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Hello Defender!

Welcome to our annual Session-Ending Review of legislation that FPIW covered during the recent 60-day Session in Olympia. We typically cover ‘The Good’, ‘The Bad’, and ‘The Ugly’; however, this year two new categories are warranted – ‘The Miraculous’ and ‘The Deserve to be Voted Out of Office’ categories. Let’s start with The Miraculous . . .   

For the first time in the history of our fine state, three initiatives ‘of the people’ were passed during a Legislative Session. Funded by ‘Let’s Go Washington’ – with special recognition to Brian Heywood and Steve Gordon – and authored and filed by Rep. Jim Walsh, these three initiatives were passed by both the House and Senate on March 4, 2024 and will take effect as law on June 6, 2024.
 

      • I-2111 eliminates a state income tax.

     • I-2113 restores reasonable police pursuit.

     • I-2081 is known as the ‘parental right’s bill’ and will require transparency in our public schools.

We have every reason to cheer and celebrate this remarkable accomplishment. The battle, however, is not finish yet as three more initiatives will be decided by voters on the November ballot. They are: Repealing the Capital Gain Tax (I-2109), Stopping the Hidden Gas Tax (I-2117), and the Opting Out of Government Care (I-2124). More to come on these three at the end of this report.

Given the number of Action Alerts we send out each session, many of our followers have the impression that everything coming out of Session is ‘bad news’. In actuality, your participation in the legislative process resulted in many positive outcomes. Take a look . . .
 

HB 1151 would have promoted the mishandling of human embryos. Joyfully, the bill died in committee without a public hearing.

HB 1333 would have created the infamous ‘Domestic Violent Extremism Commission’. Thankfully, this bill also died in committee without a public hearing.

HB 1862 provides both a retail sales and use tax exemption and a business and occupation tax exemption for amounts received from sales on a military reservation by a nonprofit that operates an adaptive recreational facility that serves disabled veterans and members of the armed forces. This great bill was signed by the Governor on March 18, 2024 and becomes effective October 1, 2024.

HB 1868 would have outlawed the use of all gasoline powered tools and landscaping equipment. This legislation died in committee without a public hearing.

HB 1917, “Adopting the physician assistant compact” will allow Physician Assistant’s currently licensed in other states to begin practicing immediately here in Washington after relocating. Given our shortage of medical physicians, this is a very beneficial piece of legislation. This much-needed bill was signed by the Governor on March 13, 2024 and becomes effective June 6, 2024.   

HB 1941 is a bipartisan bill that will improve health care options for children receiving Medicaid who have medically-complex conditions. The bill passed both chambers unanimously. The legislation was signed by the Governor on March 19, 2024 and becomes effective June 6, 2024.    
 
HB 1956, “Addressing fentanyl and other substance use prevention education” will assist the state in addressing an epidemic problem in Washington that has led to needless deaths, rampant homelessness, and increased crime. The amended legislation passed both chambers unanimously. This bipartisan bill was signed by the Governor on March 19, 2024 and becomes effective June 6, 2024.  
 
HB 1962, “Improving voter registration list accuracy by improving voter address change processes for county election offices and voters. This bipartisan bill. developed by Republican Representative Sam Low, will require county auditors to follow specific guidelines when a voter relocates to a new district and inactivates voters who move out of state. This much-needed bill was signed by the Governor on March 13, 2024 and takes effect on June 1, 2024.  
 
HB 1999, “Concerning fabricated intimate or sexually explicit images and depictions” expands criminal offenses against those engaged in viewing or depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and those posting digitally fabricated sexual images of an identifiable minor. Thankfully, the bill was signed by the Governor on March 14, 2024 and becomes effective on June 6, 2024.  
 
HB 2030 would have allowed any incarcerated criminal to vote, serve on a jury and/or run for office. As it should have, this bill died in committee. 
 
HB 2177 would have put a sex offender on the State Sex Offender Policy Board. This horrendous bill also died in committee. 
 
HB 2250 was entitled the “Ranked Choice Voting Act.” In Ranked choice voting the voters rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of first-choice votes in the first round of voting, the last-place finisher is eliminated, and his votes are reallocated to the voter’s second-choice candidate. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority of votes. At a time when we want to encourage voter participation, we need to keep voting simple. Ranked choice voting is overly complicated, confusing and deprives voters of a genuinely informed choice. Fortunately, this bad bill died in committee. 
 
HB 2470 would have created another tax, this time to address “gender-based violence”. Specifically, the bill allowed counties to legislatively impose a .1% sales and use tax. Thankfully, this horrible bill died in committee. 
 
