Washington Legislative Update - 2020 Session to Start


We are firing up our weekly legislative updates in time for this year's legislative session.

2020 Legislative Session Begins on January 13
For 2020, the Washington State Legislative's regular session is 60 consecutive days, running from Monday, January 13 through Thursday March 12.While bills introduced during the 2019 session are still available for consideration in this shorter session, many bill ideas are reintroduced with a new bill number for the new session. As usual, your United Ways of the Pacific Northwest will continue to track state legislation and hearings that support economic mobility for struggling families and individuals, increase access and quality of Early Learning Programs, increase affordable housing and end homelessness and fully fund the 2-1-1 Call System. More on the 2019-20 agenda. During the session, we will email weekly. Feel free to share this with your staff, volunteers and supporters. Subscribe here.

Governor's Proposed Supplemental Budget Would Address Homelessness & Early Learning
Governor Inslee's proposal to adjust the 2019-21 biennial budget (referred to as the supplemental budget) targets, among other topics, homelessness and early learning access. According to a briefing paper titled Homeless Strategy: Bringing People Inside, the Governor's proposed operating and capital supplemental budgets would provide funding to decrease the rate of unsheltered homelessness in Washington. In his briefing on Children and Families, the Governor's budget would fund greater access to subsidized child care, provide targeted support services and more teachers to help children with different abilities and dedicate some of the new ECEAP slots to foster children. Here's a link to all the briefing papers the Governor's office released regarding the 2020 supplemental budget proposal.

Washington United Ways Step Up Early Learning/Child Care Advocacy
Thanks to support from the Ballmer and Perigee foundations, our Washington United Way network will have more capacity to continue our work promoting and advocating for greater state investment in early learning. Given the crisis for working parents in finding and affording child care and preschool, this comes at a critical time. We will use our increased organizing and coordination capacity to support and help local United Ways bolster local understanding and commitment among willing businesses and local leaders. Paul Knox, former United Way Thurston County Executive Director, will be in touch with local United Ways on how to deliver this support.

UWPNW Webinars Target Homelessness and Early Learning
If you missed our webinars held in December on Early Learning and Childcare and Housing and Homelessness, fear not! We have the recordings for you to listen to at your leisure. Thanks to the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and the Early Learning Action Alliance for their participation in these webinar discussions.