Legislative Agenda for the 2021 Session

Our Department of Government Affairs has spent weeks building this year’s legislative agenda, poring over the various bills and initiatives being proposed by legislators for the upcoming session. The agenda below includes items that affect every Young Democrat in our state.

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Jump to bill:

Organizations to Follow

We as Young Democrats of Washington support the work of these organizations, and encourage our members to engage in their lobbying efforts:

  • Washington Low Income Housing Alliance The mission of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is to lead the movement to ensure that all our residents thrive in safe, healthy, affordable homes.
  • Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness The Coalition on Homelessness is a coordinating force on budget and policy decisions which directly affect the lives and futures of people who are homeless and the kind of community we all live in.
  • Poverty Action Network Poverty Action builds grassroots power to end causes of poverty and create opportunities for everyone to prosper.
  • Washington Student Association The purpose of the Washington Student Association is to serve as the official nonpartisan body of representation for all students attending Washington State’s institutions of higher education.
  • Sunrise WA The Sunrise Movement is a youth movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.
  • TVW Through its award-winning produced programs, TVW gives the public compelling, balanced, nonpartisan reporting on current public policy topics.
  • Daily E-Clips House Democrats Newsletter on Legislative news.
  • Crosscut The Pacific Northwest’s independent, reader-supported, nonprofit news site. Crosscut strives to provide readers with the facts and analysis they need to intelligently participate in civic discourse, and to create a more just, equitable and sustainable society.
  • The Legislative Skinny The 101 on Washington’s 2021 legislative session.

Bills to Watch

HB 1044

An act relating to creating prison to postsecondary education pathways

It lifts the restriction on the types of classes or degrees offered to those who are currently incarcerated. We support this bill as investment in education is proven to reduce recidivism. More options available to incarcerated individuals means they’ll be able to select degrees suiting their strengths, and those which could be more competitive in the labor market than the associates currently offered, leading to more successful entry into the workforce.

Next Steps

Feb 25, 2021:

  • Passed Unanimously on the House Floor.
  • Second substitute bill substituted (APP 21). (View 2nd Substitute)
  • Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading.
  • Passed on third reading: Yeas, 96; Nays, 2; Absent, 0; Excused, 0.
  • Off to the Senate!

Sponsors

Leavitt, Simmons, Johnson, J., Eslick, Lovick, Kloba, Lekanoff, Wylie, Bateman, Senn, Goodman, Bronoske, Valdez, Callan, Ramos, Hackney, Morgan, Ormsby, Fey, Frame, Santos, Davis, Pollet, Bergquist


HB 1054

An act relating to establishing requirements for tactics and equipment used by peace officers

We see the current policing in WA state as ineffective and unjust. These reasonable restrictions on military-grade weapons, reductions of unnecessary aggressive tactics such as chokeholds, and training in alternative tactics to be smart limits on the powers of Washington police. We are hopeful this bill and more will lead to a much less aggressive, less deadly, and less racially biased police forces. 

Next Steps

Feb 17, 2021 Placed on second reading by Rules Committee.

Sponsors

Johnson, J., Entenman, Dolan, Ryu, Berry, Simmons, Bateman, Kloba, Lekanoff, Duerr, Fitzgibbon, Slatter, Wylie, Ramos, Berg, Tharinger, Ramel, Ortiz-Self, Senn, Peterson, Gregerson, Valdez, Callan, Hackney, Morgan, Chopp, Cody, Ormsby, Taylor, Frame, Santos, Macri, Davis, Pollet, Bergquist, Harris-Talley


HB 1009

An act relating to student health plans

YDWA supports a woman’s right to choose, and our student healthcare plans should not place undue barriers to that right. We, and WA College Young Democrats support this bill, which states that student healthcare plans “may not limit in any way a person’s access to services related to the abortion of a pregnancy.”

Next Steps

Feb 25, 2021:

  • In the Senate
  • First reading, referred to Health & Long Term Care.

Sponsors

Thai, Slatter, Wicks, Ortiz-Self, Kloba, Lekanoff, Bateman, Johnson, J., Ryu, Senn, Gregerson, Valdez, Cody, Riccelli, Frame, Santos, Macri, Pollet


HB 1236

An act relating to protecting residential tenants from the beginning to end of their tenancies by penalizing the inclusion of unlawful lease provisions and limiting the reasons for eviction, refusal to continue, and termination

YDWA supports tenant rights and keeping our WA State population safe and housed, particularly during this pandemic.

Next Steps

Feb 9, 2021 Referred to Rules 2 Review.

Sponsors

Macri, Taylor


SB 1083 & HB 1080

Capital Budget: Increased Broadband Access

We support the proposed budget proposals which include increased funding for broadband access for Washingtonians, specifically in rural areas. Both during the pandemic and beyond, as young people we are well aware that internet access is integral to being a part of today’s workforce. Whether it’s a reliable connection to class or a job, young Washingtonians have needed increased access, and the pandemic has only exacerbated this inequitable challenge to economic opportunity for rural residents of our state.

    Next Steps

    TBA

    Sponsors (SB 1083)

    Frockt, Mullet, Wilson, C.

    Sponsors (HB 1080)

    Tharinger, Leavitt, Wylie, Callan, Hackney


    Previous Bills

    HB 1156

    An act relating to increasing representation and voter participation in local elections

    YDWA supports measures that expand access to voting, and views rank choice as a more accurate representation of the will of the vote. We support this option for all elections in WA State.

    What Happened?

    Died in the House Rules Committee.

    Sponsors

    Harris-Talley, Gregerson, Shewmake, Ormsby, Chopp, Lekanoff, Davis, Frame, Macri, Duerr, Pollet, Goodman, Berg, Taylor, Walsh, Rule, Ortiz-Self, Berry, Peterson, Thai, Wicks, Bateman, Johnson, J., Simmons, Fitzgibbon, Ramel, Dolan


    HB 1228 (DO NOT PASS)

    Would immediately end the eviction moratorium and put a 6 month timer on rental debt recovery

    There are nearly 200,000 people who are accruing rent debt in the State of Washington currently that would have been put at risk by this bill.

    What Happened?

    Died in the House Rules Committee.

    Sponsors

    Barkis, Walen, Dent, Hoff, Jacobsen, Chambers, Ryu, Graham, Ybarra, Caldier, MacEwen, Walsh, Chapman, Boehnke, Dolan, Springer, Chandler, Eslick, Robertson, Gilday

    Mike DeVine

    Mike DeVine

    I'm great in small doses!

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