LWVWA Ballot Measure Positions

The LWVWA Board of Directors approves positions on statewide Ballot Issues based on Issue Chair recommendations using policy statements in LWVWA Program in Action and LWVUS Impact on Issues. LWVWA may do the following with regard to the Ballot Measures:

  • Endorse/support
  • Oppose
  • Not take a position
No Initiatives have qualified to the November 3, 2020, General Election. Referendum 90 has qualified.

SUPPORT: VOTE APPROVE

Referendum 90 / ESSB 5396


The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5395 concerning comprehensive sexual health education. This bill would require school districts to adopt or develop, consistent with state standards, comprehensive age-appropriate sexual health education, as defined, for all students, and excuse students if their parents request.

Should this measure be: Approved [ ] Rejected [ ]

LWVWA Has Taken Position in Support of:

Referendum 90 / ESSB 5396
Official Ballot Title: The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5395 concerning comprehensive sexual health education.

This bill would require school districts to adopt or develop, consistent with state standards, comprehensive age-appropriate sexual health education, as defined, for all students, and excuse students if their parents request.

Should this measure be:  Approved [  ]   Rejected [  ]

Ballot Measure Summary
The legislature enacted a law requiring all school districts to provide comprehensive sexual health education, as defined, beginning in 2021-22 for grades 6-12 and in 2022-23 for grades K-5. Students must be excused from this program if parents so request. The curriculum must satisfy state standards. The content and frequency of providing comprehensive sexual health education would vary by grade level and must include affirmative consent and bystander training. K-3 instruction must be social-emotional learning.

Background Information

  • League Supported ESSB 5395 in the 2020 Legislature: ESSB 5395 would require comprehensive sexual health education with an affirmative consent curriculum in all schools beginning in the 2022/23 school year. This would require a curriculum that is evidence-informed, inclusive for all students, age appropriate, and is consistent with the state health and physical education learning standards. School districts must grant a parent’s request to have their child excused from this class. ESSB 5395 passed both chambers of the Legislature and the Governor signed it on March 27. Final Bill Report
  • Referendum 90 was filed on March 13, 2020. Signature gatherers needed to submit 129,811 signatures by June 10, 2020.

Process background: In Washington, the number of signatures required to qualify a veto referendum for the ballot is equal to 4 percent of the votes cast for the office of governor at the last regular gubernatorial election. Signatures must be submitted 90 days following the adjournment of the legislative session during which the targeted bill was passed. The requirements to get a veto referendum certified for the 2020 ballot:

The secretary of state verifies the signatures using a random sample method. If the sample indicates that the measure has sufficient signatures, the measure is certified for the ballot. However, if the sample indicates that the measure has insufficient signatures, every signature is checked. Under Washington law, a random sample result may not invalidate a petition.

  • April 20, 2020. League of Women Voters of Washington endorsed and supported Referendum 90. Referendum 90 needs to pass to retain the ESSB 5395 as passed by the Legislature.
  • June 10, 2002. 264,637 signatures were submitted and Referendum 90 qualified for the November 3 ballot. Referendum 90—Full text.

League Positions that support ESSB 5396—and thus support a vote to Approve Ref. 90 to the bill as passed:

LWVWA

K-12 Public Education

  • K-12-1: The state has the responsibility to determine uniform education standards, and the means to evaluate performance, and to provide ample and equal opportunity for education in the common Schools.
  • K-12-9: The state should work toward facilitating more parent involvement in education.

>>> This bill is supported beyond LWV Education positions. One of the goals of the bill is the “avoidance of exploitative relationships.” Appropriate sexual health education in schools creates the basic groundwork for achieving these goals to prevent Domestic Violence, Violence to Women and human trafficking.

Human Resources—Domestic Violence

  • DV-4: Education should be offered to acquaint the community a large with the philosophy and services of the program. It is important to increase the understanding of the community regarding domestic violence, its impact on people and the potential role of the community in seeking solutions.

LWVUS

Social Policy—Violence Prevention (IOI, page 87, adopted 1994)

LWVUS supports violence prevention programs in all communities and action to support

  • Public and private development and coordination of programs that emphasize the primary prevention of violence
  • The active role of government and social institution in preventing violent behavior
  • The allocation of public monies in government programs to prevent violence.

>>> LWVUS has endorsed the Violence Against Women Act (1994) and supported authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (2010)

Social Policy—Human Trafficking (IOI, page 90, adopted 2014)

LWV opposes all forms of domestic and international human trafficking of adults and children, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking. We consider human trafficking to be a form of modern-day slavery and believe that every measure should be taken and every effort should be made through legislation and changes in public policy to prevent human trafficking. …. Education and awareness programs on human trafficking should be established in our communities and in our schools.

For more information go to the Approve 90-Save and Healthy Washington website.


Posted 8/4/2020.

The League of Women Voters of Washington is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.
The League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. LWVWA Education Fund contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The League of Women Voters Education Fund does not endorse the contents of any web pages to which it links.

League of Women Voters of the United States

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