Washington Legislative Update February 28, 2018

Now that both the House (HB 2299) and Senate (SB 6032) have approved versions of a supplemental budget, attention moves to reconciling differences and finishing up on legislation. Just one more week left to get it done! Read on to see how we're doing with our agenda this year.

Both Budgets Propose Additional Increases in TANF Grants
The Senate approved budget (SB 6032) would restore Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grants to pre-recession levels. The House proposed budget (HB 2299) restores the TANF grant to that level and adds an additional 2.4 percent increase.House

Budget Funds HEN Eligibility Expansion
The House approved budget specifically cites HB 2667 which would expand eligibility for referrals to the Housing and
Essential Needs Referral program (HEN) to include Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD) program recipients and removes
the restriction that disqualifies an individual for HEN if she or he is unemployable primarily due to an alcohol or
drug dependency. The House budget funds staff capacity to handle increased referrals.

Senate Budget Funds Breakfast After Bill
The Senate budget adds $1.2 million to implement HB 1508 which requires high-needs schools to offer breakfast to
students after the start of the school day. The House budget does not include implementing funds -- an issue that will need to be dealt with in budget conference. HB 1508 has been approved by the Legislature is awaiting Governor signature.

Senate Ways & Means Approves Permanent Surcharge for Homeless Housing and Assistance
HB 1570 is Senate Rules Committee awaiting consideration by the full Senate. The bill increases and makes permanent the local homeless housing and assistance document recording surcharge. The current $40 surcharge will increase to $62 under the bill 

Both Budgets Fund Home Visiting Program
Both House and Senate budgets carry forward Governor Inslee's proposal to increase funding for the Home Visiting program by $2.3 million allowing 275 additional families to be served.