Thursday March 22, 2018
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Inside this issue                                                                        February 26, 2018
(Click on the links to visit the WSCC website; scroll down to read here)

There are only ten days left in the 2018 legislative session. After a few hearings of fiscal committees today, the rest of the activity will take place on the floor of the Senate and House.

Three major WSCC priorities remain open.  The abortion insurance mandate will come to the House floor for a final vote any day and is still in need of conscience protection language.  The death penalty repeal bill is through committee and will hopefully be scheduled for a final, historic vote in the House.  Finally, legislation with common sense language to require emergency notifications for all schools - public and private - inexplicably failed to get a vote in the House Education Committee this week although the language might still be added to a separate bill.  Please see more details below along with ways you can provide critical help.



Abortion Insurance Mandate (SB 6219) - The Washington State House of Representatives is expected to vote any day on a bill, SB 6219, which would mandate abortion coverage in insurance plans in our state. The Catholic Bishops of Washington strongly oppose this bill because it would promote abortions while violating the constitutionally-protected conscience rights.  Please contact your state representatives and urge them to oppose this bill or at least have conscience protection language added - call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

Repealing the Death Penalty (
SB 6052) - The U.S. Bishops have long supported abolishing the death penalty, a fact reinforced by Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg when he testified in favor of repealing the death penalty at a February 20 hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. That same committee approved the bill later last week and it now awaits a final vote by the full House.  Please contact your state representatives and urge them to vote in favor of this bill - call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

Preventive Health Services - Mandating Contraceptives (
HB 1523) - This legislation requires all health plans in the state to provide contraceptives at no cost. The contraceptives covered include those that are abortifacients. This constitutes a direct threat to the life and dignity of the human person. The WSCC opposes this bill. On February 22, the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee passed the bill and referred it to the Senate Rules Committee.

Uniform Parentage Act (
SB 6037) - A section of this multi-faceted bill legalizes paid or contract surrogacy. The Catholic Church opposes surrogacy because it treats human beings as commodities. The House Judiciary Committee passed this bill on February 22 and it is now in the House Rules Committee.



School Safety (SB 6410) - This bill requires first responders to notify all schools (public or private) in the vicinity whenever an evacuation or lockdown is ordered at a nearby school. After unanimously passing the full Senate, the House Education Committee failed to vote on it prior to the February 23 cutoff. While this is a significant setback, WSCC is continuing efforts to have this important safety language that is critical for Catholic schools approved before the end of the session.  Please contact your state representatives and urge them to support this important school safety measure - call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000.





TANF Resource Limits (HB 1831) - HB 1831 authorizes the state to exempt one motor vehicle (other than a motor home) per applicant for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) from being counted as a personal asset if that vehicle is used for transportation. The Senate Human Services & Corrections Committee approved it unanimously last week. It is scheduled for a vote today in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Legal Financial Obligations (LFO) (HB 1783) - The bill helps people convicted of crimes get back on their feet after being incarcerated by eliminating the interest on most of the court-imposed debt and limiting the sanctions for those with an inability to pay. The Senate Ways & Means Committee is scheduled to vote today on the bill.

Homeless Housing and Assistance (HB 1570) - This legislation prevents the Homeless Housing and Assistance surcharge from expiring next year and ensures a continued source of funds for critical homeless and housing programs. The Senate Human Services & Corrections Committee heard the bill on February 19 and unanimously passed it on February 23. The bill is scheduled for a vote today in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Healthy Food Packaging (HB 2658) - Perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) are used in food packaging such as microwave popcorn bags, sandwich wrap, and muffin papers. PFAS have been found to migrate into food. The Department of Ecology has identified PFAS as a toxic substance. The bill conditionally restricts the inclusion of PFAS in food packaging beginning in 2021. The bill is now in the Senate rules committee awaiting a possible floor vote.







Lenten Action or Dreamers



Please participate in the Call-in Day to Congress on Monday, February 26, 2018! Your advocacy is critical to help the nearly 1.8 million Dreamers, young people who were brought into the United States by their parents as children. They may face deportation as soon as March 6, unless Congress reaches a bi-partisan deal to protect them. Please follow these easy steps to help:

1. Please call 855-589-5698 to reach the Capitol switchboard, and press 1 to connect to your Senators. Once you are connected to each Senator's office, please ask the person on the phone to deliver this simple message: 

"I urge you to support a bipartisan, common-sense, and humane solution for Dreamers: Protect Dreamers from deportation and provide them with a path to citizenship. Reject proposals that undermine family immigration or protections for unaccompanied children. As a Catholic, I know that families are not "chains," but a blessing to be protected. Act now to protect Dreamers, our immigrant brothers and sisters." 

2. Please call 855-589-5698 a second time to reach the Capitol switchboard again, and press 2 to connect to your Representative. Once you are connected to the Representative's office, please ask the person on the phone to deliver the same message as above. 

For background information on why Catholics stand in solidarity with Dreamers: Why We are Advocating for Dreamers (English) and Why We are Advocating for Dreamers (Spanish).

Catholic Advocates Brave Weather in Olympia




Over 250 Catholics from across the state braved snow and frigid temperatures to advocate for the voiceless in Olympia last Wednesday. WSCC greatly appreciates all those who participated in this year's Catholic Advocacy Day. In the above photo, Catholics from the 46th District meet with Rep. Javier Valdez.


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