ECONOMIC & SOCIAL JUSTICE

Ensure equality of opportunity, prevent and reduce poverty and promote fair policies for all struggling to realize their human potential.

Issue Team Chair: Amy Davis – adavis [at] lwvwa.org – (360) 427-1956  
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Right Now In Economic & Social Justice 

The following two bills are still alive and need your support! They have passed in either the Senate or House chamber and a public hearing is scheduled this week. Take action by clicking on the action alert and sending the prepared message to the committee members for a quick “Yes” vote and then onward to the House or Senate chamber for passage.

SB 5489 Establishing a healthy environment for all by addressing environmental health disparities. The League of Women Voters supports legislation that addresses quality of life in our communities. The task force will set out to identify environmentally impacted communities and coordinate with government agencies to reduce the burdens imposed by unhealthy environments, specifically on the youth in those areas. Recognizing health disparities and working together with the same information to help children reach their full potential in all parts of the state means everyone thrives. Please click here to urge the committee members to vote “Yes” on this bill.

HB 1815 / SB 5497 This legislation will establish a statewide policy supporting WA State’s economy and immigrants’ role in the workplace. Immigrants contribute billions of dollars in taxes, spending power, entrepreneurial business revenue, and a vital labor force in industry. This bill recognizes their contributions and protects their inherent rights and dignity as part of a strong economy. Please click here to urge the committee members to vote “Yes” on this bill.

Bills the League is Supporting
  • HB 1056 Creating a task force to identify the role of the workplace in helping curb domestic violence. 

  • HB 1072 / SB 5035 Enhancing the prevailing wage laws to ensure contractor and owner accountability and worker protection. 

  • HB 1696 / SB 5090 Prohibiting an employer from seeking the wage or salary history of an applicant for employment.

  • HB 1815 / SB 5497 Establishing a statewide policy supporting Washington state's economy and immigrants' role in the workplace. 
  • HB 1783 / SB 5776 Creating the Washington state office of equity. 
  • HB 1728SB 5258 Preventing the sexual harassment and sexual assault of certain isolated workers. 

  • HB 2009 / SB 5489 Establishing a healthy environment for all by addressing environmental health disparities.

Bills the League is Watching
  • HB 1001 Concerning service contract providers. 

  • HB 1033 Concerning relocation assistance for manufactured/mobile home park tenants. 

  • SB 5058 Penalizing employers who relocate call centers to another country. 

  • SB 5080 Concerning earned release time and graduated reentry for educational participation and achievement for certain offenders. 

  • SB 5233 Creating an alternative process for sick leave benefits for workers represented by collective bargaining agreements. 

  • SB 5261 Creating a pilot program for certain cities to hire homeless persons for local beautification projects.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Eradicate racial bias from the criminal justice system to uphold principles of fairness and due process of law.

Issue Team Chair: Heather Kelly – hkelly [at] lwvwa.org 
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Right Now In Criminal Justice

*Action Alert* A criminal conviction can prevent people from finding a job, applying for housing, or even obtaining a professional license. Confronted with these barriers, people emerging from the criminal justice system can find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty, unable to move forward with their lives when they most want to. The New Hope Act (HB 1041) offers people a fresh start by streamlining the process for vacating criminal convictions. Click here to share your support!

    The following bills passed out of the Senate and are currently in the House: 

    The following bill passed out of the House and is currently in the Senate: 

