OneAmerica's 2012 Legislative Agenda
The 2012 legislative session finds the state and its residents with yet another budget deficit. The Great Recession continues to wreak havoc on families and budgets across the state. As a result, the state legislature must close a $2 billion budget deficit.
During these times it is especially important to invest in core services and smart policies that create a better world for our children and stronger families in our communities. Immigrant and refugee communities are prepared to share in the sacrifices required by the dire budget situation facing the state, but we believe they should not bear the disproportionate share reflected in cuts that do not just slash program budgets but eliminate entire programs that support our communities.
We appreciate the Governor's leadership in proposing revenue alternatives and urge the legislature to look at all available revenue options and preserve funding and infrastructure for the programs that are scheduled for massive cuts or elimination in the Governor’s 2012 Supplemental Budget proposal.
At the same time, the 2011-12 legislative sessions represent an opportunity to move forward smart immigration policies, while defending against bills driven by politics—and not sound policy—that undermine public safety and civil rights.
The following are OneAmerica’s budget and policy priorities for the 2012 legislative session (print PDF version)
- We Support New REVENUE! But it should reflect everyone, including corporations and the wealthiest, paying their fair share.
- Programs that Support Economic Security
- Washington New Americans Citizenship Program (Department of Commerce)
- Naturalization Services (DSHS – Economic Service Administration)
- State Food Assistance (DSHS – Economic Services Administration)
- State Family Assistance (DSHS – Economic Services Administration)
- Seasonal Childcare (Department of Early Learning)
- LEP Pathways/Refugee Services (DSHS – Economic Services Administration)
- Programs that Support Healthy Kids, Families and Communities
- Programs that Support Education
- Work Study (HECB), State Need Grant (OSFA) and College Bound Scholarships (OSPI)
- Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (OSPI)
- Protect voluntary E-verify and prohibit state and local government E-verify mandates on businesses. Protect key industries from a flawed system and a flawed approach to addressing our broken immigration system; support Rep. Kenney’s bill (HB2568 - Pramila Jayapal's testimony in support of the bill, Español)
- Support English language learner (ELL) students under the new Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program ELL funding formula. Support The RoadMap Project and OneAmerica’s English language learner workgroup recommendation on the ELL funding formula.
- Support a Washington State Voting Rights Act that protects representative democracy for all Washington State residents. (HB2612/SB6381)
- Protect access to driver’s licenses for all Washington State residents. Keep our roads safe and oppose efforts to restrict access to driver’s licenses (SB5407, HB1577 and others).
- OPPOSE bills that lead to racial profiling, undermine due process and fail to address the underlying causes of gangs in Washington State (HB2594, SB6008, and others). We know what works—prevention and intervention—and what doesn’t—creating new ways for kids to get criminal records. SUPPORT prevention and intervention services that address the underlying causes of youth gang involvement (HB2432).
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