• Stephen Buckingham

UU Kids Voice Support for Environmental Human Rights - Important Immigration Bill Hearings Coming

Last week saw impressive testimony on HB 596 which included support from our next generation for a State Constitutional Amendment for Environmental Human Rights. In addition to UU ministers participating in a faith leader rally on Tuesday, our own UU Kids contributed their messages, including a video played to the Environment and Transportation Committee during the bill’s public hearing on Wednesday. Lawmakers were very impressed and expressed thanks for those who brought the voices of our youth into the public square.

More important Climate Change legislation is slated for hearings in the coming week, including HB 708 - Comprehensive Climate Solutions, which contains many of the provisions of SB 528 Climate Solutions Now Act, which itself was the subject of an extensive voting session on Friday in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee. SB 528 is expected to be amended and voted out of committee this week. We will need calls to all Senators to get it passed.

Attention also shifts this week to three important Immigration bills, as the House Health and Government Operations Committee hears HB 1080 - Healthy Babies Equity Act on Wednesday and HB 1035 - Access to Care Act on Thursday, while the Senate Finance Committee hears the companion SB 728 - Access to Care Act on Wednesday.

In Criminal Justice news, HB 459 - Juvenile Justice Reform passed the full House of Delegates on Friday, and its companion bill, SB 691 will be heard in Judicial Proceedings this Wednesday. On Friday, the House also passed HB 837 - Cannabis Reform to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and HB 1 the bill to adopt a State Constitutional Amendment to allow this reform. If HB 1 is also passed by the Senate, the issue will be on the November ballot for approval by referendum.

A lot is happening, so stay tuned for alerts to contact lawmakers!

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