Legislation of Significance – State of Washington

March 10, 2021 by stephenshubert

David Turnoy sits on a legislative review committee of the 40th legislative District, of which San Juan County is a part, for State Bills moving through the legislature now. Directly express your opinions to your elected Officials. Please review and follow the links, to indicate your positions, if you want to express your opinion, to your state representatives. There is also a section regarding foreign affairs, which you may also want to comment. There is a lot happening in the Legislature right now.  The bills also will include other topics, such as capital gains, environmental protection and other actions which affect us and our quality of life.

Today we have actions on Police Tactics and Equipment; Police Accountability; Closing For-Profit Detention Facilities; Product Stewardship; The HEAL Act; WA Strong – Concerning Carbon; Officer’s Duty to Intervene.  Hearings on many of these bills will take place as early as Thursday, tomorrow, so if you can act today, that would be wonderful!  These are from 350WA:

1. Establishing requirements for tactics and equipment used by peace officers: HB 1054

This powerful bill prohibits peace officers from using chokeholds and neck restraints, law enforcement agencies from acquiring or using certain types of military equipment, uniformed peace officers from intentionally concealing identifying information on their badges, and peace officers from seeking, and a court from issuing no-knock warrants.

Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on Thursday, March 11, 10:30 AM.

Follow this link to provide a written comment on Police Tactics and Equipment: HB 1054 via the legislative website.

“Position” – please select “Pro”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I strongly support HB 1054.

Then choose 1-2 additional sentences from the options below or feel free to write your own.

  • Having inconsistent standards across the state has led to confusion and distrust. This bill reduces violence by establishing statewide standards for certain tactics and equipment.
  • Many agencies have already banned chokeholds and vascular neck restraints because improper use of these techniques is extremely dangerous. Proper use requires consistent and regular training, which most officers do not receive. This tactic is unnecessary even in the most extreme conditions.
  • This bill aims to end the use of brutal and dehumanizing tactics that fail to put preserving and protecting human life first. These tactics are disproportionately used against black and brown communities. The state needs to do away with these strategies to begin to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities of color.

2. Oversight and accountability of peace and correctional officers: SB 5051

This bill expands the grounds on which an officer can be decertified and reforms the process to make it more effective and quicker. This bill makes it harder for officers with a history of misconduct to be rehired or hired by another department and increases the independence and powers of the certifying board.

Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Public Safety on Thursday, March 11, 1:30 PM.

Follow this link to provide a written comment on Oversight and accountability of peace and correctional offices: SB 5051 via the legislative website.

“Position” – please select “Pro”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I strongly support SB 5051.

Then choose 1-2 additional sentences from the options below or feel free to write your own.

  • Law enforcement agencies should report all separation and disciplinary matters to the Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC), and the Commission should have more grounds for denying or revoking officer positions.
  • For improved accountability it’s important that independent community members and a member of local government be included in the Criminal Justice Training Commission.
  • Currently police officers can be rehired without the new employer learning of past misconduct. This is inappropriate and needs to be changed. 
  • Complaints against officers should not be confidential. Information about investigations and disciplinary actions for certified officers should be maintained on a publicly searchable database. This will make it more difficult for a “bad apple” to be rehired elsewhere without disclosing past misconduct.

3. Closing For-Profit Detention Facilities: HB 1090

With a few exceptions, this bill would prohibit a person, business, or state or local government entity from operating a private detention facility, or contracting with a private detention facility.  

Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation on Thursday, March 11, 1:30 PM.

Please sign in here to support HB 1090, Closing For-Profit Detention Facilities and select “Pro” in the position button before 12.30 PM on Thursday, March 11.

4. Recycling, waste, & litter: SB 5022

This bill would establish statewide minimum post-consumer recycled (PCR) content for plastic drink, household cleaning and personal care containers, and plastic trash bags. It would restrict the sale of certain expanded polystyrene products beginning June 1, 2023 and allow food service businesses to provide plastic utensils, straws, and beverage cup lids only upon customers’ request. 

Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Environment & Energy on Thursday, March 11, 1:30 PM.

Follow this link to provide a written comment on Recycling, waste, & litter: SB 5022, via the legislative website.

“Position” – please select “Pro”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I strongly support SB 5022.

Then choose 1-2 additional sentences from the options below or feel free to write your own.

  • Plastic pollution is a growing threat to the world’s oceans with an estimated 33 billion pounds entering the environment each year. Plastic production is expected to increase.
  • Since plastics are made from fossil fuels they are also a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The public favors a styrofoam ban. Very few jurisdictions do curbside pickup for this material. Styrene is a toxic chemical and is listed as a probable carcinogen.
  • Minimum recycled requirements would grow and stabilize the market for recyclable plastics.  Recycling is important for our cities, and residents clearly want recycling opportunities.
  • Washington has pristine landscapes. This bill will help preserve our resources.  
  • One-time products serve for a few minutes but have lasting effects for many decades.

5. HEAL Act: SB 5141

The HEAL Act aims to improve the lives of those most affected by pollution as Washington transitions to a greener and fairer economy. It requires many state agencies to apply principles of environmental justice in decision-making, identify communities most impacted by environmental effects and ensure community participation in decisions.

Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Environment & Energy on Friday, March 12, 10:00 AM.

Follow this link to provide a written comment on the HEAL Act SB 5141, via the legislative website.

“Position” – please select “Pro”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I strongly support SB 5141.

Then choose 1-2 additional sentences from the options below or feel free to write your own.