    • SHB 1041, promoting successful re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals into society by modifying the process for obtaining certificates of discharge and vacating conviction records, is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee on March 21 at 10:00am.
    Bills the League Supports 
    • SB 5339 Abolishing capital punishment in response to the 2018 Washington State Supreme Court in State v. Gregory holding that the death penalty is racially biased and unconstitutional. Passed the Senate, 28-19.
    • SHB 1041 This bill would promote successful re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals into society by modifying the process for obtaining certificates of discharge and vacating conviction records. Streamlining this process will enable people to find employment more quickly, easing their integration back into the community by creating opportunities for self-sufficiency. Passed the House, 95-0.
    • SB 5207 This bill would require that the Department of Corrections provide inmates with a felony conviction with information on how to restore their right to vote along with a voter registration form. Too often someone leaves the prison system believing that their right to vote has been taken away permanently. Passed the Senate, 37-12. (see Elections Issue updates for more information)
    • 2SSB 5444 This bill would align the law with the terms of the settlement in A.B. by and through Trueblood et. al. v Washington State D.S.H.S. (“Trueblood”). By court order, Washington is required to reduce the amount of time that people with behavioral health conditions sit in jail waiting for services and treatment. Specifically, the settlement requires improved competency evaluations, competency restoration services, crisis triage and diversion support, education and training, and workforce development. Passed the Senate, 48-0. (see Health Care, Behavioral Health, & Reproductive Rights Issue updates for more information)
    Bills the League is Watching
    • HB 1002 Eliminating requirement of verbal non-consent for rape. 
    • HB 1055 Allowing arrest for violations of no-contact orders for certain sex crimes victims.  
    • HB 1056 Creating a task force to identify role of workplace in curbing Domestic Violence.
    • SHB 1100 Evaluating competency to stand trial. This bill would place the fiscal responsibility for competency evaluations on the State Department of Social and Health Services, providing a mechanism for reimbursing counties for the evaluations.
    • 2SHB 1166 Supporting survivors of sexual assault through improved evidence collection and victim notification procedures. 
    • HB 1231 Modifying the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes against children.
    • SSB 5027 Lowering age minimum for minors subject to extreme risk protection order. 
    • SB 5027 Enhancements to Extreme Risk Protection Orders for juveniles and penalties. (see Gun Safety Issue updates for more information).
    Bills the League Supported Which Passed
    • HB 1064 Implementing De-Escalate Washington (I-940) consistent with the terms that emerged from a collaboration between law enforcement and the families of people killed in police encounters. On January 30 the Senate unanimously approved HB 1064 and on February 4, 2019, Governor Inslee signed HB 1064 into law. Congratulations to the families and supporters of De-Escalate Washington on this incredible achievement. Stay tuned for updates on supporting the implementation of this new law.
    Bills the League Supported Which Did Not Pass
    • HB 1068 / SB 5062 Imposing a limit on the size of ammunition magazines. (see Gun Safety Issue updates for more information)
    • SHB 1924 Would automatically restore voting rights to those emerging from state prison, including those under community custody. 
    • SSB 5076 This bill would allow people who are on parole to register to vote as long as they were in compliance with the conditions of their parole. Currently, that right is not restored until they have completed their term of parole. (see Elections Issue updates for more information)
    HEALTH CARE, BEHAVIORAL HEALTH, & REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

    Ensure access for all residents to comprehensive, uniform and affordable physical and behavioral health care and reproductive services.
    Reproductive health care should be affordable, available, and should provide a comprehensive range of services including abortions.

    Issue Team Chair: Kim Abbey – kabbey48 [at] gmail.com – (206) 387-6134 
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    Right Now In Health Care, Behavioral Health, & Reproductive Rights

    House Updates

    The following bills passed out of the Senate and will now be heard in the House. Please contact your Representatives and request that they support the following bills and vote to pass them out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.

    Senate Updates

    The following bills passed out of the House and into the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. Please contact your Senators and request that they support the following bills and vote to pass them out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.

    • HB 1099, providing notice about network adequacy to consumers, is scheduled for public hearing on March 18 at 8:30am and for an executive session on March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • E2SB 1224, concerning prescription drug cost transparency, is scheduled for public hearing on March 18 at 1:30pm and for an executive session on March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • HB 1432, concerning hospital privileges for advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants, is scheduled for public hearing March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • SHB 1523, increasing the availability of quality, affordable health coverage in the individual market,  is scheduled for public hearing on March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • HB 1199, concerning health care for working individuals with disabilities, is scheduled for executive session on March 20 at 1:30pm. 

    • 2SHB 1087, concerning long-term services and supports is scheduled for executive session on March 20 at 1:30pm. 

    • SHB 1065, protecting consumers from charges for out-of-network health care services, is scheduled for executive session on March 20 at 1:30pm.

