UWPNW Washington Legislative Update - February 3, 2020

A short session means legislative deadlines arrive sooner. This week is the last week for policy committees to consider bills in their house of origin. We will track our priority bills on our tracking list.

Join Us at Our Legislative Reception - February 11 
Next Tuesday evening, February 11, the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest will join Washington Nonprofits in hosting a Legislative Reception at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. United Ways staff and board are invited to attend. Because of security considerations with using the Governor's Mansion, you must register today (February 3). Also participating in this reception is Washington 211 which will be conducting its Washington 211 lobby day on February 11.

House & Senate Policy Committees Adopt Early Learning Initiatives
Committees in the House and Senate have each adopted their own approach toward increasing access to affordable and quality child care and early learning programs. The House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning adopted HB 2661, titled the Fair Start for Kids Act while the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education approved SB 6253, titled the Early Care and Education Act. The House bill will go to the House Committee on Appropriations while the Senate bill will go to the House Ways and Means Committee. There are significant differences between the two bills and there is no consensus yet on funding.

Legislative Committees Dive Into Housing and Shelter Issues
While the Governor has proposed spending over $300 million to increase shelter beds and other immediate housing, the Legislature is considering a wide range of bills on housing affordability. On Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 8:00 a.m. the House Committee on Finance will hold a public hearing on the following housing - related bills: HB 2497, HB 2797, HB 2746, HB 2620, HB 2634, and HB 2907. On Thursday, Feb. 6 at 1:30 p.m. the House Committee on Capital Budget will hold a work session on affordable housing and homelessness.