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Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.  

Support the League by donating to our Advocacy or Education funds here

Washington State Legislature Starts

Welcome to the League of Women Voters of Washington Legislative Newsletter! The Washington State Legislature 2020 session opens in Olympia tomorrow, January 13, and is scheduled to end March 12. This newsletter is published weekly on Sundays through the legislative session and will provide ongoing updates and avenues to take action.

The LWVWA Lobby Team is poised to take action on relevant bills in our key areas –

  • Making Democracy Work®
  • Fighting Climate Change & Its Effects
  • Ensuring Social Justice
  • Establishing Fair Revenue
See the 2020 Legislative Agenda for our full list of legislative issues with contact data for each Lobby Team Issue Chair. We have a corps of 13 volunteer lobbyists who use League positions to examine, respond to, and inform State League members on proposed legislation. LWVWA also contracts with Lobbyists Nancy Sapiro and Pam Crone to provide logistical and strategic advice.

How to Use this Newsletter
This newsletter will provide future Action Alerts on issues where LWVWA has identified a need for concerted action. These Alerts will provide background information and an editable email sent to your own state Representatives and/or Senators on bills requiring critical input from the community. Legislators have told us how valuable massive responses are in supporting or killing a bill. Leadership has told us that our emails were the only ones they received on a particular issue and absolutely made the difference in it passing.

In the Status and Actions Needed for Legislative Issues
section below, you can follow links to our Issue Chairs’ updates on the bills they are tracking to either support or oppose, as well as links to our Issue Papers which give a deeper overview into each Issue and what we expect for the upcoming session. You can also contact an Issue Chair to ask questions or volunteer to help!  

Calendar and Events is the final section you'll see weekly below for upcoming legislative process dates, as well as events you can share and attend.

Getting More Information
Another way to get information is TVW, Washington's public affairs network. The station provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of Washington State Legislature sessions and coverage of the Washington State Supreme Court and public affairs events. And as always, the Washington State Legislature website has links to helpful legislative information of all kinds.

You are encouraged to invite others to take action by sharing the Legislative Newsletter subscription link, Action Alerts, and Calendar Events. Expanding the League's impact helps us to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy as a community!
— Ann Murphy, LWVWA Lobby Team Chair

This Week's Action Alerts!

If you do nothing else this week, these are the most important actions you can take. Responding to these alerts is a great way for you to have a big impact with a very small investment of time.

Extend Health Coverage for Young Adults

Under the ACA, which provides the Medicaid program Apple Health, young adults are eligible to remain on their parents' health plans until their twenty-sixth birthday. Similarly, young adult alumni of the foster care program are eligible for Apple Health coverage until they reach the age of twenty-six. As a matter of equity, the legislature therefore intends to improve the health of all young people residing in this state with HB 1697 by extending eligibility for Apple Health to all low-income young adults, regardless of immigration status. If your Representative is on the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, click here to urge your representative to pass this bill out of Committee.

And for this week – take a personal action – join us for Democracy Lobby Day 2020 – January 21: 9 am – 3 pm, in Olympia, Washington!

Your voice is powerful. Legislators constantly tell us how important it is to be present to advocate for good government. Democracy bills will help Washington State continue to lead other states in strengthening our democracy. The issues we will be advocating for on Democracy Lobby Day — expanding voting access, modernizing redistricting, strengthening campaign finance laws, preventing foreign influence on our elections, and promoting government ethics — make all our other priorities possible!

This event is open to all. Please encourage your friends and anyone who cares about a strong democracy to attend. 

Please register now so we can schedule meetings with your legislators and plan for food and material. Carpooling and homestays the night before the event are available. Please indicate your interest when you register. 

Status and Actions Needed for Legislative Priorities

Are you interested in following a specific issue that League is? Please click on your area(s) of interest to see the status of bills that specific Issue Chair 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. Please realize that you do need to follow all of these – only select your area of interest and know that there will be others selecting other areas.


Elections: *NEW UPDATES* Improve access to the ballot, provide election funding and get rid of advisory votes.

Census & Redistricting: *NEW UPDATES* Create a transparent, accessible, & representative process.

Campaign Finance & Government Ethics: *NEW UPDATES* Bills to close the revolving door and limit foreign interference in elections are already on the move.

Election Security: *NEW UPDATES* Ensure secure, accurate, transparent elections.


Climate Change: *NEW UPDATES* Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enact measures to promote climate resiliency.

Energy: *NEW UPDATES* Advocate for clean & renewable sources.

NATURAL RESOURCES: Protect and restore:

Forests & Rivers: *NEW UPDATES* Protect forests and rivers from impacts of climate change. 

Water: *NEW UPDATES* Protect the quality and quantity of our water supply.


Criminal Justice: *NEW UPDATES*  Eradicate racial bias & uphold principles of fairness.

Economic Justice: *NEW UPDATES* Create equitable outcomes & opportunities for all; prevent & reduce poverty.

Education: *NEW UPDATES* Fully fund K-12 & student support services.

Gun Saftey: *NEW UPDATES* Enact sensible gun safety measures.

Housing & Homelessness: *NEW UPDATES* Ensure affordable housing for all.

Healthcare, Behavioral Health, & Reproductive Rights: *NEW UPDATES* Ensure affordable & accessible healthcare for all.


Revenue: *NEW UPDATES* Balanced, fair, adequate, flexible tax structure.

Transportation: *NEW UPDATES* Achieve balanced, appropriately funded, environmentally sound multi-modal transportation system.

Click here for a list of Lobby Team members and contact info.

Other Sources of Information

TVWWashington's public affairs network, provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of Washington State Legislature sessions and coverage of the Washington State Supreme Court and public affairs events. 

The Washington State Legislature website has links to helpful legislative information of all kinds. 

You are encouraged to invite others to take action by sharing the Legislative Newsletter subscription link, Action Alerts, and Calendar Events. You can also help support the League's work by donating to the Advocacy or Education fund here

Calendar and Events

January 21 – Democracy Lobby Day, co-sponsored by LWVWA and Fix Democracy First.
Washington State Legislature –
Agendas, schedules and calendars for 2020 Session.