    HB 1874 Children’s Mental Health work group recommendations is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care on March 22 at 1:30pm. 

    Bills the League Supports

    Health Care

    • HB 1065 Protecting consumers from charges for out-of-network health care services. 
    • HB 1074 Protecting youth from tobacco products and vapor products by increasing the minimum legal age of sale of tobacco and vapor products.
    • SB 5210 Notifying purchasers of hearing instruments about uses and benefits of telecoil and Bluetooth technology. This bill has bipartisan support.
    • HB 1087 Concerning long-term services and supports. This bill have bipartisan support. 
    • HB 1099 Providing notice about network adequacy to consumers. 
    • HB 1199 Concerning health care for working individuals with disabilities. This bill has bipartisan support. 
    • SB 5274 Concerning dental coverage for Pacific Islanders residing in Washington. This bill has bipartisan support.
    • HB 1224 / SB 5292 Concerning prescription drug cost transparency. 
    • HB 1317 Establishing the profession of dental therapist. 
    • HB 1369 / SB 5425 Concerning maternal mortality reviews. 
    • HB 1432 Concerning hospital privileges for advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants. This bill has bipartisan support.
    •  SB 5032 Concerning Medicare supplemental insurance policies. This bill was requested by the Insurance Commissioner.
    • HB 1523 Increasing the availability of quality, affordable health coverage in the individual market.   
    • SB 5257 Restricting the practice of female genital mutilation.
    • SB 5274 Concerning dental coverage for Pacific Islanders residing in Washington.
    • SB 5292 Concerning prescription drug price transparency. 
    • SB 5526 Increasing the availability of quality, affordable health coverage in the individual market.
    • SB 5822 Providing a pathway to establish a universal health care system for the residents of Washington state.
    • SB 5841 Eliminates the philosophical or personal objection exception for vaccines required to attend school or a licensed day care center.

    Behavioral Health

    • HB 1331 / SB 5380 Concerning opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, and related services. These bills have bipartisan support.
    • HB 1393 / SB 5432 Concerning fully implementing behavioral health integration for January 1, 2020. These bills were requested by the governor and have bipartisan support.
    • HB 1394 / SB 5431 Concerning community facilities needed to ensure a continuum of care for behavioral health patients. These are bipartisan bills.
    • HB 1513SB 5444 Providing timely competency evaluations and restoration services to persons suffering from behavioral health disorders within the framework of the forensic mental health care system consistent with the requirements agreed to in the Trueblood settlement agreement. SB 5444 has bipartisan support. 
    • HB 1874 / SB 5904 Children’s Mental Health work group recommendations.
    • SB 5483 Improving services for individuals with developmental disabilities. This bill has bipartisan support.

    Reproductive Rights

    • 2SSB 5602, Eliminating barriers to reproductive health care for all.
    Bills the League Opposes
    • HB 1526 Enacting the Washington pain capable unborn child protection act. 
    • HB 1560 Concerning restrictions on types of abortion.
    • SB 5185 Requiring parental notification for minors to obtain abortion.
    Bills the League Supported Which Did Not Pass
    • HB 1018 Concerning fair dental insurance practices.
    • HB 1104 Requiring the submission of a waiver to the federal government to create the Washington health security trust. 
    • HB 1218 Concerning dental coverage for Pacific Islanders residing in Washington. The following bills passed out of the House and into the Senate, please contact your Senators and request that they support the following bills and vote to pass them out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.
    • HB 1240 Concerning suicide review teams, requires the department of health to establish the youth suicide review team to review circumstances related to suicides occurring among youth up to age twenty-four.
    • HB 1317 Establishing the profession of dental therapist. 
    • HB 1902 Promoting consumer ease, administrative simplification, and cost efficiency by requiring a single bill for health care services covered by a qualified health plan. 
    • HB 1365 / SB 5415 Creating the Washington Indian health improvement act.
    • SB 5048 Establishing a reentry community safety program for state hospital patients.
    • HB 2054: The department of behavioral health facilities is created as an executive branch agency. 
    • SB 5222 Creating the whole Washington health trust. 
    • SB 5282 Requiring informed consent for pelvic exams while under anesthesia.
    • SB 5392 Establishing the profession of dental therapist.
    Additional Resources:

    HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

    Achieve policies and funding necessary to address the homelessness crisis and assure an adequate supply of affordable housing for middle-to-low income people.

