As this short session races ahead in Olympia, we need all voices raised! Our collective voice is powerful and legislators need to hear it in Olympia. These two bills must be passed out of their respective committees by Friday, Feb. 28 in order to move forward. Use the information in this alert to call and e-mail your legislators with these simple messages:
- Pass House Bill 2368, which will stop the “sunset” that will significantly cut our funding source for shelters and other homelessness programs; and
- Pass House Bill 1651, which will allow youth who made childhood mistakes to seal their record so that they are no longer prevented from education, employment, and housing.
Here’s more information about these messages…
Our state’s most important source of funding for shelters and other homelessness programs is at risk! Lawmakers must extend the Homeless Housing and Assistance Surcharge (aka “Document Recording Fees”). Use this link to contact your state reps (or to look them up!). Ask them and their colleagues to SUPPORT House Bill 2368. A public hearing will be held Tuesday, February 25 at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Housing & Insurance (FIHI).
Without this legislation, Washington will lose more than 62% of state funding for homelessness programs beginning in 2015. We cannot wait to address this next year. Please call TODAY!
Remember, you can use the FREE Legislative Hotline (staffed Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.) to leave a message for all three of your legislators: 1-800-562-6000. (Give the operator your address and they’ll look up your district and who your legislators are!)
Here’s a sample message of support:
Dear Representative/Senator, I urge you to support HB 2368 – the Homeless Housing and Assistance Surcharge. Shelters and programs who serve people who are homeless are vital. Help us We cannot take a big step backwards in the work to end homelessness. Please stop the sunset of these fees by voting YES! on HB 2368.
Youth Opportunity Act (HB 1651) allows youth, who cannot afford to have their records sealed by an attorney, fair opportunities for housing, education, and employment. We must seal (and stop the sale of) juvenile records so that youth can pursue education, find employment, and secure housing — and this is exactly what House Bill 1651 aims to do! Currently, Washington is 1 of 8 states that allows juvenile records to be public and available online. We can do so much better.
Today, February 24th, at 10 a.m., the Senate Human Services and Corrections (HSC) Committee will hear House Bill 1651. This hearing — happening right now! — is the single most important test this bill will face.
These three Senators on the HSC Committee are key and need to hear from their constituents. Click the links below to email, or call them directly:
* Chair Senator Steve O’Ban (District 28) 360-786-7654
* Senator Mike Padden (District 4) 360-786-7606
* Senator Kirk Pearson (District 39) 360-786-7676
NOTE: If your Senator is not on the Committee, contact your Senator and ask them to tell their colleagues on the HSC Committee to vote YES! on this bill.
Here’s a sample message of support:
Dear Senator, I urge you and your colleagues to vote YES! on HB 1651 – the Youth Opportunities Act. We must support youth as they work towards their educational goals, get good jobs that support our economy, and find safe, affordable places to live. Young adults who can afford to pay an attorney are able to seal their records, but those who can’t are stuck in a cycle of never-ending punishment – it’s unfair, and we can do better. Thank you!
Thank you for taking action to support these crucial bills!