Know the process/Know the issues/Know how they affect you/Know how you can affect them/Participate/Communcate with your legislators
Many crucial issues from funding to treatment guidelines are debated in the Washington State Legislature every year. WSAIOP tracks these many issues and communicates back to our members so that they can participate. We identify our official stance on the topics, make our position known, and comunicate our opinions to the legislature.
Detailed information on the Legislative Process can be found on the state's website
but here is a short summary:
An idea is proposed and drafted into a Bill, sponsored either by a legislator or a state agency
The bill is introduced, then referred to an appropriate legislative committee. The committee studies the bill, holds hearings, and if they find the bill to be valuable, may send it back to the main body (either the House or the Senate).
The Bill may then be scheduled for a vote, and if it passes, the process is repeated in the opposite house.
If amendments are made in either house, the other house must appro ve the amendments
If the bill passess both houses, it goes to the governor for final review.
The governor signs the bill into law or may veto all or part of it. If the governor fails to act on the bill it may become law without a signature.
Many procedures, comments and agreements can shape a Bill along the way, or stop its progress entirely.
Bear in mind also that many important policy issues that affect CDP's never pass through the Legislature. And even for many issues that do, the details of implementation are worked out by state agencies and other professionals outside of the Legislative Process.
Additionally, federal laws and budgets can have a huge impact on funding and policies about substance abuse in Washington State.
House of Represedntatives
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Stay up to date by attending regular WSAIOP meetings, participate in community forums and hearings, and contact your legislators via email, letter, or both. Learn who your legislators are here: