Climate Action This Week: Residential Tenants; HEAL Act; Transportation Budget/Package; Amtrak Cascades budget item; Recycling, Waste & Litter; Oversight & Accountability of Peace Officers; Duty to Intervene; Agricultural Overtime; Fluorinated Gases; Salmon Recovery; Emergency Shelters and Housing; Growth Management Act Planning; Independent Investigations; GHG Emissions from public facilities; Working Families Tax Exemption; Officers’ Use of Force; Cap and Invest.
 
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* 1. Protecting Residential Tenants: HB 1236

This bill would protect residential tenants from the beginning to the end of their tenancies by penalizing the inclusion of unlawful lease provisions, limiting the reasons for eviction, refusal to continue, and termination.

HB 1236 has passed the House and is now ready for a final vote in the Senate. 

Tell your senator to support HB 1236, Protecting Residential Tenants – For this bill, select your Senator and for “Position” please select “Support”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I strongly support HB 1236 and urge you to vote Yes.
 
Then choose 1-2 additional sentences from the options below or feel free to write your own.
  • Please pass HB 1236 as is, and reject the harmful amendments that have been introduced that would weaken the bill and weaken protections for thousands of Washington tenants. All tenants deserve equal protection.
  • This bill promotes an orderly repossession process and reduces the risk of homelessness by generally extending rental termination periods.
  • This bill provides clarity and safeguards the interests of both tenants and property owners by providing for tenancy termination on reasonable grounds with fair notice periods tailored to the circumstances.

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* 2. HEAL Act: SB 5141

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

Unfortunately legislators are attempting to chip away key elements of the bill. We need to make sure the HEAL Act remains strong.

Tell your Representatives to support SB 5141, the HEAL Act – For this bill, select both of your Representatives, and for “Position” please select “Support”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I support SB 5141 and urge you to to strengthen the bill in three ways and vote Yes

Then, please include these additional points:
  • Environmental Justice cannot be assessed in 15 days and must happen throughout the process, not just when action is started.
  • The Council guiding Environmental Justice decisions should be governed by the communities most impacted, not the polluters!
  • Transportation must be included, and not limited to just “new capacity”.

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* 3. Transportation Spending: HB 1564

Our legislators are currently debating the transportation budget. People across Washington state depend on a reliable transportation system to get to work, school and to connect with their communities. We need to make sure our voices are heard as they finalize the transport package.

Tell all your legislators to support HB 1564, Transportation Spending – For this bill, select your Senator and your two Representatives, and for “Position” please select “Support”. The first sentence of the written comment should be: I strongly support HB 1564 and urge you to vote Yes

Then choose 2-3 additional sentences from the options below or feel free to write your own.
  • People of color, low-income communities, and disabled people who can’t or don’t drive are getting left behind. We need to fund safe sidewalks, accessible crossings, and a baseline level of reliable and accessible transit so that Washington has safe, clean, and fair transportation for all!
  • The proposed budget needs to fund road maintenance, not new highways. It’s time to focus on repairing what we have, not continuing to build projects that will create additional harmful impacts.
  • I support increased investments in bicycle and pedestrian safety, an important start in addressing the billions in identified needs.
  • I want to express my support for proposals including: $3B in transit investments, funding Green Transit Grants, Special Needs Transit, Transit Fare Access Grants, and Bus & Bus Facility Grants and Transit Projects.
  • I applaud the new Connecting Community Grant, which puts a strong focus on equity and environmental justice communities.

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* 4. Securing Amtrak funding in the budget: SB 5126

Thanks to the efforts of climate rail advocates, funding for work on the Amtrak Cascades route has been included in the Senate Transportation budget by the House, an important step toward realizing the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan. The Senate still has to approve the transportation budget that the House has passed, and it’s likely that Senate Transportation Committee members will have a big say in that decision. 

Click here to send a message to the Senate Transportation Committee.

If the above link did not work, please call or address your emails to these key members: 

Chair, Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44) – (360) 786-7686 – Steve.Hobbs@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair, Sen. Rebecca Saldana (D-37) – (360) 786-7688 – Rebecca.Saldana@leg.wa.gov
Ranking Member, Sen. Curtis King (R-14) – (360) 786-7626 – Curtis.King@leg.wa.gov

Please include these points to the members of the Senate Transportation Committee:
  • Please pass the Senate transportation budget SB 5165 as amended by the House, which includes funding for rail projects that will benefit our state.
  • The Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan (LRP) is essential for solving the problems of our overburdened highways, polluted communities, and greenhouse gas emissions within this decade.
  • The growing bipartisan support for implementing the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan is encouraging. We need to advance the State Rail Plan already supported by state law.

  Chair, Sen. Steve Hobbs Vice Chair, Sen. Rebecca Saldana Ranking Member, Sen. Curtis King All other members of the committee
I called
I emailed

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* 5. Moving Senate Bills to the Floor for a Vote.

These five important Senate bills still need to be moved to the House floor for a vote. We need to maintain pressure on House representatives to pass them before the cut-off date.

