Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

Washington | July 29, 2021

Seattle mayor calls for more police after six shootings in one weekend

Washington | July 29, 2021

Mayor Jenny Durkan said Seattle lost 250 officers over the past 17 months

The mayor of Seattle is calling on the city to rebuild its depleted police force after six separate shootings rocked Washington state’s largest metropolitan area over the weekend.

“As a city, we cannot continue on this current trajectory of losing police officers,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said during a Monday press conference. “Over the past 17 months, the Seattle Police Department has lost 250 police officers which is the equivalent of over 300,000 service hours. We’re on path to losing 300 police officers.”

Durkan added that the weekend violence is a “reminder” that there are certain emergency situations that require sworn police officers.

We are creating meaningful alternatives,” Durkan said in reference to efforts in the city being made to redirect funding and manpower to community based groups. “But, as I said last year, the city has an obligation to still continue constitutional policing and respond to 911 calls.

“It is a false choice between community-led solutions and police officers,” Durkan said. “We need both.”

The mayor said she will be submitting a plan to hire more police officers and rebuild the depleted force.

“Not unexpected, losing these number of officers, when city leaders talk about cutting the department by 50%,” Durkan said. “You will lose employees. Families need security. Workers, even police officers, need working conditions that support them. We cannot just cut. We need a plan.”

Over the weekend, six different shootings in Seattle left four people dead and seven injured… (Excerpts from Fox News)

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Washington | July 28, 2021

Ninth Circuit revives church’s lawsuit against law requiring healthcare plans cover abortion

Washington | July 28, 2021

A federal appeals court has concluded that a church in Washington state has the right to sue over a state law requiring health insurers to cover abortions, partially overturning a lower court decision dismissing the case.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a unanimous decision last Thursday reviving the Cedar Park Assembly of God of Kirkland’s lawsuit against Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington Insurance Commissioner Myron Kreidler over a healthcare law known as Senate Bill 6219.

All three judges were appointed by former President George W. Bush.

The panel opinion concluded that Cedar Park “plausibly alleged that” the law forced the church’s health insurer to stop “offering a plan with abortion coverage restrictions.” The ruling argued that “Cedar Park could not procure comparable replacement coverage.”… (Excerpts from the Christian Post)

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Washington | July 8, 2021

Case of Christian Florist Shows Faith Is Under Attack in US

Washington | July 8, 2021

Last week’s non-ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court declined for a second time to hear an appeal from a flower shop owner in Washington state. Barronelle Stutzman, the owner, refused to provide flowers for a same-sex couple because her religious beliefs instruct her that marriage was created by God for opposite sexes. The U.S. Supreme Court had sent her case back to the state Supreme Court for further consideration. That court upheld its original ruling, forcing Stutzman to provide the flowers, or face penalties under the state’s anti-discrimination laws. Three conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court wanted to hear the case. It takes four. What confuses many people is that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused on the same religious grounds as Stutzman to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple… (Excerpts from the Daily Signal)

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Washington | June 21, 2021

Washington offering cash, gift cards in vaccine lottery for national guard

Washington | June 21, 2021

Members of the Washington National Guard will get a shot at winning more than $450,000 in prizes for the price of a COVID shot, Gov. Jay Inslee has announced.

Like the ongoing vaccine lottery for the general public, the contest will randomly choose a winner from among a pool of vaccinated National Guard members and their families. The military lottery, dubbed “A Heroes Thanks,” begins on July 20.

Over three weeks, the state will award three cash prizes. The first two total $100,000 each. The third and final grand prize amounts to $250,000. Several gift cards and state park passes are also being included as prizes.

Members of the military and their families who got their shot through the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or the National Guard will have to enter to win. Both groups were left out of the vaccine lottery for the general public announced earlier this month. Invitations to enter will be sent out to those eligible by the U.S. Department of Defense to deter fraud.

The governor announced the giveaways during a Thursday, hailing it as a last-ditch effort to bump the state’s vaccination rates to 70% by the end of June. Just two weeks ago, Inslee unveiled the state’s “Shot of a Lifetime” lottery, which is offering $2 million in prizes. Cities like Pasco offer their own incentives, including $50 Visa gift cards for anyone getting a shot at Columbia Basin College this month. Rural regions like Franklin County continue to lag 12 percentage points behind the state’s climbing vaccination rates.

On Thursday, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) reported vaccines had made it into 67.8% of Washingtonian arms 16 and older, 140,000 people short of the 70% benchmark Inslee set for the state to end most mitigations

(Excerpts from the Washington Examiner)

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Washington | June 18, 2021

Feds call for peace in Portland after entire police protest unit resigns

Washington | June 18, 2021

Federal officials in Oregon called Friday for a deescalating of tensions in Portland in response to the mass resignation of the 50-member Portland police protest squad after one of its officers was charged with assault.

Acting Oregon U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug and FBI Special Agent in Charge in Oregon Kieran L. Ramsey sought to address the concerns of both Portland police and demonstrators as the city grapples with protest unrest and a surge in violent crime.

The statement said in its entirety: “Communities across the nation have endured many challenges over the past year as they attempt to address racial inequities in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. In Portland, those challenges included large and sometimes violent demonstrations that strained our local resources and repeatedly placed officers in the difficult position of policing large and sometimes hostile crowds….

(Excerpts from the Washington Times)

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California, Washington | June 17, 2021

Why we can and should ban critical race theory from public schools

California, Washington | June 17, 2021

There is an effort underway in several Republican states to ban critical race theory from the public school system. Some conservatives have objected to this push, arguing that the precedent it sets could prove disastrous for the conservative movement later on. After all, aren’t we the ones who defend and depend on the free exchange of ideas? If we violate the neutral square in which this free exchange occurs, who’s to say conservative ideas won’t be banned next?

The problem with this argument is that the “neutral square” to which they’re referring, the public school system, is not neutral at all. It is a government-run, government-funded, and government-staffed system, which means the state is going to be thoroughly involved in its curriculum one way or the other. And it is: The state sets academic standards for students, requires attendance, and prescribes common class material that teachers are expected to stick to when teaching.

The question, then, is: What do you want the state teaching your children? One would hope it’s not critical race theory.

CRT, which has been around since the 1970s, has become a toxic and divisive doctrine that is infiltrating the corporate world and the classroom. CRT teaches that racism is present in every structure and system upon which America was built; that white people are and always will be inherently oppressive; and that discrimination in favor of minorities is therefore justified. In other words, CRT promotes a kind of rank racialism that demonizes entire racial groups. By insisting that race is determinative of character, it would destroy any real progress we’ve made over the past several decades.

Here are a few examples of CRT at work: In Seattle, white teachers were told they were guilty of “spirit murdering” black children and that they must “bankrupt their privilege in acknowledgment of their thieved inheritance.” In Cupertino, California, third-graders were instructed to list their racial identities and rank themselves according to “power and privilege.” And in Buffalo, New York, students were taught that “all white people” perpetuate systemic racism, and kindergarteners were required to watch a video of dead black children that warned them about “racist police” who might kill them at any time….

(Excerpts from the Washington Examiner)

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