Sorry for the short notice – WA Legistative Actions that need urgent attention

April 14, 2021 by stephenshubert

From the desk of David Turnoy, Chair, San Juan County Democratic Party:

The 40th Legislative District has several items of interest coming up.  On April 18 from 2:00 until 5:00 there will be a presentation of the new bylaws that have just been revised.  Here is the link for that: https://us02web.zoom.us/w/85841808330?tk=RM69rfSMBWkI2egMCc2XyOIhWsMjt7_C6AIj-hK-gSc.DQIAAAAT_JILyhZOc2d3blFRVlFWcWRaR3pVUVR2dU9BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA#success
On April 27 from 6:00 until 7:30 there will be a meeting for anyone wanting to learn how to run for office.  Here is the link to register for that: https://fb.me/e/2d1HDMFUk
And on April 29 from 5:00 until 7:00 there will be a meeting to decide on the endorsement process for the 40th LD.  The link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83411808194

The Charter Review Commission is continuing to meet, and they are considering important issues.  The Town Halls conducted last month had a strong impact on the commissioners, so it is important to continue weighing in on issues you care about.  To provide comments, go to
https://www.sanjuanco.com/1764/Charter-Review-Commission
You can follow what is happening with the commission as a whole and with the various subcommittees by going to the county website, going to the CRC section, and at the lower left is a calendar.  Members of the public are always welcome to attend and to provide comments.  Two of the issues receiving the most comments from citizens at the Town Halls were Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) and the Rights of Nature.  The next general meeting of the commission is this Wednesday, April 14, from 4:00 until 6:00, and RCV is on the agenda.  FairVoteWA, the main advocate for RCV in our state, will be presenting at the meeting, and if you support RCV, it would be helpful for you to attend to weigh in on this voting reform.  Here is the information to attend: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85271643269
Meeting ID: 852 7164 3269      Or call in by phone: +1 253 215 8782.
I will be attending, and I strongly encourage you to do so if you can.

We had a long discussion about the work of the CRC, the rights of nature, and vacation rentals.  People are looking for a way to balance our environment with the need of folks to make a living.  The conversation continues at the County Council, and it is something on which the public may continue to provide comments.
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We have less than two weeks remaining in the legislative session, so you will only received more requests for action from me this week and next.  One of the biggest battles shaping up is which of the climate bills will pass.  Our own Senator Liz Lovelett has been the leading advocate for the WA Strong Act, the much better of the two bills.  You have a chance to weigh in on this in the first two actions today.

From CarbonWA – Climate Commitment Act – Cap and Invest; Washington Strong; Capital Gains Tax; Wealth Tax; Transportation Spending; and Stopping an arbitrary end to the Eviction Moratorium.

1. Climate Commitment Act – SB 5126

This deeply flawed bill passed the Senate by a single vote, cast with a plea that the House fix the bill. We respectfully disagree; the bill is beyond repair.

We have opposed this bill since introduction because, among many reasons, it allows GHG emitters to continue their polluting activities and similar schemes have failed to reduce emissions. The most recent version of SB 5126 is even worse. In addition to its other faults, it now severely handicaps the Department of Ecology’s Greenhouse Gas Assessment of Projects, currently in rulemaking.

Scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Environment and Energy on Wednesday, April 14 at 8:00 AM. 

Follow the link to provide written comment on SB 5126 by Thursday, April 15, 7:00 AM

Position – please select “Con”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I strongly oppose SB 5126. 

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

  • We need to enforce our state greenhouse gas reduction targets but SB 5126 is not the best way to do that.
  • Recent amendments work against the Department of Ecology’s Greenhouse Gas Assessment of Projects, currently in rulemaking. The bill will codify a weaker analysis of GHG emissions, remove the ability to mitigate impacts of emissions beyond the cap and trade program, and remove the ability to litigate on GHG emitting entities covered by the cap and trade program. This is unacceptable.
  • California’s cap and trade system has failed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and has allowed polluters to continue to harm overburdened communities.
  • One reason California’s pollution trading system is failing is because it has too many pollution “allowances”. If we join their system, California’s extra allowances will dilute our ability to regulate Washington polluters. No thanks!
  • Cap and invest systems rely on offsets. British Petroleum, currently bankrolling the SB 5126 advocacy campaign, is one of the world’s biggest carbon-credit traders. Meanwhile in California, regulators are resigning in protest over the failure of their offset program. 
  • Offsets and allowances allow polluters to continue their emissions-producing activities in BIPOC and low-income communities, with resulting adverse impacts on their health and wellness.

