Washington Legislative Update -February 13, 2019

This weekend's snow has slowed work down in the Legislature but good things have been happening. 

House hears Working Families' Tax Credit Bill
The House Committee on Finance held a hearing on the Working Families' Tax Credit Bill (HB 1527) last week. Sponsored by Rep. Debra Entenman (D- King County) with over 30 co-sponsors, the legislation revitalizes and renames the Working Families Tax Exemption program, expanding eligibility and the benefits. (TVW clip of the 30 minute public hearing.)

Bipartisan support builds for housing investment bills
Last week, the House Committee on Housing, Community Development and Veterans approved HB 1406 which would authorize cities and counties to implement a local sales tax to fund affordable or supportive housing. During the bill's public hearing, testimony disclosed that the bill would allow Pierce County to build 177 new units of affordable housing and preserve 32 existing units within the first year of it becoming law. The bill received full bipartisan committee support and is now in the House Finance committee. The Senate companion bill (SB 5646) also received bipartisan support in passing its first committee and is now before the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

House committee endorses expansion of Early Childhood Education Assistance Program
The House Committee on Human Services and Early Learning approved HB 1351 which would expand the maximum income of children entitled to be enrolled in ECEAP from 110 percent to 130 percent of the federal poverty level and create a pilot program for birth to three year olds. The bill now goes to the House Appropriates committee. The Senate Committee on Early Learning and K-12 Education took executive action on the Senate companion bill (SB 5437) but the bill report hasn't been issued yet.

Weather cancels the Washington 2-1-1 Lobby Day - Joining in with United Way Lobby Day
Record snowfall in Western Washington cancelled the Washington 2-1-1 Lobby Day. Advocates for 2-1-1 are invited to join in with Washington United Ways' Legislative Advocacy Day on February 28. This lobby day is shared with the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, which is also handling registration