Washington Legislative Update -April 17, 2019

Olympia legislative activity winds down after today with the focus turning toward the budget and working out compromises on bills that have passed both houses but in different form, such as S.B 5600 which extends protections to tenants. 

Legislature Approves Tenant Protections
HB 1440, which requires that landlords provide at least 60 days written notice before raising rents, has passed the legislature and goes to the Governor's desk for his consideration before becoming law. Another, more detailed landlord-tenant bill has been approved by both the House and Senate but with differences. HB 5600 continues to extend the three-day notice for rent default to two weeks and requires that the landlord first apply any tenant payment toward rent before applying the payment to other charges.  Here's the latest bill report.  The House and Senate will need to reconcile their differences before the bill can be signed by the Governor into law. 

Washington 2-1-1 Seeks Continued Advocacy for Full Funding
The statewide 2-1-1 system is seeking a $500,000 increase in its funding for the next biennium.  The House included this amount in its approved budget but the Senate approved only the amount necessary to maintain funding from the previous business cycle. Washington 2-1-1 has put forth a sample letter to be sent to Sen. Christine Rolfes (D - Bainbridge Island),  chair of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, to encourage her support. Also, the Washington 2-1-1 folks would like to thank Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) for his attempt to seek full funding with a Senate amendment.  

It All Boils Down to the Two-Year Budget
Will 2-1-1 be fully funded? How about allowing for a revenue sharing for housing in the form of HB 1406? Or the long overdue funding the of the Working Families Tax Credit? Well, all these issues, along with K-12 funding and many more spending priorities are being balanced by legislators in the remaining days of the session. The final day of the regular session is April 28 and if the budgets are passed by then, it would be the first time in a decade that the legislature met the 105-day session deadline with an approved two-year operating budget.  Stay tuned.

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