***DAILY DO’S – WEDNESDAY 7AM EDITION***
Betsy DeVos may have been sworn in as Education Secretary—much to the dismay of teachers, parents, and grizzlies everywhere—but your phone calls helped make it one of the narrowest losses ever. Losing the vote doesn’t exactly make me feel warm and fuzzy all over, but bear with me. Typically, these votes are far from close—politicians don’t want to waste their leverage on appointees who will be out of a job in 4-8 years, usually less. But this time, thanks to your efforts, legislative office after office noted record numbers of calls, most of them asking senators to vote “No.” And two Republicans—both women I might add—broke rank to vote with every single Democrat. If our phone calls can upset a routine hearing process, imagine what they can do on other less talked about issues. So, get your phones ready, it’s time to start making some new phone calls.
1. Washington state has one of the worst laws in the country on police accountability; the so-called "malice intent clause" essentially gives immunity to police using deadly force by forcing prosecutors to demonstrate actual “malice.” (More info: http://bit.ly/2kRhxMK)
SB 5073 and HB 1529 aim to fix this problem by making it possible for prosecutors to bring cases against unjust use of deadly force. These bills were just heard in committee. Now our advocacy is essential to get them to vote the bills out of committee!
See script and contact in the comments below.
2. With the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, it's more important than ever that Washington state's public education is amply funded. Here's an update on what's happening in Olympia. Funding plans put forward by both the Democrats (HB 1843) and the Republicans (SB 5607) are currently in the House. Public hearings were held on Monday, with the vast majority testifying against SB 5607. Many testified in favor of HB 1843, but there were some concerns that it does not go far enough in providing funds and that special education, in particular, needs more support than either bill provides. In the background, the bill to delay the levy cliff (SHB 1059) continues to languish on the Senate Ways & Means Committee where Senator John Braun (R-20th LD) will not give it a hearing. On top of this, a bill to amend the state constitution to permit public funding of religious schools (SJR 8205) has been given a hearing this Friday at 8:00AM in the Senate Committee on State Government. Call or comment online to let your legislators know how you feel about public education in Washington. As always, your personal stories are an invaluable resource.
SB 5607 - Tell your representatives to OPPOSE this funding proposal: http://bit.ly/2liWbcd
HB 1843 - Tell your representatives to SUPPORT this funding proposal with modifications to provide more funding especially for special education: http://bit.ly/2kq2skY
SHB 1059: Tell Chairman Braun to give this bill to delay the levy cliff a hearing and do not use kids as a bargaining chip, (360) 786.7638. Tell your senator to SUPPORT this bill: http://bit.ly/2kq69a8
SJR 8205: Tell your senators that you oppose this effort to amend the state's constitution and erode the separation of church and state: http://bit.ly/2lmqUkz
3. The House added bill HJR 44 to their floor calendar, which means it could get a vote THIS WEEK.
HJR 44 would take away our right to weigh in on public land management plans, eliminating public meetings and public comments for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) projects. HJR 44 rolls back a BLM protection developed to keep gas, oil and coal companies--who pushed for resource extraction rather than responsible stewardship--from dominating the formal input process.
Call your member of Congress AND Rep. Dan Newhouse to tell them to oppose HJR 44. Washington Congressman Dan Newhouse is both a co-sponsor of this bill and a member of the Federal Lands subcommittee in the House Natural Resources Committee.
See script in the comments below.
Katie Anthony is a writer, one of the administrators of Pantsuit Washington, and heads the Daily Do's team.
Liz Bander - writer
Angela Teater- Writer