With the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade occurring on Sunday, Washington Legislative Democrats are considering a package of bills this week to protect and preserve the right to reproductive and gender-affirming care in Washington state. Washington residents have demanded that their right to control their own reproductive health be upheld. Despite Republican attempts to limit or even overturn your reproductive rights, House Democrats are leading the way to ensure that the right to an abortion is available, accessible, and affordable.
Monday public hearings begin in the afternoon, including a public hearing in the Housing Committee on HB 1337 from Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac), legislation to allow for accessory dwelling units within urban growth areas to help address the need for additional affordable housing options.
The Education Committee will hear testimony on HB 1316, prime sponsored by Rep. Dave Paul (D-Oak Harbor), to expand access to dual credit programs by lowering costs for eligible students.
Tuesday – Reproductive Justice Day
Tuesday is Reproductive Justice Day, including public remarks from multiple representatives, and hearings on a package of bills offered by House Democrats.
In the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee, the public will share testimony on HB 1155 from Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue) and HB 1469 from Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island). HB 1155, the My Health, My Data Act, would protect the right to reproductive care by blocking websites and apps from collecting and sharing health data. HB 1469, also known as the Shield Law, protects patients and providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care in Washington from retribution by other states, ensuring that care remains available to those who require it in Washington state.
There will be a public hearing in the Labor & Workplace Standards Committee on HB 1286, prime sponsored by Rep. Liz Berry (D-Seattle), to protect employers who provide support for reproductive care allowed in Washington state. When other states allow judgment against an employer, HB 1286 offers the employer recourse to attempt to recover damages from the people who brought the action against them.
In the Health Care & Wellness Committee, Rep. Marcus Riccelli’s (D-Spokane) prime sponsored HB 1340 will get a public hearing. HB 1340 ensures that Washington’s providers cannot be disciplined in our state because they provide reproductive or gender affirming care in accordance with Washington state law, regardless of where their patients reside.
The Education Committee will hold a public hearing on three bills, starting with HB 1228 from Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-Mukilteo) to addressing dual and tribal language education, HB 1332 from Rep. Debra Lekanoff (D-Bow) to support education in Native schools, and HB 1238 from Rep. Riccelli to provide free breakfast and lunch to all Washington K-12 students.
Also in the afternoon, the Housing Committee will hear two bills to address the growing need for rent stability and bring a stop to excessive rent hikes, HB 1389 from Rep. Alex Ramel (D-Bellingham) and HB 1388 from Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle).
Wednesday begins with action in the Local Government Committee on two pieces of climate change and transit-oriented development legislation, HB 1181 from Rep. Davina Duerr (D-Bothell) and HB 1351 from Rep. Julia Reed (D-Seattle). HB 1181, which had a public hearing last week and is scheduled for executive action on Wednesday, adds a climate change and resiliency goal to the Growth Management Act. There will be a public hearing on HB 1351 prohibits minimum parking requirements except in certain conditions, in order to encourage more transit-oriented development.
Also in the morning, the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee will hear HB 1445 from Rep. Hansen, to strengthen the Attorney General’s authority to investigate misconduct by law enforcement, and HB 1025 from Rep. My-Linh Thai (D-Bellevue), which will create a private right of action when peace officers violate state law or the state constitution.
Thursday morning begins with possible executive session in the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee on Rep. Mari Leavitt’s (D-University Place) HB 1002 to increase the penalty for hazing and Rep. Lekanoff’s HB 1177 which creates a missing and murdered indigenous women and people cold case investigations unit.
Also in the morning, the Environment & Energy Committee will hold possible executive session on several bills, including Rep. Sharlett Mena’s (D-Tacoma) HB 1047 to restrict the sale of cosmetic products using certain chemicals. In the Housing Committee, possible executive session in scheduled for HB 1124 by Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) to require six months’ notice for rent increases over five percent.
Friday includes executive session in the Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee with possible action on reproductive care bills including HB 1469 from Rep. Hansen and HB 1155 from Rep. Slatter. Additionally, the committee has scheduled possible executive action on HB 1143 from Rep. Berry to require firearms safety training and a 10-day waiting period on gun purchases and HB 1240 from Rep. Peterson to ban assault weapons.
Also on Friday morning’s schedule is possible executive session in the Human Services, Youth, & Early Learning Committee on the Washington Future Fund (HB 1094) from Rep. Monica Stonier (D-Vancouver) and a public hearing on HB 1424 in the Consumer Protection & Business Committee. The legislation offered by Rep. April Berg (D-Mill Creek) would end the puppy mill to pet store pipeline by preventing retail pet stores from having ownership interest in animals offered for adoption and limit predatory financing of pets. It would not impact humane breeders or pet stores operating in the interest of their customers and animals in their care.