UWPNW Washington Legislative Update - January 15, 2020

The 2020 Legislative Session started with a new speaker and lots of energy for our key issues. We appreciate your engagement during this upcoming, short session. 

House & Senate Prepare to Take on Major Early Learning Bills
Two major early learning bills which seek to improve early care and education across the state are set to be released this week. S.B. 6253 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee on Monday, January 20. The House proposal, known as “Fair Start for Kids” but not introduced as of today, will be heard by the House Human Services & Early Learning Committee on Tuesday, January 21. We will be following up with individual United Ways to ensure your voices are being heard supporting these major opportunities.

Washington 2-1-1 Requests Funding for Technology Upgrades
Washington 2-1-1 has proposed that the state’s supplemental Capital Budget include $200,000 to replace aging computers and servers, as well as upgrade other equipment such as headsets, for 2-1-1 operators across the state. This investment should result in quicker call responses, more tracked referrals, a quieter workplace and increased emergency response capability. United Ways will be asked to help support this request as it moves forward.

How Far Will the Legislature Go on Housing and Homelessness?
Our state has the fifth highest per capita rate of unsheltered homelessness. Governor Inslee’s proposal is to invest over $300 million in the next three years to increase shelter capacity and to provide more housing support and assistance. To build momentum, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is inviting supporters to participate in their action alert to legislators.