HJR 4208 was a House Joint Resolution that would have removed gender terms from the Washington State Constitution. The proposal would have required a constitutional amendment and would have needed approval from a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. If passed, the amendment would have then require voter approval on the 2024 ballot. This atrocious bill died in committee. 
 
SB 5209, initially sponsored by Sen. Sam Hunt and 13 other Democrats in 2023, would have required anyone legally eligible to vote in Washington to submit a ballot. In other words, this bill would have made it illegal not to vote. Our constitutional freedom includes the right to free speech, or to not speak. It also includes the right to bear arms, or not to bear arms. Likewise, we have the freedom to vote, or to not vote. Joyfully, this legislation died in committee.
 
SB 5241 “Concerning material changes to the operations and governance structure of participants in the health care marketplace” would have given the Attorney General control over hospital and medical clinic mergers. In addition, the bill was an effort to restrict religious hospitals from mergers unless both parties agreed to provide abortions and gender mutilation procedures. This horrendous bill died on the House Floor on March 1 after Republicans filed nearly 30 amendments and vowed to fight all night long, if necessary, to defeat this last piece of legislation before cut-off.
 
SB 5770 would have allowed our 1% property tax rate cap to increase to 3% annually. For the second year in a row, this atrocious bill died in committee. 
 
SB 5920, “Lifting certificate of need requirements for psychiatric hospitals and beds” will eliminate state-required red tape and allow the number of psychiatric hospitals to expand more quickly. This bill passed out of both chambers unanimously. This good bill was signed by the Governor on March 18, 2024 and goes into effect on June 6, 2024.
 
SB 6006 expands the definition of abuse or neglect of a child that must be reported by mandatory reporters to include trafficking, sex trafficking, and severe forms of trafficking. It also: modifies agency procedures related to assessing and providing services for abuse or neglect; expands sexual assault protection orders to include sexual abuse; modifies criminal and civil statute of limitations relating to trafficking and commercial sexual abuse of a minor; and modifies courtroom and disclosure procedures for certain minor victims. The legislation passed both chambers unanimously. The bipartisan bill was signed by the Governor on March 26, 2024 and takes effect on July 1, 2025. 
 
SB 6264, Mastery Based Learning has the potential to keep students engaged who typically have difficulty in school; however, leave it to Washington to destroy a good thing by attempting to mesh the program with “Culturally Responsive Education” (CRE). Fortunately, this bad bill died in committee. 
 
SJM 8006 encouraged the federal government to devise a universal health care system. Take note of how effectively our federal government runs the Medicaid and Medicare programs and you will quickly understand how wretched this bill was. A free-market system promotes creativity and competition that ultimately leads to better health-care. Just ask our neighbors to the north how popular their national health-care system is and how long they have to wait to see a medical specialist. Thankfully, this terrible bill died in committee. 
 
SJR 8207 was a Senate Joint Resolution which proposed another constitutional amendment that would have allowed a simple majority to pass school district bonds and levies. Currently, a 60% majority is required. This proposal woud have  required a constitutional amendment and required approval from a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate. If passed, the amendment would then have required voter’s approval on the 2024 ballot. It is with great joy that I can report this legislation died in committee.
HB 1800, introduced by Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia, addressed the issue of graffiti. The bill would have given courts options other than jail time for offenders to be held accountable and rectify their mistakes. Sadly, this much needed legislation died in committee. 
 
 HB 1889 strikes the requirement that applicants for professional licenses be U.S. citizens, allowing for the use of an individual tax identification number instead of a Social Security number. The bill also allows undocumented students to pursue desired jobs by addressing the lack of clarity surrounding which licenses require an SSN. Democrats complain that licensing requirements create barriers to work for undocumented people due to U.S. citizenship requirements.
 
Bill sponsor, Amy Walen, D-Kirkland, asks: “If someone can pass the very rigorous standards that we have in the state of Washington . . . why do we need to know about their federal documentation status?” That is the primary problem with this bill. The fix is easy. Prevent illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. and then migrating to Washington. We are not opposed to addressing licensing concerns for legal immigrants working towards U.S. citizenship.  Unfortunately, this bad bill was signed by the Governor on March 13, 2024 and becomes effective on July 1, 2024.   
 
HB 1967, “Excluding any person who is convicted of a hit and run resulting in death from being eligible for a first-time offender waiver”, regretfully died in committee. 
 