    Issue Team Chair: Cynthia Stewart – stewdahl [at] comcast.net    
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    Right Now In Housing & Homelessness

    For an excellent primer on affordable housing, watch the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee session of January 16 hereFor a discussion of student homelessness, see the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee session of February 18 here.

    There is a wide array of legislation pending related to affordable housing and homelessness. They fall into categories of funding for new housing units, tenant protections, and assistance to vulnerable populations.

    Hearings scheduled in the upcoming week for those bills which survived the cut-off to be passed out of their house of origin: 

    • SHB 1105 Protecting taxpayers from home foreclosure would require notification, a process and an assistance resource for people in jeopardy of home foreclosures. Public hearing scheduled in the Senate Local Government Committee on March 21 at 8:00am. 
    • HB 1168 Creating sales and use and excise tax exemptions for self-help housing development would provide a sales and use tax exemption for qualifying purchases of labor, services, and tangible personal property related to self-help housing and a REET exemption on the sale of self-help housing by an affordable homeownership facilitator to a low-income household. Public hearing scheduled in the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee on March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • HB 1219 Providing cities and counties authority to use real estate excise taxes (REET) to support affordable housing and homelessness projects. Public hearing scheduled in the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee on March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • HB 1278 Concerning room and board for college bound scholarship students would require public institutions of higher education that offer on-campus housing options to provide a one-year waiver for on-campus housing to eligible students (those who upon graduation from high school, are considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act) on a space available basis. Public hearing scheduled in the Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee on March 19 at 1:30pm. 
    • HB 1406 Encouraging investments in affordable and supportive housing, would allow participating jurisdictions to retain a portion of the sales tax that would otherwise be sent to the State, for investment in affordable and supportive housing. Public hearing scheduled in the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee on March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • HB 1440 Providing longer notice of rent increases would require a landlord to provide a tenant at least 60 days' prior written notice of an increase in rent and prohibiting a rent increase during the term of the lease. Public hearing scheduled in the Senate Financial Institutions, Economic Development & Trade Committee on March 19 at 8:00am. 
    • HB 1657 Concerning services provided by the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs. Public hearing scheduled in the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee on March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • HB 2110 Modifying the definition of affordable workforce housing for the purposes of permitted lodging tax revenu expenditures would redefine the eligibility threshold from between 30% and 80% of AMI to below 80% AMI. Public hearing scheduled in the Senate Housing Stability & Affordability Committee on March 20 at 1:30pm. 
    • SB 5324 Support for students experiencing homelessness, would provide grants via the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to school districts to increase identification of students experiencing homelessness and the capacity of the districts to provide support for students experiencing homelessness. Public hearing scheduled in the House Education Committee on March 18 at 1:30pm.
    • SSB 5383 Concerning tiny houses would authorize cities and towns to adopt ordinances regulating the creation of tiny house communities, including through use of the binding site plan method. Public hearing scheduled in the House Local Government Committee on March 19 at 10:00am; executive session to follow on March 22 at 10:00am. 
    • SB 5600 Relating to residential tenant protections would extend notice to tenants from three days to 21 days before eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent may commence. Public hearing scheduled in the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee on March 19 at 10:00am. 
    • SB 5800 Concerning homeless college students would establish pilot projects in four community colleges and two four-year colleges at which support services for students experiencing homelessness would be provided.
      Bills the League Supports
      • HB 1033 Concerning relocation assistance for manufactured/mobile home park tenants would authorize manufactured/mobile home park tenants seeking relocation assistance from the Mobile and Manufactured Home Relocation Assistance Program to receive other funding for relocation purposes without reducing their eligibility for Relocation Assistance Funds and to use the Program Funds to secure housing that is not a manufactured home. Passed the House 87-11. 
      • SHB 1105 Protecting taxpayers from home foreclosure would require notification, a process and an assistance resource for people in jeopardy of home foreclosures. Passed the House, 59-38.
      • HB 1168 Creating sales and use and excise tax exemptions for self-help housing development would provide a sales and use tax exemption for qualifying purchases of labor, services, and tangible personal property related to self-help housing and a REET exemption on the sale of self-help housing by an affordable homeownership facilitator to a low-income household. Passed the House, 95-1, 2 excused.
      • HB 1219 Providing cities and counties authority to use real estate excise taxes (REET) to support affordable housing and homelessness projects. This bill would add affordable housing and homelessness projects to the allowable uses for the REET tax that is already authorized and is currently limited to public works projects. Passed the House, 74-24.
