In this section, we’ll be looking at following legislative actions in Congress (Federal) and State Legislatures and judicial decisions defining the numerous and complex laws that govern Indian Affairs in this country and in our states. Bills in the Washington State legislature may be considered over a several year period. Bills can be filed in one year and not pass and be picked up the following year and re-introduced the following year.
Washington State Legislature:
HB 1072 – 2021-22. Removing only one of the restrictions on the use of civil legal aid funds. This bill was passed into law. Read the Final Bill Report here.
HB 1356 – 2021-22. Prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native American names, symbols, or images as public school mascots, logos, or team names. This bill was passed into law. Read the Final Bill Report here.
HB 1372 – 2021-22. Replacing the Marcus Whitman statue in the national statuary hall collection with a statue of Billy Frank Jr. This bill was passed into law. Read the Final Bill Report here.
SHB 1725. Concerning the creation of an endangered missing person advisory designation for missing indigenous persons has passed both chambers of the WA legislature and is waiting to be passed onto the Governor for signing. Read the House Bill Report here.
ESHB 1753 – 2021-22. Concerning tribal consultation regarding the use of certain funding authorized by the climate commitment act has passed both chambers of the WA legislature and is waiting to be passed onto the Governor for signing. Read the Senate Bill Report here.
HB 1117 – 2021-22. Promoting salmon recovery through revisions to the state’s comprehensive planning framework passed the House and the Senate Committee on Housing and Local Government, but stalled in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Read the Senate Bill report here. Track the bill here.
HB 1172 – 2021-22. Recognizing judicially affirmed and treaty-reserved fishing rights and promoting state-tribal cooperative agreements in the management of salmon, trout, and steelhead resources. Passed the House and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks but stalled in the Senate Rules Committee. Read the Senate Bill Report here. Track the bill here.
Bills to watch for in 2022-2023
HB 1640 – 2021-22. Creating the joint legislative tribal-state relations committee as an agency within the legislative branch. First filing in 2022, did not make it out of the House Committee on State Government and Tribal Relations. Read the House Analysis Report here. Track the bill here.
HB 1653 – 2021-22. Improving statewide coordination in support of anadromous fish recovery. First filing in 2022, did not make it out of the House Appropriations Committee. Read the House Bill Report here. Track the bill here.
HB 1513 – 2021-22. (Strong Act) Improving environmental health by reducing carbon emissions through increasing climate resilience and mitigating the effects of climate change by levying a carbon pollution tax, authorizing a climate finance bond program, and investing in clean economic growth. Read the Original Bill here. Track the bill here.
HJR 4205 – 2021-22. Adding a new section to the Washington state Constitution regarding the conservation and protection of the state’s natural resources. Read the House Bill Analysis here. Track the bill here.
There are others, but we’ll list them as the next legislative session comes closer
Tell US Senators to VOTE NO on HR 1374
The Lakota People’s Law Project has put out a call to action to advocate against HR1374, the “Enhancing State Energy Security Planning and Emergency Preparedness Act of 2021” – a bill that has already passed in the House and is heading to the Senate. This bill would worsen the already dangerous and complex dynamics of state-backed and corporate-funded violence against and criminalization of water protectors. More Information
Town Halls are Opportunities to Meet with Legislators
At this point in the legislative session, it would be a good idea to meet with your legislators to discuss pending legislation. Most legislators are scheduling town halls online, and you can find out when at the Washington Conservation Voter website. Some will let you ask questions beforehand, which is a good opportunity to discuss our legislative priorities. Here are some of the priorities we discussed in the Justice Summit.
- Environmental priorities: Fluorinated Gases, Clean Fuels, Growth Management Act, Building Electrification.
- Racial Justice priorities: Insurance fairness act, Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) act.
- Criminal Justice priorities: Legal Financial Obligations.