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Lunell Haught, President
Joan Lawson, Advocacy Portfolio Director
Hayley Day, Editor
Jan. 31, 2021 Vol. 53, Issue 04
Two bills that have public hearings this week would shift the current upside-down tax code in Washington to a more fair system, while generating more revenue for the state. One bill is HB 1297, concerning working families tax exemption. The other is HB 1406, creating the Washington state wealth tax and taxing extraordinary financial intangible assets. Currently, the lowest-income people in Washington pay six times as much state and local tax as the wealthiest people in the state. Also, nine of the world’s wealthiest people live in the state, with assets ranging from $2.7 billion to $179 billion. Ask your representatives to support moving both HB 1297 and HB 1406 out of the House Finance Committee.
Washington is one of the minority of states that allows legislators and high-level government officials to leave public service on one day and return the next day as a lobbyist. This is a problem because public trust in government integrity is undermined when there is the appearance that a legislator or other high level government official is beholden to any special interest. A modest one year “cooling off period” is a healthy reform that will strengthen our ethics laws and reduce the perception that public officials might be influenced by the prospect of future employment. SB 5170 would be a step in the right direction to rebuild public confidence in government. If your senator is on the State Government and Elections Committee in the 11th, 12th, 19th, 22nd, or 48th district please ask him or her to vote this bill out of committee.
Support SB 5142, Establishing the profession of dental therapist. Data from 12 other states indicate that adding one dental therapist at the dental clinic can increase the annual visits by 1,000 apponintments, thus shortening wait times, saving money and increasing equity in our state. If your senator is on the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee, please urge them to support SB 5142. Visit www.wadentalaccess.com to learn more.
A clean environment is necessary for our basic health and safety, yet people of color and low-income households are disproportionately exposed to hazards in the environment. Approval of SB 5141 would codify the recommendations of the Environmental Justice Task Force to ensure that every community has clean air, water and soil. If your senator sits on the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee (Carlyle, Lovelett, Ericksen, Brown, Das, Fortunato, Hobbs, Liias, Nguyen, Sheldon, Short, Stanford, and Wellman) urge him or her to vote yes on SB 5141.
The LWVWA supports the following League Legislative Issues in the current Washington state legislative session. Click on an issue to learn more, including current and upcoming bills affecting the issue. In this virtual legislative session, you can also testify for a bill online.
Elections | Voting rights restoration and protection of the democratic process and free speech make progress.
Natural Resources | Protect natural resources that are impacted by climate change and provide resilience.
ESTABLISHING FAIR REVENUE
OTHER WAYS TO FOLLOW THE STATE LEGISLATURE