UWPNW Washington Legislative Update - January 28, 2020

We are in our third week of the 2020 Legislative Session. Committees are actively taking up bills that address our agenda. Read on for more detailed news or you can quick glance via our Bill Tracking Page.

House and Senate Review Omnibus Early Learning Bills
The House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning received testimony on HB 2661, titled the Fair Start for Kids Act, last week. The committee spent its two-hour meeting on the bill. Here’s the TVW link to the meeting. And here’s a story from KOMO News about the issue. Also last week, the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education received testimony on SB 6253, titled the Early Care and Education Act. TVW video of the hearing. The House committee is expected to consider amendments to HB 2661 and possibly take action on it in today’s (January 28) meeting. 

Joint Legislative Committee Meeting Considers Youth Homelessness Strategies
Each year, just over 1,800 Washingtonians under the age of 25 experience housing instability after leaving foster care, the justice system, or inpatient behavioral health treatment, according to Kim Justice, Executive Director of the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Programs within the State’s Department of Commerce. Ms. Justice, along with other subject matter experts and youth, testified last week before a joint meeting of two House committees (Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation, Housing Stability & Affordability). The evening hearing was titled  “Ending Youth and Young Adult Homelessness.” Here is the TVW video of this hearing.

House Committee Takes Up Issue of Homeless Shelter Capacity
Governor Inslee’s office has filed legislation that would require cities and counties of a certain size to make sure their homeless housing strategic plans provide enough shelter or sanctioned camping capacity for at least half of its unhoused populations. The House Committee on Housing, Community Development & Veterans will hear HB 2649 today at 10 a.m. The committee also is scheduled to take action on the bill at its January 31 hearing. 

United Ways of the Pacific Northwest Sponsors Legislative Reception
United Ways of the Pacific Northwest is a sponsor of the Washington Nonprofits Legislative Reception on the Capitol Grounds on Tuesday, February 11. This free event will be held 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. Register here. The reception is on the same day as Washington 211 lobby day.