We are seeking the next FAN Eastern Washington part-time regional organizer, and hope you will help us get the word out for this opportunity! Applications or questions received at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we move into next week, we are still tracking bills and hearings. We offer some options for signing in to support bills below. We are also concerned about what will be included in budget proposals. On Monday, a new revenue forecast will be delivered that will have a great impact on budget decisions. We encourage you to write to both fiscal committees with the following request for the Health Equity for Immigrants Campaign Fund to be included.
Faith Action Network is part of the Health Equity for Immigrants Campaign. We are asking the Washington State Legislature to provide full funding in the budget for a Medicaid-equivalent health care coverage program and ongoing Cascade Care financial assistance for Washingtonians currently excluded from affordable health coverage due to federal immigration status restrictions. FAN signed onto letters to the Senate Ways & Means and House Appropriations committees, asking them to fund health care access for immigrants. Please contact legislators in these committees to include this funding in the budget. Find their addresses here.
Sign in PRO for Hearings
Please note the day and time of each hearing, and sign in at least one hour before the hearing.
HB 1579 Independent Prosecutor would create a state office to ensure fair and transparent prosecutions of police misconduct. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice Committee on Monday, March 20, at 10:30am. Sign in PRO here.
HB 1177 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Persons (MMIWP) Cold Case Unit would create a cold case investigations unit with the Attorney General’s office. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on Monday, March 20, at 10:30am. Sign in PRO here.
HB 1329 Extreme Heat Utility Shutoff Moratorium would prohibit utility providers from discontinuing electric or water services during extreme heat. This bill is ultimately about saving lives and preserving dignity; having clean water and energy is critical during times of extreme heat and emergencies. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy, & Technology in Tuesday, March 21, 1:30pm. Sign in PRO here.
HB 1559 Hunger Free Campus would establish a benefits navigator program at institutions of higher education, university campuses, and tribal institutions, to help students get support for basic needs. In a recent United Way of King County pilot initiative, students who received support services were 25% more likely to persist to the next term and/or complete a credential than those who did not receive services. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Tuesday, March 21, at 4:00pm. Sign in PRO here.
HB 1240 Establishing Firearms-Related Safety Measures would prohibit the sale, manufacture, and import (but not possession) of assault weapons in Washington State, while allowing reasonable exemptions for law enforcement and the military. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on Thursday, March 23, at 8:00am. Sign in PRO here.
HB 1143 Require a Permit to Purchase Firearms would require safety training, a 10-day waiting period, and a comprehensive background check to purchase a firearm, reducing gun deaths and impulsive acts of violence. The bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on Thursday, March 23, at 8:00am. Sign in PRO here.
WEEK 10 Legislative Session Recap
Last week, the Legislature reached the deadline for passing bills out of their chambers of origin. Bills that did not move forward by this deadline are considered dead for the session unless they are considered Necessary to Implement the Budget (NTIB).
This past week, the focus of the legislature shifted to committees and public hearings in the opposite chambers. The next legislative cutoff is March 29, by when all bills must pass out of their policy committees to remain alive. Another significant date is Monday, March 20, when the Revenue forecast is submitted to the governor and legislature.
On Monday, the Senate Committee on Law & Justice held a public hearing on HB 1477 Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) Fixes and HB 1784 Hunger Relief. HB 1477 would: extend eligibility to married-filing-separately tax filers, which would help survivors of domestic violence; increase the time limit to file claims to three years; and create a legislative reporting requirement. HB 1784 would provide funding to food banks, support senior meals, and invest in the fruit-and-vegetables incentives, to replace federal pandemic food benefits that have ended.
On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Local Government, Land Use, & Tribal Affairs heard HB 1181 Planning for a Climate Friendly Future, which would address climate change and resiliency in our communities by updating the growth management act. The bill passed out of committee on Thursday!
The House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary heard SB 5078 Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act, which would require the firearms industry to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls. This would ensure that firearms manufacturers and sellers face liability if they fail to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls in the manufacture, sale, distribution, and marketing of firearms, to keep them out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
On Wednesday, FAN governing board member Dr. Jasmit Singh and FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang testified in strong support of SB 5087 Repealing the Death Penalty and Other Unconstitutional State Statutes. Dr. Singh asserted that it was time to end the inhumane practice of the death penalty that has claimed innocent lives due to investigative error. Civil society should not descend to murder but rather have a more ethical approach to justice.
Our coalition partner UFCW 3000 advocated in full force this past week for SB 5236 Safe Health Care Staffing, which would establish minimum staffing standards to improve worker safety and patient care. The bill was heard in the House Committee on Labor Workplace Standards.
