Successes in the 2018 Legislative Session

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Thanks to the tireless advocacy of our entire network of faithful people from across the state, and the collaboration of our wonderful partners, we have dozens of policy and budget victories to celebrate!

You advocated for a more humane and equitable Washington:

Breakfast After the Bell (HB 1508 Stonier)  will make breakfast part of the school day for high-need schools, helping students focus on learning.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant level was restored, providing critical support for vulnerable families with children.

Asset Limits (HB 1831 Pettigrew) revises resource limitations for public assistance.

Equal Pay & Opportunity Act (HB 1506 Senn) addresses workplace practices to achieve gender pay equity.

WA Voting Rights Act (SB 6002 Saldaña) enfranchises under-represented communities by removing the restriction under state law that prevents local governments from improving their election system.

Student Opportunity, Assistance, and Relief Act (HB 1169 Orwall) addresses student education loan debt, the repeal of statutes regarding professional license or certificate suspensions, private student loan default, and exemptions for bank account and wage garnishments.

Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights (HB 2610 Peterson) prohibits school and district personnel from stigmatizing or disciplining students who cannot pay for a school meal.

Together, we promoted safe and just communities:

Ombuds Office (HB 1889 Pettigrew) creates an independent corrections ombuds office in Washington that is available to people in prison, as well as to their family members.

Police Accountability (HB 3003 Goodman) enacts into law most of the provisions of Initiative 940, which requires law enforcement to undergo de-escalation training, administer first aid after an incident, and notify tribes when incidents involve tribal members. It also amends the use of deadly force statute by defining “good faith.”

Legal Financial Obligations (HB 1783 Holy) deals with the debt accrued due to legal fines and court fees when someone is in prison. It eliminates the 12% interest rate on non-restitution LFOs, prioritizes restitution payments, and prevents the courts from imposing these costs on folks who are too poor to pay.

Fair Chance Act (HB 1298 Ortiz-Self) allows criminal history background checks to be conducted after an employer has determined that the applicant is qualified for the position. This was previously called ‘Ban the Box.’

Ban on Bump Stocks (SB 5992 Van De Wege) bans devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like automatic weapons.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (HB 2951 McCabe) requires the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to work with tribal law enforcement and the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs to conduct a study to increase state resources for reporting and identifying missing Native American women throughout Washington State.

Expanding Medicaid Coverage to Pacific Islander Washingtonians (SB 5683 Saldaña) increases access to health care services for certain migrants by providing premium and cost-sharing assistance for health coverage purchased through the state health benefit exchange.

Higher Education Scholarships for Dreamers (HB 1488 Hansen) makes an appropriation from the state general fund to the student achievement council for the purposes of funding the state need grant and awarding higher education scholarships to some immigrant students.

No Religious Registry (HB 2097 Stanford) prohibits state agencies from collecting or sharing information about individuals’ religious affiliation.

Conversion Therapy (SB 5722 Liias) prohibits licensed health care providers from practicing conversion therapy on minors in attempt to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Our advocacy protects housing and prevents homelessness:

Source of Income Discrimination (HB 2578 Riccelli) prohibits discrimination based on a renter’s source of income.

Document Recording Fee (HB 1570 Macri) increases and makes permanent the fee to file real estate documents, helping to fund the effort to combat homelessness.

You advocated to sustain Washington’s environment:

Pesticide Notification (SB 6529 Saldaña) has been amended to simply create a stakeholder task force to address pesticide exposure and notification of certain pesticide applications.

We also celebrate:

Cesar Chavez Day (HB 1939 Hudgins) recognizes March 31 as Cesar Chavez day. This is not a legal holiday.