2. Washington Strong – SB 5373

This bill will immediately generate revenue dedicated to transitioning to a sustainable economy without leaving anyone behind. It will 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.

This bill will be more effective at reducing our transportation emissions, jumpstarting our economy, improving climate resiliency and helping frontline communities than the problematic Cap and Invest bill, SB 5126. 

Follow this link to provide written comment on SB 5373

Ask both of your Representatives to sign on to the letter being circulated by Rep. Emily Wicks (D-38). Be sure to ask both of your Representatives for a response.

Script: “Please sign on to the letter being circulated by Rep. Emily Wicks asking Caucus Leadership to give SB 5373 Washington Strong equal consideration.”

3. There are two bills in the House Committee on Finance that need to be scheduled for a vote: 

These two capital gains tax bills would add a 7% tax (9.9% for certain assets in the House bill) on high-end capital gains only, above a certain level with many exemptions and a deductible. (The details of the two bills vary and will need to be reconciled.) The bills will raise funds for early learning programs (the House bill), the education legacy trust (the Senate bill) and other programs.

Please call or email the following members of the Finance Committee and ask them to ensure these bills are passed out of committee. Suggested talking points are below.  

Follow this link to email the three committee members.

If this link does not work, here is their contact information.

Chair, Rep. Noel Frame (D-36) – (360) 786-7814 or (206) 962-5098 – Noel.Frame@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair, Rep. April Berg (D-44) – (425) 939-8423 – April.Berg@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair, Rep. Amy Walen (D-48) – (425) 883-3366 – Amy.Walen@leg.wa.gov

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

 Script: “Hello, my name is [Name] and I am calling to urge Rep. [Name] to do all they can to ensure the following two bills receive a floor vote. May I give you the bill numbers?”

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

  • Washington is the worst in the nation when it comes to making millionaires and billionaires pay their share like the rest of us.
  • During this pandemic the wealthy have become even richer, while the average Washingtonians struggle to make rent and keep food on the table.
  • While legislators are making progress on reducing the tax burden on working and middle class families, they must also make sure those at the top share the responsibility of funding the things we all rely on, like schools, early learning, hospitals and roads.
  • Now is the time to reform Washington’s tax code to ensure that all Washingtonians contribute to Washington’s future.

4. Wealth Tax – HB 1406

This proposed Wealth Tax is a modest 1% (just one cent!) tax on financial intangible assets over $1 billion and will raise over $2 billion per year for our state. The revenue would be used to offer credits against the lower end of property taxes and would also fund various public services.

Please call or email the following members of the Appropriations Committee and ask them to ensure this bill is given a hearing and passed out of committee. The script is below. 

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

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

Chair, Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-03) – (509) 458-2122 – Timm.Ormsby@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair, Rep. Steve Bergquist (D-11) – (253) 214-3275 – Steve.Bergquist@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair, Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-33) – (253) 395-0865 – Mia.Gregerson@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair, Rep. Nicole Macri (D-43) – (206) 333-4228 – Nicole.Macri@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: “Hello, my name is [Name] and I am contacting Rep. [Name]  to request that HB 1406 receive both a public hearing and receive a floor vote in the Appropriations Committee in order to move the bill forward.”

5. Transportation Spending

Both House and Senate budgets would lock in billions and billions of car-centered highway spending for the next 16 years! The increases in climate-friendly transit and infrastructure for folks walking, biking and rolling, while a step forward, are a small fraction of the total, and nothing like action at the scale of the climate crisis. Sixteen years from now, it will be too late.

We are asking you to take two different actions to support a clean and just transportation system. These letters will be more effective if you personalize them!

6. Right to legal aid and payment plans for renters – SB 5160

This bill provides indigent renters facing eviction with the right to counsel, requires landlords to offer reasonable repayment plans and offers other protections to help both tenants and renters.  SB 5160 has passed both houses! The bad news is that a last-minute amendment added a provision ending the eviction moratorium on June 30, 2021!

We need to ask key members of Senate Leadership to remove the amendment when the bill returns to the Senate for Concurrence.

Click here to send an email to four key Senators.

