The short 2018 legislative session adjourned on March 8th. Under new leadership in the state Senate, there was a renewed energy for environmental progress with nearly 300 bills introduced.
With your help, we worked with many partners on some critical wins including:
- Passing the Oil Spill Prevention Act to safeguard Puget Sound and the Salish Sea
- Adopting a bill to phase out harmful chemicals in food packaging
- Securing over $376 million in the state capital budget for important projects that protect the environment and create jobs in rural and urban communities across the state
- Protecting 850 acres of forest land in Jefferson County by piloting a community-based forestry effort through the Chimacum Ridge conservation project
- Supporting immediate action to recover our iconic resident orcas
We also contributed to efforts to pass the Washington Voting Rights Act – a crucial new law that gives communities a stronger voice in electing leaders to represent their needs. Our government is healthier when more people participate. Expanding access to voting is crucial for a vibrant democracy. After years of work with remarkable partners at the Washington Voting Justice Coalition, we helped to pass a suite of bills this legislative session, including:
- Washington Voting Rights Act
- Automatic voter registration
- Same-day voter registration
- Pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds
This historic progress makes Washington a national leader for voting rights! WEC is proud to be a part of this important work. To learn more about the important civic engagement work we participate in, visit www.wavotingjustice.org.
WEC also worked in partnership with labor leaders, farmworkers, and public health experts to move forward in protecting communities from exposure to dangerous pesticides.
One disappointing outcome from session was on climate change, where the legislature made modest progress but failed to pass bold and transformational policies to significantly reduce climate pollution, accelerate clean energy solutions, and lower the carbon footprint of transportation.Because we urgently need action on climate, we are committed to coming back stronger than ever in 2019.
The 2018 session was a busy one to be sure. We wouldn’t have been able to accomplish these wins without you! With your help, we had roughly 100 volunteer shifts, sent more than 31,000 emails to legislators, and made over 17,000 calls and 8,080 texts into key legislative districts! Thank you and we look forward to more progress in the year ahead.