Washington Legislative Update February 7, 2018

We are in the fifth week of the 2018 Washington State Legislative Session and attention shifts to the House and Senate floors as lawmakers work to abide by their self-imposed deadlines. After February 14, the House and Senate can only consider bills that have been passed by the other body. Read on to see how we're doing with our priorities this session.

Breakfast After the Bell Passes Both House and Senate
Last Wednesday, the Senate approved HB 1508 which requires qualifying high-needs schools, beginning in the 2019-20 school year to offer breakfast after the bell programs. Because the Senate-passed version is different from the House, involved legislators will need to reconcile their differences before final passage. This bill has moved quickly through the process.

Senate ECEAP Proposal Still Alive
The Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education committee approved SB 6419 which would allow children of homeless families who don't meet the current low income eligibility requirement to be admitted to early childhood education and assistance programs on a space available basis. Committee changes to the bill limited the bill's impact but also its costs, allowing the bill to bypass the Senate Ways & Means Committee. The House ECEAP expansion proposal, HB 2659, appears to not have escaped the House Appropriations bill by yesterday's deadline. SB 6419 is on the Senate Second Reading calendar.

Encourage Your Legislators to Support $5 million Home Visit Request
The time is right for us to contact our legislators in support of expanding the voluntary Home Visit program. The Governor's budget request is for $2.3 million which will serve an additional 275 families. But there are approximately 29,000 families who could benefit from this service who are not receiving it. To further close this gap, contact your legislators in support of a $5 million appropriation for this program which has proven to show positive impacts on children’s cognitive development and behavior.

Registration Open for Nonprofit Legislative Reception on February 27
In partnership with the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest, Philanthropy Northwest, and the Washington State Community Action Partnership, Washington Nonprofits is proud to announce the 5th annual Nonprofit Legislative Reception.  This is a great opportunity to meet state legislators, nonprofit leaders, and special guests. The reception will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Governor's Mansion. Registration is free for members of the hosting organizations. 

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