2022 Legislative Session

Background

Every year, Latino Community Fund and Progreso bring our Latinx communities together from across the state to advocate on the issues that matter to us the most during the legislative session. It's important for us to show our representatives that we come as a collective to protect our political power across the state. We will be hosting conversations with Latinx leaders, providing testimony and nonprofit building workshops, and facilitating policy meetings with your legislators!


Legislative Priorities for 2022

Progreso works to improve the quality of life for all Washingtonians through legislative action. Through coalitions, partnerships and support from the community, Progreso supports or introduces bills to the legislature to advocate for communities that historically held limited to no political power. Here are a few bills that Progreso will be supporting this upcoming Legislative session. Tiers indicate our level of priority and capacity to be able to advocate for these bills (starting a Tier 1).



Tier 1

ENERGY FOR ALL (HB 1490)

In Partnership with Front and Centered

Bill Sponsor: Rep. Kirsten Harris Talley

This bill is to secure an energy payment plan option for Low Income and People with Disabilities which caps utility costs at 3% of household income, compared to upwards of 10% for many low income households now. We also hope with this bill to legislate (1) funding to community organizations to conduct outreach and education around energy access and staying connected as well as (2) to learn the energy needs and to use data analysis for residential customers to support more effective custom support programming. 

  • Past due balances debt forgiveness after 1 year
  • Qualifying households include low income and people with disabilities
  • Quick enrollment option and self-certification of eligibility status
  • Utilities must collect information about customer need and usage

 

HEALTH CARE EQUITY FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

In Partnership with WA Immigrant and Solidarity Network

Bill Sponsor: Pending

Everyone should have access to health care. But federal restrictions and state austerity cuts have left many immigrants without the critical health services they need to thrive and contribute to our state. Recognizing these inequities, the 2021 operating budget directed the Health Benefit Exchange to pursue a state health coverage program by 2024 for people who are ineligible for federal assistance.

The time is now. The Health Equity for Immigrants Campaign urges the Legislature to fund the next steps in this effort so the program can be fully launched in 2024. Meeting the basic health care needs of all Washingtonians will make every community healthier and our economy stronger.

 

Unemployment for Immigrants (SB 5438)

In Partnership with WA Immigrant and Solidarity Network

Bill Sponsor: Pending

Passing the Unemployement for Immigrants this year will help ensure there is plenty of time for implementation as we work towards starting the first unemployment program for undocumented workers in the nation. WA can and should be a leader in groundbreaking programs that will uplift all residents, regardless of citizenship status. All workers deserve dignity and support for their families. 

 

Tier 2

Eliminating Advisory Votes  ( SB 5182)

In Partnership with WA Voting Justice Coalition

Bill Sponsor: Sen. Sam Hunt

Voting should be a simple, accessible way for all of us to make a real difference in our communities. However, the advisory votes that clutter up our ballots every year have no power to change our laws, and they continue to create confusion and apathy amongst Washington voters. If we eliminate advisory vote:

  • It would be easier for new voters and voters with English as a second language to understand and fill out our ballots. 
  • All voters would save time wasted researching votes that have no impact on our laws. 
  • Our state would save time, money, and administrative resources. 


Upgrading to Back-end Automatic Voter Registration (SB 5636)

In Partnership with WA Voting Justice Coalition

Bill Sponsor: Pending

Our democracy is at its best when every Washingtonian, regardless of race or income, has our voice heard and our vote counted. However, there are still almost one million eligible Washingtonians who are not registered to vote, and people of color and low-income people still face registration barriers. We successfully fought for automatic voter registration in 2018, and now it’s time to improve our system and ensure that as many voters as possible are ready to vote in the years to come. 

If we upgrade to a back-end system:

  • More voters would be registered automatically, including people left out by traditional methods. Automatic voter registration would be more accessible to people with lower incomes already applying for the more affordable standard driver’s licenses, Apple Health, and health benefit exchange plans. 
  • Washingtonians who are not citizens would be automatically filtered out, preventing people from accidentally registering when they are not eligible.
  • It would save time and money because more voters would be registered automatically instead of through paper forms.

 

Tier 3

The RENEW Recycling Act (SB 5697)

In Partnership with Plastics Free Coalition

Bill Sponsor: Sen. Mona Das

This Bill implements an extended producer responsibility system for Washington State whereby the producers of packaging material would pay for the full life-cycle of their products. The bill would ensure that by 2031, 100% of the packaging made or sold into Washington is reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and set recycling and reuse targets that ramp up over time for classes of products including paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, and steel. It would also require clear recycling labeling and set minimum post-consumer recycled content requirements for certain plastic containers and cups. The bill would improve Washington’s recycling system, reduce marine debris, create green jobs, provide uniform access to recycling for all residents across the state, and reduce confusion by establishing a clear list of what people can and can’t recycle statewide.