UPDATED April, 2021
Whole Washington is committed to passing Universal Healthcare, and we support all efforts to achieve a single payer system. We’re fighting at the local, state, and national level, but on this page we’ll focus on the state-based campaign. We’re pushing for the Whole Washington Health Trust using both the ballot initiative process and the Washington State legislature simultaneously.
Initiative Effort (also known as a Ballot Measure)
In Washington State, we’re fortunate to have the Initiative process, the most direct form of democracy. When our elected officials fail to pass needed legislation, we the people have the power to pass our own laws.
There are two types of initiatives: 1) to the Legislature and 2) to the People. Filing to the Legislature provides more time to collect signatures. The ‘to the People’ deadline is July, while the ‘to the Legislature’ deadline is December. We’ll file the initiative to the Legislature.
- When we file: early April 2021
- When we start collecting signatures: May 2021
- Number of valid signatures needed: approx. 350,000.
- Deadline to turn in signatures: December 30, 2021
If we turn in the required number of verified signatures by the deadline, the legislature can do one of three things. They can:
- Pass it As Is in early 2022 OR
- Edit it and put a competing measure on the ballot for a vote in November 2022 (Both versions must be on the ballot) OR
- Put the initiative on the ballot As Is for a vote in November 2022. This is what usually happens.
For more info see the Secretary of State’s page on Initiatives and Referenda
What Does Signature Collection Look Like During a Pandemic?
We confess we can’t predict what our world will look like when we start collecting signatures. It’s likely we won’t have big public events to get the high numbers of signatures that we normally could. This will be a significant hurdle to overcome, and we’ll need overwhelming volunteer support to succeed. Some other points to keep in mind:
- Mailing petitions is expensive with a low return rate.
- All volunteers will need protection–vaccinations, masks, sanitizer, etc.
- We’re looking for more volunteers collecting fewer signatures.
The deadline to schedule a hearing is 02/15/21. We have no indication that Senator Annette Cleveland will let SB 5204 out of the Senate Health and Long Term Care committee.
SB 5204 Creating the Whole Washington Health Trust was introduced in the WA State Senate.
The prime sponsor is Senator Bob Hasegawa from the 11th LD. Six Senators have co-sponsored:
- Senator Patty Kuderer in the 48th LD
- Senator Marko Liias in the 21st LD
- Senator Liz Lovelett in the 40th LD
- Senator Joe Nguyen in the 34th LD
- Senator Derek Stanford in the 1st LD
- Senator Claire Wilson in the 30th LD
Continue to contact your legislators and voice your support.
- Request that the bill be receive a floor vote
- We’re in an unprecedented crisis, and nothing about this session is normal.
- We ask the Senate to bypass committees and bring this bill to a vote according to the 9th order of business.
- If you don’t know you’re elected official’s number, the Legislature Helpline will help connect you: 360-786-7573