2023 Legislative Updates
During the Legislative Session, Legal Voice advocates for legislation that positively affects women and LGBTQ+ people, and defends against bills that threaten to roll back the progress we’ve made. These updates cover Legal Voice’s legislative priorities.
If you would like to receive updates by email throughout the session (one email every two weeks, plus special announcements,) please sign up here.
Reproductive Health and Healthcare Access
SB5489 / HB1469: Shield Law
This bill is the best support Washington can give to pregnant people from its forced birth neighboring states.
It prohibits cooperation with malicious, out-of-state investigations and prosecutions of Washington providers and patients. This bill would protect people getting, providing, or supporting with abortion care in Washington state, especially from out-of-state bounty hunters and anti choice attorney generals. With the rise of extremist abortion bans across the northwest, this bill is more urgent than ever (looking at you, Idaho).
HB1155 / SB5351: My Health, My Data
This bill protects your reproductive health data.
It requires entities (such as crisis pregnancy centers, period tracker apps, and websites) service providers who collect personal and sensitive information without being subject to HIPAA to get a consumer’s affirmative consent (no, a 100 page terms and conditions document does not count). This means any time you share your personal information with your period tracker, you can rest assured that you keep control.
SB5400 / HB1340: Provider Licensing Bill
This bill protects providers from losing their licenses to lawsuits from states with extremist laws. It would protect abortion and gender affirming care providers from having their Washington licenses negatively impacted or facing discipline if they face adverse action in hostile states.
SB5242 / HB1115: No Copay/Cost Sharing for Abortion Care
This bill makes abortions more affordable.
This bill limits out-of-pocket costs for patients by prohibiting copays for abortion in low-deductible health plans.
SB5241 / HB1263: Keep Our Care Act (KOCA)
This bill restricts how hospitals can merge as companies.
In our state, religious and non-religious hospitals have merged, resulting in the removal of certain services that run against the beliefs of the religious hospital. The bill would allow for public review of mergers that may deny patients these services, such as reproductive, gender-affirming, and end-of-life care.
This bill makes our tax code more equitable.
It would add a tax for Washington’s ultra-rich residents, fewer than 800 people. It would tax all financial properties (think stocks and bonds, not penthouses and yachts) above $250 million at 1% each year. This is the greatest chance our state has at balancing our tax code, and ensuring Washington’s wealthiest pay their fair share.
HB1045: Guaranteed Basic Income
This bill proposes a pilot program to prove that a key anti-poverty strategy works. This program would provide consistent, unrestricted cash payments to improve the lives of Washingtonians with low-income. The pilot program, including up to 7,500 lower-income Washington residents, will give a maximum of $2,200 each month.
Health Equity for Immigrants
This will fund key health programs for undocumented immigrants.
It implements a medical assistance program for low-income, uninsured immigrants, providing insurance options for people typically left out of coverage.