assistance when they qualify for federal assistance.

FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang testified on Friday in support of SB 5082 Repeal Statewide Advisory Votes. FAN supported the bill because we are an inclusive, multiracial and multifaith organization that believes in an inclusive democracy where each person has equal voice, vote and representation in their governance. This means advocating for pro-democracy legislation and combatting voter suppression and disinformation. The current advisory votes are confusing, misleading, costly, and nonbinding. They are not informative to the voter and they negate enthusiasm for filling the ballot, leading to less participation. FAN supports measures that would give voters more accurate information about state budgets and new revenue resources.

Connect with FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang at ang@fanwa.org.

Please see our Bill Tracker for how other bills on our agenda are progressing. We update the Bill Tracker every Friday.

Moving from Prayers to Policies

See the FAN Blog for a new video post! Elise and Kristin were honored to be part of a conversation early in the legislative session that was recently released. While some policies mentioned have received favorable votes, others are not moving forward this 2023 session; yet the foundations for why we choose to work on various policies are discussed. We appreciated the chance to be in dialogue with Jennifer Bereskin, a Paths to Understanding Board Member and advocate for the Washington Future Fund. We offer this video blog that you can use to start conversations in your own community. Gratitude to Paths To Understanding and their wonderful Challenge 2.0 media program, so graciously hosted by Jeff Renner.

Listen for ways we can work together to move our values and prayer into action for public policy change. Let us know what YOU think!

Lift your Voice for Immigrant Justice

This week, we have another opportunity to take action on the federal level, thanks to the Jewish Coalition for Immigrant Justice NW (JCIJ). The potential changes announced in recent weeks to immigration regulations from the Biden Administration would nearly eliminate asylum opportunities for those crossing the southern border. JCIJ explains that this puts asylum seekers at extreme risk: “The Biden Administration’s proposed rule would automatically deny asylum to the majority of people entering the U.S. at the southern border unless they had first applied for, and been denied, asylum in Mexico and other countries they passed through. This would be an historic reversal of basic protections established after World War II regarding displaced people, asylum seekers, and refugees.”

One way to protect refugee status and to resist this unjust asylum ban for immigrants is to directly comment on your opposition to these new regulations before March 27. Your comment needs be unique and personal for it to be most effective towards this important effort to promote a greater level of safety for those seeking asylum. Write your comment here.


Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power and Light is seeking to fill two positions: an Advocacy Manager and a Contract Grant Writer. Find out more info here.


Friday, March 10, 6-8pm, Washington Hall, Seattle. Deconstructing Racism: A Path toward Lasting Change, book talk and signing. This event, presented by the People’s Institute Northwest Network will feature the co-authors of the book, Barbara Crain Major and Rev. Joseph Barndt.

Monday, March 13, 4-6pm, in-person, Port of Olympia, Olympia, Totem Pole Journey Blessing to Protect Oak Flat. The journey returns to Olympia where the Totem Pole will be seen for the first time.

Monday, March 13, 10am, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action Poulsbo, Washington. Presentation by Medea Benjamin, co-author of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict. This free public event will address the threat of use of nuclear weapons in the ongoing Ukraine war.

Tuesday, March 14, 7:30pm, Town Hall, Seattle. Health and Houselessness in Seattle. Join Anna Patrick, reporter for Project Homeless, and Dr. Josephine Ensign, author of Skid Road: On the Frontier of Health and Homelessness in Seattle as they reveal the stories of overlooked and long-silenced people who live on the margins of society.

Monday, Mar 20, 5:00pm, online, Don’t Let Naked Profiteering Destroy Our Medicare webinar with Dr. Ed Weisbart presented by Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA).

Thursday-Saturday, April 20-22, in-person and online, Spokane Community College, Spokane. 7th International Conference on Hate Studies: The Challenges of Hate in the 21st Century. This conference is one of the leading interdisciplinary academic forums on hate, related social problems, and ways to create socially just and inclusive communities. Early registration ends on Wednesday, March 15.

Legislative Town Halls: Check your legislators’ websites for scheduled town halls as another way to raise your voice on issues you care about this session. Follow these links to find out about town halls for Republicans and Democrats in your district.

Tuesday, March 14, 6:30pm, in-person, Townhall, Seattle, 7th Congressional District Townhall with Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal.