Elephant LEGS (Legislative Update)
The WA state Legislative Session is underway at a blistering pace. Want to know more on how to have your voice heard? Visit www.influencingolympia.com or click below.
Table of Contents (scroll down to find out more about each Bill):
HB 1838: BAD bill for farmers and agriculture
SB 5613: stops counties from using dogs to hunt dangerous black bear, cougar and bobcat
SB 5078: magazine ban legislation
HB 1141: removes voter-approved safeguards by shortening or eliminating the waiting period to obtain lethal prescriptions and allowing health care providers with less expertise to qualify patients for lethal drugs and write the prescriptions
"HOW TO IDENTIFY PRIORITY LEGISLATION" A great article by Ruth Peterson, administrative assistant to WA State Republican Senator John Braun.
Please take a few minutes to OPPOSE HB 1838 by Wednesday January 19 at 9 am. You may also sign up to testify, either via zoom or in written form. This has more impact with a committee. Links below
DESCRIPTION OF BILL: "Protecting, restoring, and maintaining habitat for salmon recovery." The Washington Farm Bureau says this is one of the worst bills, ever, and attacks a farmer's right to use their own land.
This bill is the most unscientific, damaging piece of legislation ever to be imposed on Washington State's farmland and agriculture industry. It is basically an unconstitutional power land grab. We have seen no accountability to the millions of tax dollars already wasted on past fish habitat projects. Where is the proof that these buffer projects will actually reduce stream temperature and enhance salmon populations? The Washington State Supreme Court, with the guidance of an expert scientific witness on critical areas buffers, has already spoken and ruled that Skagit County is adequately protecting the county's critical areas. The Justices clearly relied on the expertise of their expert witness on the laws of thermodynamics. These thermodynamic laws indicate that stream temperature is strongly influenced by air and land temperature, water velocity and elevation drop.
If you can submit written testimony or testify via zoom, that carries more weight. You must sign up by 9 am January 19 to testify with the committee when it meets at 10 am.
Sign in to submit written testimony HERE. Enter your position (CON), First and Last Name, email address, city, state, zip and phone number. Then enter your written testimony, and click the box to show you are not a robot. Then Submit your Registration. You may use the talking points or the paragraphs below.
Even better, sign up to testify remotely by zoom HERE. Enter your position (CON), No to testifying as a panel, enter your First and Last Name, email address, city, state, zip and phone number. Click that you are not a robot and Submit Registration.
Written statements / talking points
Mandates large NO TOUCH buffers on all private lands (provides very few exceptions) but exempts tribal lands – this is a clear regulatory taking of private property rights.
Creates huge buffers as large as 235 feet on each side of a stream or river or all around a pond, lake or wetland.
Creates new fines up to $10,000 per day per violation. The fines would be issued by Dept of Ecology.
Would likely replace the Voluntary Stewardship Program.
Creates unfunded mandates for farmers, all affected landowners and the counties.
ACTION ALERT - Senate Bill 5613 stops counties from using dogs to hunt dangerous black bear, cougar and bobcat. This is devastating and dangerous for rural communities. Please help us by having your voice heard in opposing this bill! The legislative session is virtual this year, but the hearing on this bill is on Tuesday at 1:30. This is how you can help oppose the bill - Please take action right away: TO TESTIFY REMOTELY IN OPPOSITION TO THIS BILL 1. Click this link - https://app.leg.wa.gov/csi/Senate 2, At the Committee drop-down, select Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks - At the Meetings drop-down select 1/18/22 - 1:30 3. Under Select Agenda Item -check SB 5613 Use of dogs to hunt 4. Under Select type of testimony, select I would like to testify remotely - Be sure to sign in CON. TO NOT TESTIFY, BUT STILL HAVE YOUR POSITION NOTED FOR THE RECORD THAT YOU OPPOSE THIS BILL 1. Click this link - https://app.leg.wa.gov/csi/Senate 2, At the Committee drop-down, select Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks - At the Meetings drop-down select 1/18/22 - 1:30 3. Under Select Agenda Item -check SB 5613 Use of dogs to hunt 4. Under Select type of testimony, select I would like my position noted for the legislative record - Be sure to sign in CON. Please help us take action to oppose this bad bill. THANK YOU!
On Friday, the Washington Senate pulled magazine ban legislation, Senate Bill 5078 to the Senate Floor where it is eligible for a vote for passage. NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters probably recall this measure from last year, previously reported here. Please contact your State Senator IMMEDIATELY and ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 5078.
Senate Bill 5078, bans the manufacture, possession, sale, transfer, etc., of magazines that “are capable of holding,” or hold more than, 12 rounds of ammunition. This includes conversion kits or parts from which any such magazine may be assembled. These so-called “high capacity” magazines are, in fact, standard equipment for commonly-owned firearms that many Americans legally and effectively use for an entire range of legitimate purposes, such as self-defense or competition. For example, the Glock 19 was the most commonly purchased firearm of 2021 and has a standard-issue magazine that holds 15 rounds of ammunition. Those who own non-compliant magazines prior to the ban are only allowed to possess them on their own property and in other limited instances, such as at licensed shooting ranges or while hunting. Prohibited magazines have to be transported unloaded and locked separately from firearms, and must be stored locked at home, making them unavailable for self-defense. Any violation of this measure is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Again, please contact your State Senator and ask them to OPPOSE Senate Bill 5078.
Senate Democrats moved the Magazine Ban bill to the Senate floor, bypassing public input in the Law and Justice Committee. You have NO voice.
SB 5078 will ban magazines over 12 rounds that found on commonly used firearms. Contact our Senator Curtis King at the email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the NRA-ILA "Take Action" link below for an easy action.
The House of Representatives voted on and passed ESHB 1141 on 1/12/22; it will now will go to the Senate. It does not need a hearing and can go to the Senate Rules committee and then a full vote by the Senators.
Click HERE to send an email to all of Washington's senators. If this link works with your email server, it will populate an email for you, with all the senators' email addresses, the subject line and body of the email. All you would have to do is sign your name at the bottom of the email and include your address or city. PLEASE PASS ALONG TO ALL LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE! **If for any reason the link does not work on your computer or phone, try another device. The link is written in HTML code and may not work on all mail servers or devices. If you still can't get the link to work properly, you can copy and paste the email address, the subject and the message below into one of your personal emails. In the To Field, copy and paste these email addresses: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Rebecca.Saldana@Leg.wa.gov,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com In the Subject Field, copy and paste this: Oppose ESHB 1141 In the Body of the Email, copy and paste this message or write your own: Dear Senator, Please oppose HB 1141, which removes voter-approved safeguards by shortening or eliminating the waiting period to obtain lethal prescriptions and allowing health care providers with less expertise to qualify patients for lethal drugs and write the prescriptions. This bill will prey on vulnerable patients and has multiple problems, including: Establishment of true informed consent by terminally ill patients Assurance that all patients have access to palliative care with knowledgeable physicians Adequate mental health counseling Assurance that lethal drugs sent by mail will not be diverted into the wrong hands I urge you to oppose ESHB 1141. Thank you. Sincerely, YOUR NAME YOUR CITY/ADDRESS You can also send an email or phone your own senator. What to say? Use the message above or its talking points for your message. Find your senator and their phone number HERE. If you are not sure who your senator is, at the top of the page, type in your district number. It will show you your senator's name. If you are not sure of your district, go to the District Finder website, HERE. Just type in your street, city and zip, push the "Find My District" button and your district and state legislators will be shown to the left of the map. Take note of the name of your senator. You can email your senator by going to this page, clicking on your senator's name. This will bring you to an email form that you can fill out with your comments. You will need to Step 1: fill in your address and click on the "Verify District" button Step 2: enter your contact information Step 3: Enter your message to your senator. Fill in the bill number (1141), click the "Oppose" button and fill in the Subject and Message sections for your email. Step 4: Click the "Submit Foirm" button You can leave a message for your senator through the legislative hotline: 800-562-6000. Your message will be forwarded electronically. Be prepared to give your name and street address. The hotline is open during the legislative session from 8 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday. This page shows all the methods for Contacting Your Legislators. Bill sponsors: Skyler Rude (R), Nicole Macri (D), Monica Jurado Stonier (D), Steve Tharinger (D), Timm Ormsby (D), Noel Frame (D), Gerry Pollet (D), Roger Goodman (D), Strom Peterson (D), Mu-Linh Thai (D), Alex Ramel (D), Jesse Johnson (D), Jessica Bateman (D), Tarra Simmons (D), Joe Fitzgibbon (D), Javier Valdez (D)
Over 1000 bills being considered in Olympia! How do you identify priority Legislation?
How do we determine which bills to focus on each session? There are sometimes more than 2000 bills that are alive and under consideration in the state legislature. Many hundreds will not pass. How can you tell where to direct your efforts?
First, each caucus will tell you what their priorities are. If you want to read them, you will find the Republican priorities for 2022 here:
There is a section about restoring public safety, return affordability, and rebuilding trust in our government. The Democrats have their priorities, as well. I could not easily find their 2022 priorities, but here are their 2021 priorities – it may be interesting to you, because it’s exactly what they did.
https://senatedemocrats.wa.gov/priorities/ The Democrat Majority priorities for 2021 included capital gains tax, banning credit scoring by insurance companies (they didn’t pass the bill, but the Insurance Commissioner created a rule that banned the scoring), and law enforcement legislation. They also put more restrictions on landlords. You can often find remarks by individual legislators that tell you what their priorities are, as well.
One way to tell that a bill is a priority for the Majority is to see what bills are scheduled for hearings/passage very early in the session. On Wednesday 01/12/2022, the House passed ESHB 1141 (the bill report is linked, so you can read about the bill in layman’s terms). This law would remove the safeguards that are in place for patients in assisted suicide cases. Passage very early in the session is a signal that they want to get that bill passed this year – on the first day of floor action, it was passed in the House and is now in the Senate, ready to race through the process there.
In the Senate, two gun control bills were heard in Law & Justice on the first day of hearings. The bill that will reduce the compulsory age for school from 8 to 5 years of age is being heard at the beginning of the session. This will be another bill they will try to successfully pass this year.
By looking at the Committee schedule for the first two weeks, you will see that the Democrat Majority wishes to change our election in many ways. There are three bills that were scheduled for a hearing the first week - Jan 14th - and they are already scheduled for an executive session which is when the bill is voted out of committee on Jan 21st. When you see an Executive Session has been scheduled, you know the bill is a priority for the majority party. You need to take notice of these bills and weigh in quickly. If you have concerns about the election process in this state, this will make the situation worse - not better.
SB 5636 - Automatic Voter Registration at the DOL - no proof of citizenship (that has been the case for years), but instead of opting in to be registered, they will automatically be registered to vote. A postcard is sent afterwards for opting out. Minors ages 16-17 will also be automatically registered to vote. DOL becomes the voter registration authority and will have access to voter records.
SB 5540 - This bill will change the timelines for our primary elections which will, in turn, make filing week during the legislative session. If part of the election process takes place during a legislative session, the political atmosphere will be ripe for undue influence to be exerted on those who would be filing as candidates.
SB 5597 - Washington Voting Rights Act - This bill turns elections into lawsuits based on race. This allows any voter in a minority group to challenge the electoral system - some of the “evidence” of a violation of the Voting Rights Act might include “lower voter participation, contributions to political campaigns, or other participation in the political process by protected class member,” among other things. You can read more in the linked bill report.
Another clue that a bill might have some extra effort behind it is to see whether a bill has a companion. SB 5752 was heard on Jan 13th and will have an executive session on Jan 21st, so that is a signal that the bill is a priority. But there is also a House companion bill. It’s the same bill, but it was sponsored in the House. That means both bills can go through the process at the same time, making it much more likely to pass. The companion to this bill is HB 1861 - scheduled for a hearing next week.
What do SB 5752 and HB 1861 do? You can read the bill report that is linked to SB 5752 above, but here are a few of the high points. This legislation will create a trust fund out of your tax dollars that will give designated beneficiaries money for higher education, a home purchase, or formation of a Washington business. Beneficiaries are all who are born after Jan 1st, 2024, whose birth is covered by Apple Health (Medicaid), and who has an income of less than 193% of the poverty level at age 18 (a claim can be made at any time between the ages of 18-31). There is no payback to the system. I am totally supportive of giving people a hand up, but I know many people who are struggling financially when they are young and new parents - only to be highly successful just a few years later - in fact, I’d say the majority of young families start out that way. To add all kids born under Apple Health to the list as beneficiaries will require a huge outlay of your tax dollars. There is a limit at this time of $64 million per year, but you know that will go up. And what young adult at 18 years of age isn’t struggling financially? This is income redistribution and it’s not even done in a roundabout way. Please take the time to read the bill reports linked to the bills above. There are only a handful, but it will give you an idea of what the Democrat Majority has in store for you this year. You need to get involved - with your help, and that of your friends, we can Influence Olympia.
Every year, I write my newsletters to give you info about the legislative process and bills that are being considered during the Legislative Session. I would like to encourage you to sign up for this class. Even if you don't actually step through all the lessons, the information is there about critical bills, how to contact legislators, how to testify, etc. Everything you need to know will be located in this one spot.
Especially important is the spreadsheet that lists important bills. It is not yet complete, but we are working on it. Sign up for the class and then navigate down tot he bottom of the lessons where you will find the lesson containing a link to the master spreadsheet. Bookmark it and go back to it often, so you can keep track of the bills that are being considered this year.
Session began last Monday, and we all need to be on deck - it's a short session, so bills will move quickly. Sign up today and be a part of a team that can Influence Olympia Effectively!