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

Majority Leader, Sen. Andy Billig (D-03) – (360) 786-7604 – andy.billig@leg.wa.gov
Floor Leader, Sen. Marko Liias (D-21) – (360) 786-7640 – Marko.Liias@leg.wa.gov
Majority Caucus Leader, Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-11) – (360) 786-7616 – Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov
Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-48) – (360) 786-7694 – Patty.Kuderer@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 ask that SB 5160, Tenant Protections and Right to Counsel be amended to remove the amendment added in the House that requires the current eviction moratorium to end by June 30, 2021.
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Here is another one on the capital gains tax :

SB 5096, a tax on the capital gains profits of the super-rich, is sitting in House committees and we need you to push once again to make sure this gets on the floor and is passed by the house. This is an all-important hurdle that we must clear before getting this legislation passed – legislation ESSENTIAL to Washington State’s long-term recovery.Please sign the petition urging your lawmakers to bring this legislation to a vote in the House and pass it into law!SIGN THE PETITION
We’re almost there, David. Legislation to tax lucrative capital gains profits of the super-rich is about to go to the full House for a vote – but lawmakers haven’t yet moved it to the floor calendar. Without a vote from the house, this legislation will have died for the year and we can’t let that happen.
We know we’ve asked a lot of you over the last few weeks, but it’s only because our state is still in an emergency. With this bill, we have the opportunity to fund our state’s long-term recovery and a once-in-a-generation chance to make our tax code more equitable.
But if this legislation does not make it to the House floor for a vote, Washington’s long-term prospects will be seriously damaged –
 and everyday people and community businesses will continue to suffer. 

Here is another one on clean and just transportation:
Hello, I’m writing because you’ve taken action on behalf of clean & just transportation during the state legislative session. Thank you!! 

With just 2 weeks to go in the session, a $22 billion 16-year transportation package at stake, I’m writing with a quick update, and 2 important ways to advocate for climate-friendly transportation (scroll down!). 

Check out the graphic below for a quick read on the Senate and House transportation budgets; you’ll see right away that these proposals fall far short of what we need to reduce the climate pollution from our transportation system.

Both house and senate budgets would lock in billions and billions of car-centered highway spending for the next 16 years! The increases in climate-friendly transit & infrastructure for folks walking, biking and rolling, while a step forward, are a small fraction of the total, and nothing like action at the scale of the climate crisis. Sixteen years from now, it will be too late.  
Here’s how we can help:
(1.)  Join me and Transportation Choices Coalition in asking Senators to increase funding for transit and active transportation in the Senate’s 16-year transportation package: click here to send a letter to your state Senator
(2.)  The legislature is debating up to $22 billion in new transportation investments. Tell your legislators that any new revenue must be spent on clean & just transportation, and that carbon-pricing revenue should be invested in carbon-reduction measures, not new pollution! Now is the perfect time to send this message before the Senate hearing on the transportation package Monday. 
Thank you!
Ingrid, 350 Seattle
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Finally, you may remember that during the campaign last fall, I sent out periodic notes from Force Multiplier, a Massachusetts-based group of folks vetting good progressive candidates and raising money for them.  Their sidelight was providing interesting presentations, which they are continuing to do now.  Here is information about their next program, which sounds very interesting and relevant:

 
Join Force Multiplier in a Conversation with
PROFESSOR JOAN C. WILLIAMS

Professor of Law, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at
the University of California + author of White Working Class + other books.
 
Thursday, April 22, 7:00-8:00pm ET Zoom
 
Register for a conversation with Joan Williams  A FREE EVENT
If you have a question that you would like to ask Ms.Williams
please email it in advance of the event to info@forcemultiplierma.org.
 
 
Overcoming Class Cluelessness 
+ Winning Elections

 
• Why was the 2020 election so close?
• Why do so many vote against what we believe are their own interests?
• Why are Democrats worse at connecting with White Working Class 
voters than Republicans?
 
Over the past quarter century Joan C. Williams has played a central role 
in reshaping the conversation about 
work + gender + class.

 
L E A R N   M O R E
TED talk:  
“We won’t fix US politics until we talk about class”
 
The Atlantic
“The Democrats’ White-People Problem”
 
Harvard Business Review: 
“What so Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class”
 
Book:
The White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness
 
 
 
LEARN MORE ABOUT FORCE MULTIPLIER
FM INFO SESSION
 Wednesday, April 21, 7:00-8:00pm ET ZoomCurious?
Please join us + let’s talk. 
We hope that when you learn about FM + how our community is 
making a difference, you’ll jump in + get involved.
Register here for this FREE EVENT

That’s all I have for you today.  Thanks for reading and taking action,
 David Turnoy
Chair, San Juan County Democrats
360-376-4165
davidgeri@rockisland.com

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