• WSCC 2018 Catholic Advocacy Bulletin - February 12, 2018

    Weekly Summary
    Five weeks into the legislative session it is clear that involvement by Catholics is increasing. Your respectful engagement in the process is critical in shaping the numerous bills that are continuing to be considered. This past week, one of the Catholics involved was Yakima Bishop Joseph Tyson. His testimony on both the abortion insurance mandate and the reform of legal financial obligations for released offenders highlighted the key role the Church plays on a range of important issues.
    For a further summary of activity in Olympia, click here to listen to WSCC's Joe Sprague on Dr. Tom Curran's Sound Insight radio show on Sacred Heart Radio.

    Pertinent Highlights:

    School Safety (SB 6410) - This bill requires first responders to notify all schools (public or private) in the vicinity whenever an evacuation or lockdown is ordered at a nearby school. Kristin Dixon, Superintendent of the Office of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Seattle, was among those testifying in support of the bill at a hearing on February 5. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate Ways & Means Committee on February 6 and is now before the Senate Rules Committee. Please contact your state senator today and urge them to ask their leadership to bring this bill up for a vote.

    Poverty, Family, & Restorative Justice
    Source of Income Discrimination (SB 5407) - SB 5407 prohibits a landlord from discriminating against applicants or tenants based on their source of income. The bill passed the full senate on February 9 and will now be considered in the House.

    Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) Exemption (HB 2444) - This measure provides a real estate excise tax exemption for the transfer of a qualified low-income housing development or controlling interest in a low-income housing development meeting specific criteria. The legislation is important for Catholic Housing projects who can use the funds for other program needs. The bill is in the House Rules Committee.

    Healthy Food Packaging (HB 2658) - Perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) are used in food packaging such as microwave popcorn bags, sandwich wrap, and muffin papers. PFAS have been found to migrate into food. The Department of Ecology has identified PFAS as a toxic substance. The bill conditionally restricts the inclusion of PFAS in food packaging beginning in 2021. The bill is likely to come to vote on the floor of the House any day. The companion bill, SB 6396, passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee the same day and is being considered by the Senate Rules Committee.

    Catholic Advocacy Day- Sign up now!
    February 21 - Catholic Advocacy Day: Gather at St. Michael, Olympia, before meeting with state legislators. Includes Mass celebrated by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and Auxiliary Bishops Elizondo and Mueggenborg. For additional details, see the flyer in English and Spanish. Please register now. For questions, call: 206-223-1138 or email: catholicadvocacyday@ipjc.org.

    Pope’s Message for Lent 2018
    Lent begins this Wednesday. Pope Francis' Message for Lent writes of "the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting." Concerning the latter, the Pope says, "Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth. ... Fasting wakes us up. It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbor." To read the 2018 Message for Lent in its entirety, click here.

    To see the complete WSCC Catholic Advocacy bulletin, click here to view it on the WSCC website, or sign up for your own subscription here.

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