Washington State Legislature Passes 2017-2019 Budget
On June 30, 2017, Washington lawmakers passed, and Governor Inslee signed, a budget that adds $1.8 billion of additional tax money to fund K-12 education. Over the next four years, nearly $7.3 billion of new state money will go to schools, while reducing dependence on local school-district levies. However, questions remain about whether the provisions of the budget bill will comply with Supreme Court orders in the McCleary decision and the impacts it will have on individual school districts. Chances are this is not the last we hear of McCleary and property tax aspects of this budget.
Other positive aspects of the 2017-2019 budget: State employees will get promised raises, a few tax loop holes were closed, and a Family Leave Bill offers a program of paid time off for workers who need to care for newly born or adopted children or for a serious medical condition.
Want more detail? The year-end summary LWVWA Legislative Newsletter will be a good source of information. You can always contact members of the LWVWA Lobby Team if you have specific questions.
Four years ago on June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed one of America’s greatest strides towards civil rights and true democracy for all when it struck down the anti-discrimination provisions that lie at the heart of the 1965 Voting Rights Act
As soon as the Shelby v Holder decision was announced, the League warned that states would use it to pass some of the worst voter suppression laws since the days of Jim Crow—and that is exactly what has happened.
Discriminatory voter photo ID requirements. Restrictions on early voting. Fewer and more crowded polling locations in underrepresented communities.
The assault on our voting rights has been unceasing and relentless.
In last year’s election, 10 states enforced outrageous new voter suppression laws deliberately designed to make it harder to vote.
In Congress, the League is supporting the Voting Rights Advancement Act, H.R. 2978, which provides federal protections against discrimination and counters new voter suppression tactics in states across the country.
At the grassroots level, we are going on the offense by expanding voter registration and outreach efforts in underrepresented communities and winning battles to enhance voters’ access to the polls.
For nearly a century, the League has fought to defend the most fundamental American right—casting a ballot.
We simply couldn’t do this work without committed supporters and members like you by our side .
Thank you so much for standing with us in Making Democracy Work®.
Wylecia Wiggs Harris
July 7, 2017
Continue Opposition of Senate Health Care Plan
The U.S. Senate released their plan to cut health care for 22 million Americans, cut Medicaid and reduce access to health care for women. Senate leadership was unable to garner enough support for the legislation and postponed a vote on the legislation. This is a small victory in the fight to maintain quality affordable care for all Americans. Please continue to call and email your Senators and let them know that America deserves better.
NEW: VIDEO FROM NATIONAL LWV
2017 "TRY" - THEY REPRESENT YOU
The Thurston County LWV organizes and hosts events and activities to educate and inform voters regarding local, state and national subjects and issues. The League presents information regarding issues through meetings and debates, and publications like They Represent You (TRY) brochure (PDF). TRY is a comprehensive document containing contact information about Thurston County, Washington State and National elected officials as well as Thurston School Districts, Courts and other public agencies.
League of Women Voters US Statement regarding immigration:
The League is opposed to deportation of non-criminal undocumented immigrants.
The LWV supports cities, towns, counties and states that make a decision not to cooperate with federal deportation and enforcement actions that include non-criminal undocumented immigrants. Moreover, the Trump Administration’s orders are of dubious legality.
It is simply wrong, and a perversion of the American system of justice, for the Executive Branch to refuse to obey federal court orders.
The LWV is opposed to discrimination, including discrimination in immigration, based on religion. The Trump Administration’s orders appear to be targeted at Muslims and immigrants from majority-Muslims nations.
HOW WE WORK
League members work on a variety of issues over each program year, in addition to our voteseTC engage in a study of the Thurston County Adult Criminal Justice System. The first planning meeting for this study will be held in August 2017.
At our early August 2017 retreat, the Board decided to how to focus on election related work this fall. In addition, a series of General Public meeting that will begin in January 2018 will be set. We may even identify another study we want to be involved in during the next couple of years. Check back later in August to see what decisions the Board has made.
Of course, one of our primary events that serves to spotlight LWVTC activities, as well as to raise funds for our Education Fund, which we use to underwright our Public meetings, will be held at the end of October 2017.
The League always welcomes people who are interested in community issues and are willing to work on understanding and then taking action on them. We have a great history of impacting positive change through our advocacy efforts and our work on voter registration and voter rights. Come and join us!