Week Seven Legislative Update - United Ways of Washington

The 2024 Legislative session is scheduled to end in less than three weeks and things are heating up. Bills that have a chance of passing are now being considered by the other legislative body and budgets are beginning to be unveiled.

Stay Tuned For Budget Proposals
Earlier in the session, we shared highlights of the Governor’s proposed supplemental budget. This week, we get a preview of how the House and Senate proposes amending the current two-year budget. The House Fiscal Committee considers its version of the budget, HB 2104, today, February 19, starting at 4 p.m. The Senate Ways and Means Committee gets rolling on its version, SB 5950, same time and same day. These committees will likely vote on these bills some time this week.

House Committee Takes Up School Re-engagement Bill
Senate Bill 5850 would enhance Washington’s school programs designed to re-engage chronically absent students, by helping with food, books, test fees, transportation, clothing, childcare and other essentials. All 49 Senators voted the bill out of the Senate last week. Now, the House Education Committee will hear the bill today (February 19) and vote on it on Tuesday. You can register your support for this bill, one of United Way of King County’s legislative priorities, by following this link.

Bill Would Focus on Universal Community Resource Database
The House Human Service Committee takes up SB 5943 on Tuesday February 20 with a possible vote the next day. The Senate bill currently would direct the Department of Social and Health Services to conduct a feasibility study regarding a resource data tool for the purpose of digitally connecting members of the public to state services, subject to the appropriations. Washington 211 currently manages and shares information from a comprehensive database. This  study could help reduce duplication and lead to stronger recognition of Washington 211 as our state’s one stop connection to local resources.


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