Please call or email the House leadership and ask them to prioritize these bills for a vote.

Click here to send an email to House leadership.

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

Speaker Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-27) – (253) 393-2990 – Laurie.Jinkins@leg.wa.gov
Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-47) – (360) 786-7858 – Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov
Floor Majority Leader Rep. Monica Jurado Stonier (D-49) – (360) 786-7872 – Monica.Stonier@leg.wa.gov

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

Script: “Hello, I’m contacting Rep. [Name] to urge them to prioritize the following four bills for a floor vote. May I give you the bill numbers?”
  • SB 5022 Supporting Recycling, and Reducing Waste, Litter and Polystyrene
  • SB 5051 Oversight and Accountability of Peace & Corrections Officers
  • SB 5066 Officer’s Duty to Intervene 
  • SB 5172 Agricultural Overtime

  Speaker Rep. Laurie Jinkins Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan Floor Majority Leader Rep. Monica Jurado Stonier
I called
I emailed

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* 6. Moving House Bills to the Floor for a Vote.

These eight important House bills still need to be moved to the Senate floor for a vote. We need to maintain pressure on Senate leadership to pass them before the cut-off date.

Please call or email the Senate leadership and ask them to prioritize these bills for a vote.

Click here to send an email to Senate leadership.

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

Majority Leader Sen. Andy Billig (D-03) – (360) 786-7604 – Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov
Majority Caucus Chair, Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-11) – (360) 786-7616 – Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov
Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Marko Liias (D-21) – (360) 786-7640 – Marko.Liias@leg.wa.gov

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

Script: “Hello, I’m contacting you to urge that you prioritize the following eight bills for a floor vote. May I give you the bill numbers?”
  • HB 1050 Reducing GHG emissions from Fluorinated gases
  • HB 1117 Promoting Salmon Recovery 
  • HB 1220 Supporting Emergency Shelters & Affordable Housing through Comprehensive Planning
  • HB 1241 Updating planning under the Growth Management Act
  • HB 1267 Strengthening Independent Investigations of Police Use of Force
  • HB 1280 Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in public facilities
  • HB 1297 Expanding and restructuring the Working Families Tax Exemption
  • HB 1310 Permissible uses of force by law enforcement and correctional officers

  Majority Leader Sen. Andy Billig Majority Caucus Chair, Sen. Bob Hasegawa Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Marko Liias
I called
I emailed
7. Climate Commitment Act (Cap and Invest): SB 5126

This deeply flawed bill is currently on the Senate floor waiting for a vote. 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 and limits the Department of Ecology’s Greenhouse Gas Assessment of Projects, currently in rulemaking.

This bill is so troubling that we are asking you to take two actions.

Click here to email Senate leadership asking them not to hold a vote.

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

Majority Leader Sen. Andy Billig (D-03) – (360) 786-7604 – Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov
Majority Caucus Chair, Sen. Bob Hasegawa (D-11) – (360) 786-7616 – Bob.Hasegawa@leg.wa.gov
Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Marko Liias (D-21) – (360) 786-7640 – Marko.Liias@leg.wa.gov

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* 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, I’m contacting Senator [Name] to urge him NOT to hold a vote on SB 5126 because the bill is damaged beyond repair.”

Then choose 2-3 additional points from the options below or feel free to write your own.
  • Recent amendments will 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. 
  • 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. 
  • The integration with California will take years. And we pay them to join. This is not the best use of our state funds.
  • In addition to paying California, this bill requires the dedicated time of more than 40 staff members of the Department of Ecology to develop the program, all before collecting any money needed for investment in our State.
  • 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. Direct regulation of polluters would be a more effective way of reducing greenhouse gases and co-pollutants.
  • Cap and invest systems, including SB 5126, overly rely on offsets. British Petroleum, a supporter of SB 5126, has become one of the world's biggest carbon-credit traders, an indication of how ineffectual the offset industry has become.
  • SB 5126 dedicates more than half of its revenue to Sen. Hobbs’ Forward Washington transportation package with no guarantee that the revenue will be used to reduce vehicle emissions. This is insider pork-barrel politics at its worst. Rep. Fey’s transportation package is far superior, with multimodal investments that will reduce vehicle emissions; the legislature should adopt Rep. Fey’s transportation plan instead.
If you have time, please also contact all three of your legislators and ask them to vote against SB 5126, using as many of the options above as you like. 

  Majority Leader Sen. Andy Billig Majority Caucus Chair, Sen. Bob Hasegawa Majority Floor Leader, Sen. Marko Liias My senator My representative My other representative
I called
I emailed
I submitted a comment to

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* Bonus points for using this form to ask both of your Representatives to sign on to the letter being circulated by Rep. Emily Wicks (D-38) asking her colleagues to join her in supporting SB 5373, Washington Strong! (This action also appeared as a PS in the email, no need to do it twice!)

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* How did that go?

Thanks for hanging in with us! Just three weeks left in the 2021 session!

-- The 350 WA Civic Action Team

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