Toward a More Progressive Washington State

OFFICIAL DAILY ACTION for Wednesday, February 21st

Don’t forget to fill out our call log so that we can track our impact: https://goo.gl/forms/lbHUvI9h58f0dLqx1

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With Congress in Recess this week, let’s focus on state government, where progressive change is not only possible, it’s more likely than ever because of the new Democratic majority in Washington's Senate.  Four exciting bills that have passed the state House and await votes in the Senate aim at redressing historic inequities for formerly incarcerated people, women, and dreamers.

• LEGAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATION REFORM (HB 1783) Changes how the costs of jail and prison are paid and calculated to help break the prison-to-debt-to-prison cycle and help formerly incarcerated people secure a productive future.

• FAIR CHANCE ACT (HB 1298) When formerly incarcerated persons have fulfilled their debt to society, they should be able to secure work. By “banning the box” and waiting until after an interview to ask about criminal history, they will have a fair chance to succeed.

• EQUAL PAY OPPORTUNITY ACT (HB 1506) — Updates the state’s Equal Pay Act (for the first time since 1943) to prohibit employers from imposing pay secrecy policies and  prevents discrimination by gender in providing career advancements opportunities

• DREAM ACT 2.0 (HB 1488) Ensures that Washington Dreamers continue to qualify for the state’s College Bound Scholarship program, even if DACA ends.

Tell your state Senators to help “Trump-proof” Washington State by supporting these progressive bills.

Action:  Tell state Senators to support four progressive bills

Find your state Senator’s phone number (and save it to your phone if you haven’t already):

http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Sample Script

“Hello! My name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ZIP]. I’m calling to ask you to support four bills that will move Washington State in a more progressive direction. All four have passed the state House:  Legal Financial Obligation Reform (HB 1783), the Fair Chance Act (HB 1298), the Equal Pay Opportunity Act (HB  1506),  and the DREAM Act 2.0 (HB 1488). These bills will give a fairer chance to formerly incarcerated people, women in the workplace, and Dreamers.”

References and links

http://columbialegal.org/modern-day-debtors-prisons-washington

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1783&Year=2017

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/01/04/25679784/state-legislature-could-consider-banning-the-box-statewide

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1298&Year=2017

http://www.thestand.org/2018/01/house-oks-equal-pay-on-bipartisan-vote/

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1506&Year=2017

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/01/12/25707751/wa-legislators-re-introduce-bill-to-protect-dreamers-from-losing-financial-aid

http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1488&Year=2017

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