The League of Women Voters of Washington has a statewide advocacy team who are authorized to speak on behalf of the League on statewide legislation. The team reviews legislation, researches League positions, and publishes updates for individuals to refer to when speaking for themselves: https://www.lwvwa.org/advocacy
Several of us participated in the annual Democracy Lobby Week and met with representatives and senators from the 40th and 42nd legislative districts. We had great fun preparing and coordinating our two-minute testimony. Many thanks to all who participated and for Helen Campbell for scheduling the meetings.
The legislative session is more than half over and here is an update on just six bills that the League has prioritized. We discovered that even though our legislators may already be sponsoring or planning to vote to pass legislation, they need to know their constituents support them. And for those who are undecided, your comment may be just the information they need.
SB 5082: Abolishing advisory votes
This bill would remove advisory votes from Washington state ballots.
Voting should be a simple, accessible way for all of us to make a real difference in our communities. However, the advisory votes that clutter up our ballots every year have no power to change our laws, and they continue to create confusion and apathy among WA voters. The Senate passed this bill 30-18, with 1 excused. This proposed legislation to remove advisory “votes” from the ballot has been around for several years and has passed the Senate before. Now it’s time for the House to act. If you agree these “votes” need to go away, click here
: Updating Online Voter Registration
Updates the process for online voter registration by allowing voter applicants to provide the last four digits of social security number for authentication.
The Senate passed this bill 29-18. Now it’s time for the House to act. This bill was brought forward by advocates at https://www.washingtonbus.org
, who work to increase voting access and participation for young people across the state. The legislation was requested by the Secretary of State. If passed, this legislation would make it possible to register online through the VoteWA.org site for all eligible citizens, including those who do not have a WA state Driver’s License.
the link to comment on this bill.
Social and Economic Legislation
SB 5120: Establishing 23-hour crisis relief centers in Washington state
23-hour crisis relief centers are community-based facilities, serving adults experiencing a behavioral health crisis. They are open 24/7 and accept walk-ins, drop-offs from first responders, and persons referred through the 988 system.
The Senate passed this bill 47-0 with 2 excused. Yes, our lawmakers in WA state do get bills passed with unanimous and bi-partisan support! It still needs to pass the House before it goes to the Governor’s desk.
the link to comment on this bill.
HB 1110: Increasing middle housing in areas traditionally dedicated to single-family detached housing
The bill passed the House on 3/6/23, 75 yays, 21 nos, 2 excused. On to the Senate. . Check here
to see the status and if it passed the House, then use the "Comment on this bill" to write to your legislator.
Climate and Energy Legislation
: Improving the state's response to climate change by updating the state's planning framework
Adds a climate change and resiliency goal to the Growth Management Act (GMA).
The House passed this bill 57-41 and now it’s time for the Senate to act. Here
is the link to write to your Senator:
For more information on statewide legislation:
for live stream and recordings of all the action (warning – this may be habit forming!)
to and read the state League's Legislative Newsletter
(check your spam folder).