  • We know that our health and well-being varies significantly according to our income, race, language ability and where we live. The HEAL Act aims to improve the lives of those most affected by pollution as Washington transitions to a greener and fairer economy. 
  • State agencies need better outreach plans that are more inclusive. 
  • It’s time to fully enforce our health protection laws and prioritize state spending in high need areas.
  • We need more equitable community participation in state agency planning, resource allocation, programs, and enforcement. 
  • State agencies need to use the Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map to identify communities most impacted by environmental effects and engage them in ways that make them safer and healthier.
  • When we improve the lives of those most affected by pollution, we’re all better off.

6. Washington Strong Act: SB 5373

This revenue generating bill immediately provides a dedicated investment to transition to a sustainable economy without leaving anyone behind. It would raise an estimated $16 billion over the first ten years, by issuing “green” bonds backed by an economy-wide carbon tax linked to the state’s emission reduction goals. 

The Chairman of the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee, Senator Reuven Carlyle, has not yet scheduled SB 5373 for a vote. We need to put pressure on the committee to move the bill so it doesn’t die in committee. 

Please call or email the following members of the Committee and ask them to hold an executive session and vote yes on SB 5373. 

Click here to send an email to members of the committee.

If the above link did not work, please address your emails to:

Chair Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-36) – (360) 786-7670 – Reuven.Carlyle@leg.wa.gov
Sen. Mona Das (D-47) – (360) 786-7692 – Mona.Das@leg.wa.gov
Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-34) – (360) 786-7667 – Joe.Nguyen@leg.wa.gov
Sen. Lisa Wellman (D-41) – (425) 301-8578 – Lisa.Wellman@leg.wa.gov

If you’re calling and you reach voicemail, be sure to speak slowly and clearly and say the bill number. And be sure to let them know if you are a constituent of their district!

Script: I’m contacting you to request that SB 5373 get an executive session.

Then choose 1-2 additional sentences from the options below or feel free to write your own.

  • WA Strong has the potential to create upwards of 150,000 jobs by providing much-needed local stimulus with a focus on rural economic development and frontline communities.
  • All investments are tied to climate resiliency and GHG emissions reductions. This bill makes billions of dollars available immediately for resilient infrastructure projects.
  • This bill saves money – and lives – by reducing the risk and impacts of future climate shocks and disasters.
  • The bill includes a cap on emissions using Clean Air Rule authority.
  • This bill would create thousands of family-wage jobs, invest in our hardest-hit communities, and jump-start our economic recovery. This economic policy puts environmental justice first, instead of increasing inequity and placing the burden on our most impacted communities.

7. Concerning a peace officer’s duty to intervene: SB 5066

And finally, one more timely police accountability bill. This bill would require police officers to act when they witness misconduct by other officers. Officers would be required to intervene when another officer uses excessive force, to render aid to any injured person, and to report wrongful conduct by another officer.

Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Public Safety on Friday, March 12, 10:00 AM. 
 
Please sign in here to support SB 5066, Officer’s Duty to Intervene before Friday, March 12, 9:00 AM and select “Pro” in the position button.

In addition to the above bills, I just received the following from Rep. Drew Hansen:
Great news! Thanks to your support, my Public Broadband Act (HB 1336) passed the Washington House and we’re over in the Washington Senate where we need your help.

The Senate Committee hears the Public Broadband Act TOMORROW (March 11). Can you help us by doing two things:

1. Sign in “pro” at the hearing using this link to show your support for public broadband!

2. Send a message using this link to urge your state Senator to support public broadband!

The cable companies are trying very, very hard to kill this bill. That’s why we need the strong grassroots show of support. Can you please help us pass the Public Broadband Act?

__________________________________________________________________________________________
Finally, here is the foreign policy action to take arising out of yesterday’s CodePink meeting.  It is regarding Venezuela and the harm caused to ordinary people there by US sanctions:Email President Biden
https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
I urge you to lift US economic sanctions strangling the economy of Venezuela and other countries suffering extreme hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stop the extortion for oil. 

In addition, the U.S. should cease its recognition of Juan Guaidó as “interim president,” restore relations with the Maduro government and encourage dialogue between all of Venezuela’s political actors

As a result of US sanctions, Venezuelans struggle without adequate food, electricity, medicine, medical supplies and COVID vaccines.

U.S. sanctions violate international law under the UN Charter and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and constitute another form of warfare in which countries like Venezuela find their assets frozen in banks controlled by the US and its allies.
 During a pandemic, the call to lift sanctions becomes an urgent one as the Venezuelan health care system teeters on the verge of collapse. Please end the economic sanctions against Venezuela and other countries struggling during this global pandemic.

Call Congress:
Capitol Switchboard
202-224-3121
U.S. policy towards Venezuela has been disastrous. The sanctions have gravely harmed the Venezuelan people and should be lifted immediately. In addition, the U.S. should cease its recognition of Juan Guaidó as “interim president,” restore relations with the Maduro government and encourage dialogue between all of Venezuela’s political actors. Thank you. 

Email your House & Senate Reps

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
 Please join several other lawmakers asking President Biden to lift US economic sanctions strangling the economy of Venezuela and other countries suffering extreme hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of US sanctions, Venezuelans struggle without adequate food, electricity, medicine, medical supplies and COVID vaccines.

In addition, the U.S. should cease its recognition of Juan Guaidó as “interim president,” restore relations with the Maduro government and encourage dialogue between all of Venezuela’s political actors

Lift the sanctions now.

Thank you.

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