      • HB 1278 Concerning room and board for college bound scholarship students would require public institutions of higher education that offer on-campus housing options to provide a one-year waiver for on-campus housing to eligible students (those who upon graduation from high school, are considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act) on a space available basis. Passed the House, 59-37, 2 excused. 
      • HB 1377 Related to affordable housing development on religious organization property would require an increase in density allowed when religious organizations provide housing on their property. This recognizes the efforts that many organizations of faith are making to provide shelter and/or housing for people experiencing homelessness. Passed the House, 84-12, 2 excused. 
      • HB 1406 Encouraging investments in affordable and supportive housing, would allow participating jurisdictions to retain a portion of the sales tax that would otherwise be sent to the State, for investment in affordable and supportive housing. The House Housing, Community Development & Veterans Committee amended HB 1406 in public hearing. The bill as substituted would allow either a county or city to begin levying the tax upon the effective date of the bill and makes several technical clarifications that do not affect the intent of the bill. Passed the House, 66-32. 
      • HB 1440 Providing longer notice of rent increases would require a landlord to provide a tenant at least 60 days' prior written notice of an increase in rent and prohibiting a rent increase during the term of the lease. The rent increase would only apply at the end of the lease term. Passed the House, 62-36.
      • HB 1453 Relating to residential tenant protections would extend notice to tenants from three days to 21 days before eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent may commence. It would extend the pay-or-vacate period to at least two weeks before an eviction process can be started, and prevent tenants from falling back into the eviction process via late fees and court fees. It would require the notice be written in plain language and include information on civil legal aid resources available to the tenant. Passed the House, 54-44. 
      • HB 1657 Concerning services provided by the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs would authorize the use of HOPE Centers for the placement of a child in need of services and remove the limit of HOPE Center beds statewide, clarify street outreach services are available to both youth and unaccompanied young adults and align licensing requirements for HOPE Centers, as well as staff education and experience requirements with Department of Children, Youth, and Families licensing and staff. Passed the House 94-0.
      • HB 1921 Addressing the regressive nature of the Washington state housing market would change the basis of the State Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) from a flat 1.28 percent to a variable rate, lower for properties under $500,000, the same up to $1.5 million, and higher at values over $1.5 million. It also directs 70% of the proceeds to the Housing Trust Fund and the remainder to the general fund. Selling price thresholds for the variable rates must be updated every four years. This bill changes the basis for REET to a progressive from a flat tax and is expected to generate more funds for the State while allowing a reduction in payments by owners of lower priced properties. This would be new revenue for the Housing Trust Fund. (Necessary to Implement the Budget)
      • HB 2110 Modifying the definition of affordable workforce housing for the purposes of permitted lodging tax revenu expenditures would redefine the eligibility threshold from between 30% and 80% of AMI to below 80% AMI. Passed the House, 59-39. 
      • SB 5025 Relating to sales and use and excise tax exemptions for self-help housing development would exempt the building and sale of self-help housing (self-help housing organizations support low-income individuals and families by assisting them in the development of residential dwellings by using homebuyer and volunteer labor) by an affordable homeownership facilitator from retail sales and use tax and the real estate excise tax. Passed the Senate, 46-2, 1 excused. 
      • SB 5324 Support for students experiencing homelessness, would provide grants via the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to school districts to increase identification of students experiencing homelessness and the capacity of the districts to provide support for students experiencing homelessness. This would complement the McKinney-Vento program. It requires partnering with related community organizations and is intended to address economic inequality as well as other factors. Passed the Senate, 46-1, 2 excused.  
      • SB 5363 Extending the property tax exemption for new and rehabilitated multiple-unit dwellings in urban centers for 12 years. Passed the Senate, 39-10.
      • SSB 5383 Concerning tiny houses would authorize cities and towns to adopt ordinances regulating the creation of tiny house communities, including through use of the binding site plan method. It would prohibit cities and towns from adopting ordinances that prevent entry or require removal of a tiny house with wheels used as a primary residence in a manufactured/mobile home community. It would also apply all landlord-tenant rules to tenants in tiny houses. Passed the Senate, 44-2, 3 excused. 
      • SB 5600 Relating to residential tenant protections would extend notice to tenants from three days to 21 days before eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent may commence. It would extend the pay-or-vacate period to at least two weeks before an eviction process can be started, and prevent tenants from falling back into the eviction process via late fees and court fees. It would require the notice be written in plain language and include information on civil legal aid resources available to the tenant. Passed the Senate, 31-15, 3 excused.
      • SB 5800 Concerning homeless college students would establish pilot projects in four community colleges and two four-year colleges at which support services for students experiencing homelessness would be provided. Data about the effects of the program would be collected and reported in 2023. Passed the Senate, 30-18, 1 excused. 
        Bills the League is Watching
        • HB 1207 Concerning manufactured housing communities, authorizes a landlord or tenant to site any size new or used manufactured/mobile home or park model on a mobile home lot in accordance with the lot sizes, separation and setback distances, and other requirements in effect at the time the manufactured/mobile home park was approved. This would prevent new regulations restricting mobile home siting. Passed the House, 96-2, 2 excused.
