Wow – it has been a big week. Families in Washington state and across the country are still reeling from the harmful directives coming from the new administration. Now, more than ever, Washingtonians are counting on the power of state and local advocacy to move the dial for children and families. You are needed in Olympia!
Here’s a quick recap on what we’ve been working on in Olympia during the 2017 legislative session. Can you take a FIVE minutes for FIVE actions that will help us move this work forward?
Five in Five: 5 actions in 5 minutes
Click the links below to send letters of support to your state legislators to remind them that you and your family are looking to them to use their voice and their vote to support:
- Equal pay for equal work
- Fair workplace treatment of pregnant workers
- RSVP to join us for a critical hearing in the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, February 9th
- RSVP for a Day of Action and a GIANT game of Connect 4 at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 22nd
- Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter, or over email so that your family and friends can take action too!
Curious about what we’ve been up to here in Olympia? Here's a quick update:
The FAMLI Act (HB 1116 & SB 5032) would create a statewide family and medical leave insurance program so that no family is forced to choose between caring for their family and providing for them. In just the past couple of weeks, MomsRising members from every legislative district in the state have sent over 2,700 emails and phone calls to their lawmakers, asking for their strong support of paid family leave!
All of this work has paid off. For the first time in ten years, paid family and medical leave is advancing to the House Appropriations Committee with strong support. But we have to keep the pressure up! Can you join us in Olympia on Thursday, February 9th to PACK the hearing room? Learn more and RSVP here!
Healthy Starts Act
A new bill, The Healthy Starts Act (SB 5099), would boost health outcomes for moms and babies in Washington. First, it would extend reasonable accommodations to pregnant women that are already available to workers injured on the job. Can you believe it's 2017 and a pregnant woman can be fired for needing temporary light-duty status or an extra bathroom break? The Healthy Starts Act will also improve birthing experiences for moms by allowing more women to choose where and how they deliver AND aligning hospital practices for lactation support with international best practices mapped out by the World Health Organization through the Baby Friendly Initiative.
But wait there’s more!
Equal Pay for Equal Work
On Wednesday, dads, and advocates gathered in Olympia to move forward strong equal pay policies! HB 1506/SB 5140, also known as the Equal Pay Opportunity Act, will ensure that workers can share their salary information with each other. Many women realize they are being paid less than their male counterparts from water-cooler conversations at work. HB 1533/SB 5555 will prohibit employers from asking for a job applicant's salary history -- research shows that salary history information subtly perpetuates the wage gap by keeping women's earnings tethered to their most recent pay range.
Connecting the Pieces on Early Learning
Join MomsRising for a GIANT game of Connect 4 on Wednesday, February 22 at 10:00am at the Capitol! As legislators work to connect the pieces of the state budget, kids and early learning supporters are gathering to solve a GIANT game of Connect 4 to remind legislators that early learning helps ensure all kids are ready and successful in school and in life. Have fun while making your voice heard! Learn more and RSVP here.