|Ann Murphy, President||January 1, 2018 | Vol. 50, Issue 1|
2018 Legislative Session Starts Tomorrow!
While the legislators have been already working in preparation on various pieces of legislation, the 60-day (short) starts Monday, January 8, 2018. This Legislative Newsletter will bring you weekly Action Alerts and updates on legislation that is on the League of Women Voters of Washington’s legislative agenda.
Watch this space for weekly alerts on issues that the League Lobby Team has flagged for you to make connection with your Legislators. This week we encourage you to sign up for:
Democracy Lobby Day, January 24
LWVWA will be cosponsoring the first Democracy Lobby Day with Fix Democracy First on Wednesday, January 24 in Olympia. (Please note, this event was originally scheduled for Friday 1/26).
Please join us to support critical legislation that will strengthen our representative government and expand citizen participation. Learn more about this event and register here.
Register soon to receive updates on the day’s events and for assistance with carpooling and meetings with legislators.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Kathy Sakahara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Status and Actions Needed for Legislative Priorities
Please click on the areas of interest to you to see the status of bills that the Lobby Team is working on and what action is needed this week. The issue webpages include the Lobby Team contact information, League positions, and history of bills the League is tracking for this legislative session.
Gun Safety: Some progress is likely despite the short session with recent horrific events involving firearms including assault-style weapons still fresh in voters’ minds, and new legislators willing to press forward on sensible gun laws...(read more here)
Natural Resources: Resolving the State Supreme Court's Hirst Decision will be addressed immediately in a Public Hearing Monday, January 8 at 1:30 in the Senate Agriculture, Water Natural Resources and Parks Committee...(read more here)
Click here for a list of Lobby Team members and contact info.
2018 Session Overview
We are hearing that a number of “legacy bills” will be top priorities for the new Democratic majority in the Senate. These include the WA Voting Rights Act, to insure fair representation for communities, the Reproductive Parity Act to protect women’s reproductive health choices regardless of federal actions, and the Equal Pay Opportunity Act to close the wage gap and prohibit mandated secrecy on discussion of wages.
Other critical issues facing legislature will be passing the Capital Budget which was never voted on because of partisan gamesmanship about or related to the Hirst Decision. With regard to McCleary, the Supreme Court has said yes on the legislature’s plan, but that they have not met the implementation deadline – so there is more work to do there. Read here for more views on this topic.
LWVWA will publish this Legislative Newsletter weekly on Sundays during the upcoming session. Check it out for bills that League is working to get passed, connect to LWVWA Issue Web Pages, and respond to Action Alerts to your legislators.
Be ready to respond as things will move fast in this short session.
January 24: Democracy Lobby Day, Olympia. Sponsored by LWV WA, and Fix Democracy First.
www.leg.wa.gov – Learn about bills, committees, your legislators and much more!