HB 2037 would have required Washington public schools to teach about the Jewish Holocaust and other campaigns of genocide. The bill was introduced because of the rise in anti-Semitism around the world after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7 last year and committed the worst acts of violence against the Jews since World War II. With great regret, this legislation died in committee.
 
HB 2217 allows courts to treat and sentence criminals up to 25 years old as juveniles. Sadly, this pathetic bill was signed by the Governor on March 15, 2024 and becomes effective on June 6, 2024. 
 
HB 2300 would have delayed some of the requirements for child care providers related to certification and training qualifications in an attempt to address the shortage of child care options for working parents. Unfortunately, this bill died in committee without even a public hearing. 
 
HB 2358 would have made obstructing highways for protests a crime. Regrettably, this bill also died in committee without a public hearing. 
 
HB 2398 stated school district instructional materials committees (IMCs) must, rather than may, include parents of students in a number equaling less than one half of the total membership of the IMC. An exemption to the requirement was included for school districts with fewer than 2,000 enrolled students that are unable to recruit parents to serve on an IMC. Sadly, this good bill died in committee.
 
HB 2494 will unbelievably provide additional funding for public schools. Public education in Washington state is already adequately funded and school administrators have a surplus of money to work with. According to the Washington Policy Center, public schools in Washington now spend an average of $19,000 per enrolled student. Furthermore, the two-year state budget for school funding in 2023-2025 has increased by 12%. In the past 12 years, public education spending has doubled from $13.5 billion in 2013 to $29 billion in the current budget ending in 2025. These numbers do not even include the nearly $3 billion in additional federal COVID relief funding that schools have received the past few years. By comparison, average private school tuition is $12,392 for elementary schools and $14,060 for high schools. 
 
Despite the rapid decline in multiple proficiency scores, public school employees are now among the highest-paid workers in the state. Not surprisingly, teachers’ salaries and benefit levels at private schools are consistently lower than those of their peers in public schools. Providing more money to the public school coffers is not going to improve test scores and graduation rates; however, public school teachers and the WEA union were in Olympia to testify in support of this bill . . . for the sake of the children, of course. 
 
What public education needs is not more money, but major reforms including: greater transparency with parents; a focus on teaching basics such as reading, writing, math and accurate history; and a move away from ‘woke’ ideology such as DEI, CRT and “gender” studies. The wasteful bill passed and was delivered to the Governor for his signature on March 7, 2024. 
 
SB 5819 was bipartisan legislation that would include financial education instruction as a requirement for students to graduate from high school. Unfortunately, this good bill died in committee.
 
SB 5841 would have given courts the authority to require those who killed or disabled the parent of a minor child while driving under the influence to provide financial support for each child or dependent until they reach 18 years of age. Regretfully, this bill died in committee. 
 
SB 5882 cuts the ratio of certified teachers in public schools by increasing the number of non-teaching employees. Democratic sponsors introduced this bill because they believe additional staff are needed to “better meet student needs.” It will increase non-teaching staff in the public schools, and cut the ratio of teachers, i.e., the proportion of teachers to all staff, potentially leading to larger class sizes and reduced student access to learning. Every available dollar should be spent on increasing the number of teachers focused on helping students recover from the learning losses they suffered due to the extended COVID school shutdowns. Washington state’s teacher ratio is already low. Of the 125,000 full time employees in the public schools, only 50.5 percent are classroom teachers. This legislation will make the ratio of teachers to total staff even lower. It will also add nearly $1 billion to the state budget within three years. Sadly, this bill was signed by the Governor on March 19, 2024 and will become effective on June 6, 2024 
 
SB 6134, introduced by Senators Chris Gildon, R-Puyallup and Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver would have created a system for mapping reported incidents of fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses and synthetic opiate poisonings in Washington state. The bill would also have established a Washington state opioid overdose trends review committee. Sadly, this bill died in committee.
 
SB 6205 was a bill that would have amended RCW 28A.230.140 to read as follows: Beginning no later than the 2025-26 school year, school districts must offer instruction in the meaning and history of the Pledge of Allegiance. At a minimum, the instruction must be offered once in elementary school, once in middle school, and once in high school. To the extent practicable, the office of the superintendent of public instruction must make available in the library of openly licensed courseware under RCW 28A.300.803 curricular resources related to the meaning and history of the pledge of allegiance. Unfortunately, this bill died in committee.
 
SB 6279 would have allowed a health practitioner to offer a pregnant woman the ability to undergo an ultrasound and view the results of the U.S. exam before undergoing an abortion. With great despair, this bill died in committee without a public hearing.
 
