Advocacy Actions

You + Advocacy Actions = Powerful Change!
The following list of online actions need your advocacy.

Either by phone or or by taking action on the following, thank you for making  a positive impact TODAY:

State actions:

In addition to taking email actions, you can call the Washington legislative hotline. With one call to the hotline at 1.800.562.6000 you can leave a message with your legislature to support or oppose multiple bills at once.

 

TANF/HEN/ABD Asset Limits

asset limit iconIn order to qualify for these programs, people’s income must fall below $1,000 and they must have a car valued at less than $5,000 to access the program – even if they meet all other program requirements. This forces families and individuals into a deep financial hole before they can access these vital programs. HB 1831 would raise asset limits significantly, up to $5,000 and a vehicle valued up to $10,000.  This bill passed the Senate and is on its way to becoming a law- please take time to thank lawmakers for their work! 

 

HEN/ABD Financial Gap

HENABD

Our state’s Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program and Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) assistance are a crucial component of our state’s safety net, but there are major gaps in how the programs serve people with disabilities living on low incomes. Since HEN is a time-limited program, recipients are transferred to ABD while they await a funding decision from SSI- a process which can take years. Many find themselves homeless (sometimes, for the second or third time) as they struggle to meet their basic needs with ABD’s $197/month grant. This bill passed the Senate and is on its way to becoming a law- please take time to thank lawmakers for their work! 

 

Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs)

lfo icon

Legal Financial Obligations are penalties assessed as part of the criminal sentence from restitution to court fees, jail fees and more. They carry a 12% fee that accrues even when someone is incarcerated, leaving people owing 4, 6, 10 times more than they were ever charged upon release.  This bill received a resounding yes vote to passage on February 28– please take a moment to thank Senators for listening to their communities and passing smart policy!

 

 

State Budget 

state budget iconBoth Washington’s Senate and House released their 2018 Supplementary Budget proposals, on the 19 and 20 of February, respectively. Both proposals maintain and strengthen several key investments in services such that low-income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities depend on to meet their basic needs, restoring many cuts made during the Great Recession. Please take action to let lawmakers know your thoughts as they work on a final version of the Supplementary Budget.

 

 

Medical Debt
debt iconMedical debt is an enormous problem in the US. A quarter of all adults in the US say that they or someone in their household had trouble paying their medical bills in the past 12 months. HB 2731 would prevent debt collectors from charging interest before a medical debt is considered “past due,” reduce the interest rate from past due medical debts, and prohibit interest or late fees on bills that were covered—or should have been covered—by Charity Care. This bill passed the Senate and is on its way to becoming a law- please take time to thank lawmakers for their work! 

 

 

Student Loans

student loans iconStudent loan debt is a huge, seemingly inescapable weight on the backs of many Washingtonians. As is often the case, disadvantaged groups feel the strain of debt most. For example, Black graduates tend to have over $7,000 more debt upon graduation than their white classmates, while four years after graduation, that gap widens to nearly $25,000 more debt. For many people, unfair & cruel debt collection practices can force promising lives to slip off track.

This bill has passed and is on its way to becoming a law. Please join us in thanking senators for acting in the best interest of our futures!

 

Child Support Pass Through 

child support icon

Under current policy, recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) who are also receiving child support from a non-custodial parent do not see the child support they rightfully deserve until they are no longer on TANF. Why? Because Washington is withholding child support payments for kids in poverty to raise the revenue our upside-down tax code doesn’t bring in.

Unfortunately, this bill appears to be dead for the 2018 legislative session. Please take a moment to thank the bill’s sponsors for their work this session.

 

Federal Actions

consumer protections iconThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized rules to protect consumers who take out payday loans and several other short-term, expensive loans. However, the brand new rules are already at risk of repeal by Congress. Urge Congress today to stand with consumers and leave the CFPB payday lending rule as it stands!

 

 

snap icon

Congress has put forth a plan to double down on eligibility requirements for the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which could seriously harm the food security of low income adults, families, and children. Urge Congress today to reject these proposals and remind them that hunger has no place in our society.