        • SB 5366 Expanding the property tax exemption for new and rehabilitated multiple-unit dwellings in urban centers, would allow all cities and towns to provide property tax exemptions for eligible multi-unit residential housing projects in urban centers until July 1, 2022. The bill is intended to provide an incentive for additional development of affordable housing units. Passed the Senate, 45-4.
        Bills the League Supported Which Did Not Pass
        • HB 1044 would modify income qualifying thresholds for the property tax exemption for low income senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and disabled veterans by creating a range, rather than a single income level. It is expected to increase eligibility for the tax exemption.
        • HB 1181 Providing property tax relief for senior citizens and qualifying veterans Income thresholds for the senior citizen, individuals with disabilities, and veterans would modify the property tax exemption by creating income ceilings based on a percentage of county median household incomes.
        • HB 1206 Concerning park models, tiny homes, and manufactured homes and modifying the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act (MHLTA), removing references to "park models" and adding a definition of "tiny home" to the MHLTA.
        • HB 1581 Funding local housing trust fund programs in certain cities would authorize certain cities to create a local housing trust fund for affordable housing and to impose a local sales tax, credited against the state sales tax on construction activities, with the added tax to be deposited in a local housing trust fund. The certain cities that would be authorized are Tacoma and Spokane.
        • HB 1590 Allowing the local sales and use tax for affordable housing to be imposed by a councilmanic authority would authorize county or city legislative authorities to impose the local sales and use tax for housing and related services and eliminate the requirement that the imposition of the tax be subject to the approval of a majority of county or city voters at a general or special election.  
        • HB 1694 Allowing tenants to pay certain sums in installments would require landlords to permit tenants to pay deposits, nonrefundable fees, and last month's rent in installments, subject to one exception and some general parameters regarding the number and timing of the installments.
        • HB 1797 Concerning local governments planning and zoning for accessory dwelling units would require cities and counties to adopt or amend by ordinance and incorporate into their development regulations, zoning regulations, and other official controls, an authorization for the creation of accessory dwelling units.
        • HB 1938 Creating a local infrastructure investment program to support the development of affordable housing, workforce housing, and revitalization efforts would allow cities and counties to apply for a remittance of 4.37 percent of the state sales and use tax on construction of local infrastructure to support the development of affordable housing, workforce housing, and revitalization efforts. According to the fiscal note, this could his could generate $34.9 million in sales tax remittances to local governments.
        • HB 1982 Waiving groundwater fees for low-income housing would waive groundwater fees for affordable housing providers and low-income home-owners.
        • HB 2004 Concerning the property tax exemption for nonprofit organizations providing rental housing or mobile home park spaces to very low-income households would add mobile home parks to the current exemption.
        • HB 1107 / SB 5289 Concerning nonprofit homeownership development would expand the low-income housing development property tax exemption to include qualified cooperative associates. It would allow limited equity partnerships and cooperatives as an option for developing affordable housing that leads to home ownership.
        • HB 1656 / SB 5733 Protecting tenants in residential tenancies, would require a landlord to have a legitimate business reason to terminate a tenancy. Currently a 20-day notice is required, which is insufficient for the tenant to find replacement housing. This bill would replace that notice requirement with a requirement that the landlord have a legitimate reason to terminate the lease, even if on a month-to-month basis.
        • SB 5261 Creating a pilot program for certain cities to hire homeless persons for local beautification projects, would create a three-year pilot program for three cities to provide job opportunities at minimum wage or greater in conjunction with other wrap-around services.
        • SSB 5357 Authorizing cities and counties to impose additional taxes for affordable housing, would allow cities and counties to approve an additional .5% REET within their respective jurisdictions with proceeds to be used exclusively for development of affordable housing. This bill was substituted with one that would allow an additional .25 (lower) increase.
        • SB 5382 Concerning tiny houses serving as accessory dwelling units would authorize a tiny house to be considered an accessory dwelling unit for permanent residence purposes without being attached to or constructed within the primary dwelling unit and a tiny house with wheels to be considered an accessory dwelling unit without being attached to or constructed within the primary dwelling unit if the tiny house owner has made reasonable accommodation for water, power, and sewage disposal for its use as a permanent residence.
        Bills the League Opposed Which Did Not Pass
        • SB 5384 Concerning the location of tiny house communities would allow counties to authorize establishing tiny house communities outside urban growth areas when there is a shortage of affordable housing within reasonable distance from urban services. This bill would allow development of increased density using tiny houses outside the urban growth area. The density should stay inside the urban growth area.
        • SB 5802 Establishing housing affordability zones would require comprehensive plans to create zones for affordable housing and require that affordable housing be established only within those zones.
        • SB 5882 Prohibiting the location of homeless encampments near schools and early learning facilities.
        GUN SAFETY

