UWPNW Washington Legislative Update - April 6, 2021

The 2021 Washington State Legislative Session is winding down as activity now shifts back to full House and Senate floor consideration. There is less than three weeks left in this regular session.

House and Senate Approve Two-Year Budget Plans
Both the House and Senate have approved SB 5092 - with amendments. Traditionally, this means the budget bill will move into a conference session where three Senate and three House members work out the differences between the two versions of the bill to come up with a compromise. That compromise then must be approved by the House and Senate before going to the Governor for his review and signature. As we stated in a previous email, the budget proposals include increased funding for housing, child care, early learning and human services. 

Washington 211 Receives Funding Boost in Both Proposed Budgets
Both the House and Senate passed SB 5092 with language that increases the Washington 211 network state funding by $500,000 per year. Washington 211 has experienced phenomenal call volume growth in the last two years (March call volumes doubled from 2019 to 2020 and then again in 2021). Please thank your legislators for this support.

Emergency Aid Bill for Non-TANF Households Signed into Law
Last week, Governor Inslee signed into law HB 1151 which authorizes a one-time, cash benefit for households with children receiving food benefits, but who are not simultaneously receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The bill also allows Consolidated Emergency Assistance to be provided more than once in a 12-month period when directed by the Governor during a state of emergency.