HB 1380 would have provided increased funding for the recruitment, retention and support of law enforcement officers. For the second consecutive year, this bill died in committee without even a public hearing. 
 
HB 1954, “Harmonizing language relating to reproductive health care services and gender-affirming treatment” adds one more layer of protection for medical personnel providing abortions and “gender-affirming care” – including surgical mutilation. In addition, it makes Washington state a “sanctuary” for medical providers in other states who are in violation of their own state laws regarding abortions and “gender-affirming care”. With much regret, the bill was delivered to the Governor for his signature on March 1, 2024. 
 
HB 1888 would have expanded Washington’s Safe Haven Law by allowing a parent(s) to anonymously transfer their newborn, under the age of 31 days, into a ‘baby box’ at a designated hospital ER, fire station or rural health clinic. Parents doing so would not have been subject to criminal liability. The bill also would have provided grant money to fund at least three new ‘baby boxes’ within the state. Of course, this legislation did not fit the ‘abortion sanctuary’ state envisioned by the Democrats; therefore, this bill died in committee without a public hearing. 
 
HB 2002 would have established criminal penalties for the public use of fentanyl or methamphetamine. Unbelievably, this bill died in committee without a public hearing.
 
HB 2115 allows a health care provider who fears ‘potential harassment’ to prescribe abortion medication without any public identification or contact information on the bottle. The provider’s national practitioner identification (PIN) number or the health care facility name is provided instead. This is unnecessary legislation for an imaginary problem. Not surprisingly, this legislation protects the abortion pill provider rather than the patient. Regretfully, this egregious bill was signed by the Governor on March 26, 2024, and becomes effective on June 6, 2024. 
 
HB 2233 would have removed parents or guardians actively using controlled substances in a home where underage children reside. This bill died in committee without so much as a public hearing. 
 
HB 2331 requires that, to retain funding, all school districts must utilize controversial curriculum and inappropriate materials as determined by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The bill specifically states: “a school district board of directors may not refuse to approve, or prohibit the use of, any textbook, instructional material, supplemental instructional material, or other curriculum for student instruction on the basis that it relates to or includes the study of the role and contributions of any individual or group who is part of a protected class as established in RCW 28A.642.010 and 28A.640.010.” This would effectively require every school district to utilize books that are sexually inappropriate for children and promote DEI, CRT, and other ‘woke’ ideology. Painfully, this horrendous bill was signed by the Governor on March 28, 2024, and takes effect June 6, 2024. 
 
HB 2368 designates development of an entirely new state agency responsible for the review and administration of the Washington state plan for refugee resettlement. This legislation is designed to specifically address immigrants who are not naturalized citizens and are “ineligible for federal services” – in other words, most will be illegal immigrants coming across our southern border. 
 
These illegal Immigrants will be provided with benefits that many Washington citizens struggle to afford including housing. healthcare. gainful employment, groceries, transportation and cash. Some level of federal funding will be available; however, local government will also be responsible for providing services to these illegal immigrants. The funding would come through “community-based organizations”. Not surprisingly, the fiscal reports do not provide any specific cost numbers.
 
This influx of illegal immigrants will not only impact our state budget but will, most assuredly, also burden our law enforcement system, courts, and jail system which are already struggling with increased crime, homelessness, drugs and a rapidly declining number of law enforcement officers. This wasteful bill was signed by the Governor on March 18, 2024 and takes effect on June 6, 2024. 
 
SB 5427, “Concerning people who have been targeted or affected by hate crimes and bias incidents” or better known as the “Tattle Tale Hotline Bill” was originally filed in 2023. A public hearing was held but the bill did not advance out of committee. It was likely developed to work in collaboration with HB 1333, the ‘Domestic Violent Extremism Commission’ legislation that was also dropped last year. Julie Barrett with CLW states “The language of this bill is very ambiguous and leaves wide open for individual perception and interpretation. In fact, most of the definitions in this bill are based on perception and are incredibly vague. The definition for “bias incident” in this bill relates to a person’s actual or perceived race, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, etc. – this language leaves the bill wide open for anyone to have a self-perception that allows them to cash in on the $200 – $2000 compensation this bill offers based on the fact that the crime against them was deemed or perceived a “hate crime.” Barrett continues, “This bill is not based on facts or realities which makes it incredibly easy for people to take advantage of and potentially target people for actions they don’t like but are not actually crimes or specifically “hate crimes.” 
 
Essentially, this bill would allow individuals to collect money based on words that are said to them that they don’t like. Which brings up another concern with this bill – this should be an issue under local control, not under the control of the state Attorney General. Any powers granted to the AG’s office should be targeted towards helping the people of Washington, and it’s not clear on how this bill will achieve that. Additionally, this bill creates yet another unelected body, a “committee” that will review these issues at the will of the Attorney General. How does the legislature intend this to help Washingtonians in a measurable way? Why is it that the sponsors want to assist these victims, yet look beyond victims of other crimes, including violent crimes? Sadly, this bill was signed by the Governor on March 18, 2024 and becomes effective on June 6, 2024.  
 
SB 5462, “Promoting inclusive learning standards and instructional materials in public schools.” This legislation would required OSPI to modify their educational requirements to include the histories and contributions of those identifying as LGBTQ. The Washington State LGBTQ Commission will oversee the learning standards associated with this new mandate. With great sadness, the bill was signed by the Governor on March 18, 2024, and takes effect on June 6, 2024. 
 
SB 5820 was intended to protect any person who is gathering signatures for referendums and/or initiatives from harassment, intimidation or protest from opposing citizens or groups. Those opposing these signature gathering events would be required to remain a minimum of 25 feet from those collecting signatures and those signing the petitions. Unbelievably, this bill died in committee. 
 
SB 5982 re-defines the term “vaccine” as currently defined by RCW 70.290.010. The legislation defines vaccines as any FDA-approved immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. It does not take a rocket scientist to see where this is headed, does it? Grievously, the bill was signed by the Governor on March 13, 2024 and not surprisingly, it took effect the same day.  
 
SB 6026, “The Given Name Act” was a bill designed to protect students and their parent(s) and/or guardian(s). The bill would have required public schools in Washington state to call students by the name on their birth certificates unless they received the permission of the parent(s) and/or guardian(s) to do otherwise. Such a simple idea. Sadly, the bill died in committee without a public hearing. 
 
SB 6058 links our carbon market to California and Quebec, Canada. This will increase our gas prices – which are currently the second most expensive in the nation – even higher. Remorsefully, this bill was signed by the Governor on March 28, 2024, and the effective date is pending. 
 
SB 6095 provides the WA State Department of Health with emergency powers, violating informed consent law. The WA Secretary of Health should not be granted these additional powers and control. You only have to look to the vaccine mandate for WA state employees during the Covid pandemic to realize how this power can be manipulated and/or abused. The legislation passed along party lines. This horrendous bill was signed by the Governor on March 14, 2024 and become effective June 6, 2024. 
 
 
SB 6269, “Establishing an alternative voter verification options pilot program” comes at a time when confidence in voter registration protocol is at an all-time low. Operating a pilot program sponsored by Democrats and passed along party lines will do nothing to restore confidence in accurate voter verification. This pathetic bill was signed by the Governor on March 15, 2024 and becomes effective on June 6, 2024.  
HB 1589 is Governor Inslee’s parting shot to budget-challenged Washingtonians and supports the Democrats’ ploy to eliminate natural gas in the state of Washington. Those served by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will be the first to lose their gas service, requiring those with gas fireplaces, furnaces, hot water heaters, dryers and stoves to electrify their homes at their own expense. Multiple Republican amendments, including one to force PSE to pay for the conversions, were voted down by the Democrats. Ultimately, the entire state will be impacted by this law. With great anguish, this bill was signed by the Governor on March 28, 2024. Governor Inslee signed the bill at the Electrical Workers Union headquarters in Olympia, and predictably, the legislation became effective immediately.  
 
Finally, these three initiatives were not given a public hearing:

These three were completely ignored by the Democrats throughout the entire Legislative Session. According to the Washington State Constitution, all six certified initiatives should have taken precedence over nearly all legislative work in 2024. The three that eventually passed were given one-hour public hearings during the last full week of Session.
 
The three above will go to the general election ballot in November of this year. 
 
Let’s be people of ACTION and pass these three initiatives come November. Furthermore, do everything within your power to share this report with all who may not have access to it. Spread the names of those Democrats who voted against solid legislation, passed egregious bills, ignored half the certified initiatives and voted to eliminate your access to natural gas. VOTE for conservatives in the general election later this year and encourage all your eligible and conservative family members, friends, fellow church congregants and co-workers to do the same. 
 
Finally, thank you – we are grateful to you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers and involvement in the legislative process this year. This is often a fierce spiritual battle, and you are very much needed. Our influence continues to grow, and together we will defend and advance biblical values across our beloved Evergreen State.
 
Until next Session!
 
Brad Payne
Policy & Government Affairs Director 
Family Policy Institute of Washington 

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