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House Bill 1210*(please see below) is a bill essentially identical to last year’s anti-terrorism legislation, which was brought to a vote in the House by majority Democrats and passed, but later blocked in the Democratic majority Senate. This year, the Senate is in Republican control. This year’s version will be heard in the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee at 1:30 on Wednesday the 5th.The bill is bad law and doesn’t protect us from terrorism. Among other things, it creates the new crime of Felony Terrorism which expands the death penalty in this state, and has such broad language that a death sentence could result even in cases where no one is killed or injured. The Bush Administration pushed "Mini-Patriot" bills like this one in all 50 states last year and had considerable success, but Washington State rejected such reactionary laws that will do nothing to protect us from terrorism, and…

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The Governor¹s budget hurts children and others most in need!

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfortand convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge andcontroversy.²-- Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Governor¹s budget hurts children and others most in need!With all due respect to the challenges faced by Governor Gary Locke and his staff in their attempts to shape a workable budget in the context of a vast revenue shortfall, the budget they presented to the recently convened 58th regular session of the Washington State Legislature is unacceptable. The result of their budget¹s implementation would mean severe suffering, and even death, for the state¹s most vulnerable citizens, including our children.Now is the time to tell the Governor and your Senator and Representatives that you cannot accept harming children, the mentally ill, and the needy elderly and infirm, who are our neighbors in this affluent state, for the sake of…

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Tax Fairness Alert

As most of you are aware, FCWPP believes that reform of the current State Tax Structure is the most pressing economic justice concern in Washington State. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, the second-worst hunger problem and a $2 billion plus budget gap that will undoubtedly lead to further cuts in essential services. We are proponents of a tax structure that fairly taxes all income levels and raises adequate revenue to support vital public services.After a year of examining the most pressing problems with our current tax system, the Washington State Tax Structure Committee presented its report to the Legislature on December 3, 2002. The committee's report said the state's tax structure is unfair to low- and middle-income residents, as well as many businesses. State revenue is also subject to wide variations, contributing to our current budget crisis. The report outlines major alternatives to the tax structure including implementation of a personal income tax combined with the…

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Washington State Tax Structure Alert

In November of 2001, the FCWPP legislative committee met to discuss how FCWPP could be more effective inpromoting economic justice in a time of continuing budget crisis, the consequences of which are the balancing of the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society. The committee agreed that our efforts should be focused on the revenue side of the budget equation, specifically, the Washington State tax structure.The OpportunityThis is a critical time to let the governor, our legislator’s, and the public know you want real reform of our tax system. Washington just barely closed a $1.6 billion budget gap in the 2002 legislative session, and we are facing another $2.0billion plus gap for the next biennium. The foundation of our fiscal problems is a tax structure that is highly regressive and unstable. Several “tax” events are on the horizon and FCWPP needs your help in calling for progressive tax reform before they reach…

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2002 Legislative Update

The 2002 Session of the Washington State Legislature ended with reasons for Friends to be encouraged. Please share the news with your Meetings and Worship Groups.DRUG SENTENCE REFORM BILL DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR LOCKEFCWPP's key legislation in this session, the drug sentence reform bill, which reduces prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders and expands funding for treatment alternatives, passed the House with 67 yeas, 30 nays, and 1 absent on the final day of session. Governor Locke is expected to sign it.Friends had a significant role in the origins and success of this, which begins the transition from treating addiction as a criminal act to placing it in a public health context where lasting solutions lie. The following is an assessment from Roger Goodman, who is leading the King County Bar Association's Drug Policy Project: "In a national context, I believe we've done well here with drug sentencing reform. What started three…

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