        Limit accessibility of firearms, including assault-style weapons and high capacity clips. Enact safe storage requirements for guns.

        Issue Team Chair: Pat Griffith  pgriffith [at] lwvwa.org  (206) 285-2452   
        Interested in getting involved with this topic? Click here!

        Right Now In Gun Safety 

        Some progress is being made, but there is still a reluctance by leadership to bring gun safety bills to the floor if they are considered controversial and likely to take up valuable floor time.

        Bills the League Supports
        • SHB 1949 Firearms background checks. Passed the House, 97-0.
        • SSB 5434 Prohibits carrying or possession of guns in licensed child care centers. Passed the Senate, 26-21, 2 excused.
        • HB 1739 Concerning untraceable ghost guns. Passed the House 55-41. 
        • HB 1225 Sets standards for removal of weapons by law enforcement in domestic violence calls. Passed the House 60-38.
        • ESSB 5027 Enhancements to Extreme Risk Protection Orders for juveniles and penalties. Passed the Senate 43-5.
        • SB 5205 Concerning provision governing firearms possession by persons found incompetent to stand trial. Passed the Senate 30-17, 2 excused. 
        • SB 5508 Requires background check to Concealed Pistol License holders when acquiring a new firearm. Passed the Senate, 47-0. 
        Bills the League is Watching
        • SB 5027 Enhancements to Extreme Risk Protection Orders for juveniles and penalties. Passed the Senate 43-5. 
        Bills the League Supported Which Did Not Pass
        • HB 1010 Concerns the disposition of forfeited firearms by the Washington State Patrol. Currently those weapons can be sold and often end up in criminal use.
        • SHB 1068 / SSB 5062 Imposing a limit on the size of ammunition magazines.
        • HB 1319 Allows cities to regulate open carry in public meetings. 

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