On Thursday, FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang testified before the Senate Committee on Law & Justice in support of HB 1469 Shield Law. This bill would protect healthcare providers and patients who provide or receive reproductive health care services and gender-affirming treatment in Washington State, from out-of-state legal action. Religious freedom is a foundation of our democracy; true religious freedom means people seeking essential care can make decisions based on their own beliefs and circumstances. Other states must be prevented from imposing liability and imprisonment on people receiving or providing fundamental health care in Washington state.
Also on Thursday, HB 1238 Free School Meals was heard in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education. Due to budget constraints, the bill has been trimmed from free school meals for all students to free school meals for certain public schools serving grades K-4, allowing these schools to provide breakfast and lunch each school day at no charge to any student who requests them.
Both HB 1447 Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Improvements and HB 1260 Aged, Blind & Disabled (ABD) Fix passed the Senate Committee on Human Services and have been referred to Ways & Means. HB 1447 would strengthen the ability of TANF to meet the fundamental needs of families by expanding the list of resources and increasing the amount of assets exempt from being considered at the time of application for cash assistance. It would also increase the amount of earnings families eligible for cash assistance may keep and exempt child-only TANF from the 60-month lifetime limit for assistance. HB 1260 would end the requirement that extremely low-income disabled people pay back ABD cash assistance when they qualify for federal assistance, which the ABD program requires them to do.
Connect with FAN Policy Engagement Director Kristin Ang at email@example.com.
Please see our Bill Tracker for how other bills on our agenda are progressing. We update the Bill Tracker every Friday.
Puget Sound Sage is now accepting applications for their Community Leadership Institute Fellowship Program, a six-month fellowship program for emerging BIPOC leaders to receive training and serve on strategic boards and commissions in King, Pierce, and Clark Counties in Washington State. Learn more and apply here.
Sunday, March 19, 7:30pm, in person, Washington State Capitol. Safe Staffing Saves Lives: Candlelight Vigil for Staffing. Join UCFW3000 in solidarity for a candlelight vigil to memorialize the lives lost and patients injured as a result of Washington State’s current healthcare staffing crisis. Register here.
Sunday-Tuesday, March 19-21, Seattle Mennonite Friends invite prayers as the Apache Stronghold religious freedom case for Oak Flat is heard in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, CA, next week. The Lummi Totem Pole Journey and people of all faith backgrounds will join in solidarity. On March 21, the case will assert that allowing the destruction of Oak Flat by a copper mining company is a violation of the Apache right to religious freedom. Consider joining in prayer on Sunday, March 19, and/or on Monday-Tuesday, March 20-21, before their court hearing. They offer this sample bulletin announcement for your faith community.
Monday, March 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). Learn how we can protect Medicare. Register here.
Tuesday, March 21, noon, in person, E Thomas and Broadway, Seattle. National Day of Action. The GreenCircle Faith Affinity Group invites you to deliver a message to Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America: Stop funding fossil fuel projects and instead invest in renewable energy. After a rally at noon, the group will march at 1:00pm on Capitol Hill, with bank actions to follow. GreenCircle will hold space and conduct an interfaith service in public spaces with song, ritual, and presence. For more information, contact Abby Brockway of GreenFaith, (206) 484-9857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 29, 5:30-8:30pm, in person, Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Redmond. Interfaith Iftar Dinner. The Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) invites you to meet your Muslim neighbors during Ramadan, break the fast together, and have dinner. We welcome you to share in a conversation about what it means to be neighbors and how we can strengthen our bonds of community. Led by motivational speaker, community educator, and Muslim chaplain at UCLA, Ustadha Lobna Mulla. Register here.
Sunday, April 2, 11:00am, in person and online, Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S Alaska Street, Seattle. Table Turning: The Prophetic Tradition in the Time of Neofascism, with Dr. Cornel West and Valley and Mountain Fellowship. Immediately following the service with Dr. West, there will be a protest-sign-making party as a part of our annual Table Turning event. Also, on Saturday, April 8, at 1:00pm, Valley and Mountain joins La Resistencia for their solidarity days to protest outside the Northwest Detention Center located at 1623 E J Street, Tacoma. View the event live here.
Sunday, April 2, 6:30-8:30pm, in person, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma. Ramadan Interfaith Iftar Dinner. Hosted by the Pacifica Foundation, join an evening of unity as we gather to learn about and support our Muslim neighbors with an interfaith iftar dinner during Ramadan. Learn more and register here.
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.
Saturday, March 18, 12:30-1:30pm, in person, The Village, Everett. 38th District Spanish-Speaking Townhall with Rep. Julio Cortes. Find out more information here.
Saturday, March 25, 11:00am, in person, Carco Theatre, Renton. 9th Congressional District Townhall with Rep. Adam Smith. Register here.