UWPNW Washington Legislative Update - March 10, 2020

Thursday is the last day of the 2020 regular Legislative Session. Some bills of interest have passed and all eyes are on the deepening impact of the coronavirus on the preparation of the supplemental budget.

Conference Committee to Resolve Supplemental Budget
The House and Senate have assigned a conference committee to resolve differences in the 2020 Supplemental Operating Budget, SB 6168. Session ends on Thursday. Most participants are expecting all the issues to be wrapped up by then and for the session to end without need for a special session. However, the spread of the coronavirus has thrown into question the economic forecasts on which previous drafts of the budget were built. In addition to $100 million in emergency spending, the economic impact of the closures resulting from the spread of this flu may result in a lower total budget amount. More to come after Thursday.

Landlord Tenant Act Amendments Go to Governor
The Legislature has approved SB 6378 which fine tunes the state's Landlord-Tenant Act. In particular, the bill defines how the pledge of emergency rental assistance funds provided to the tenant from a governmental or nonprofit entity can stop an eviction process. The Legislature approved another amendment to the Landlord Tenant, HB 1694 which creates a provision for tenants to pay their upfront rental costs such as deposits, fees and last month's rent in monthly installments. Both bills go to the Governor for his consideration before becoming law.

Working Connections Bill In Dispute
Substitute House Bill 2456 as approved, the House would extend the current four month grace period to 12 months for homeless families to provide information and meet the requirements necessary to continue in the Working Connections Child Care. The Senate's version only extended the grace period to six months. As of Monday, the House had asked the Senate to accept the House version of the bill.