Legislative Deadline Tomorrow! - UWPNW Legislative Update - February 14, 2022

Tomorrow, February 15, is the deadline for bills to clear their legislative body of origin – making for a busy period of full Senate and House voting. Some bills have cleared this hurdle and others have not yet. Read on and consider adding your voice in support of these measures.

House Floor Vote Expected on Imagination Library Bill
House Bill 2068, which would formally create the Imagination Library program in Washington (currently operating through United Way of Pacific Northwest), is on the calendar for consideration by the full House, likely on Tuesday. Here’s the comment form for the bill to let your legislative delegation know of your support for a state-recognized Imagination Library program that will help youth 5 and under develop an excitement for reading. Please take a minute to show your support so we ensure a strong bi-partisan vote as the bill heads to the Senate.

Helping to Keep Young People Housed 
The two bills we reported on last week addressing young adult homelessness have progressed. On Saturday, the House approved 94 to 3 House Bill 1905 which would create a state rapid response team to support the housing needs of young adults exiting a publicly funded system of care as promised by RCW 43.33.720. And last week, the Senate 37 to 12 approved Senate Bill 5566 which would expand eligibility of the Independent Youth Housing Program to formerly dependent youth up to age 25 and youth receiving extended foster care services. The House Committee on Housing, Human Services & Veterans has scheduled SB 5566 for a hearing for this Friday (Feb. 18) at 10 a.m. You can submit written testimony or simply indicate your support for this bill using the links provided.

Apple Health and Homes Program on House Floor
Rep. Frank Chopp’s bill that would create a program that would provide a 12-month renewable permanent supportive housing benefit to medical assistance enrollees who meet specified eligibility criteria passed by a massive 96-2 bi-partisan House Floor vote on Sunday afternoon. You can follow the progress of House Bill 1866 as it moves to the Senate later this week.