Washington Legislative Update -March 13, 2019

At 5 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 13), the Legislature will have reached its self-imposed deadline for bills passing their house of origin. By tomorrow, the Senate will only be considering bills that have been approved by the House.  And the House will only consider bills approved by the Senate.  The exceptions are budgets and matters necessary to implement budgets.  

House Appropriations Committee to Release Biennial Budget March 25
While the House Appropriations Committee held hearings on the Governor's proposed biennial (two-year) budget in January, the Committee is not expected to release its version of the budget until after the next state revenue forecast which is due by March 20. This is a good time to contact your legislators about United Way funding priorities which include:

  • Fully Funding the 2-1-1 Call System (HB 2126);
  • Robust investment (at least $200 million) in the Housing Trust Fund;
  • Expanding access to high quality early learning opportunities (SB 5437); and
  • Funding and reinvigorating the working families tax credit (HB 1527 and SB 5810).

The fate of these initiatives rest in the budget process.  Your engagement can help.  You can contact your legislators directly or use the state hotline number: 1-800-562-6000.

Children's Alliance Conducts "Strolling Thunder Washington" Day on Thursday
The Children's Alliance has organized Strolling Thunder  for tomorrow's, March 14, gathering at 10 a.m. at the Tivoli Fountain in front of the State Capitol in Olympia.  This event is patterned after the national event which will conduct its third annual Washington D.C. gathering in April. The campaign stresses the importance and value of access to affordable, high-quality child care, especially for infants and toddlers.  On the following day (Friday, March 15), the House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning will hear SB 5437 which outlines a process by which our state would initiate a pilot Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program for infants and toddlers (0 - three years old) and their families. 

House Finance Committee Scheduled to Consider Working Families Tax Credit Legislation
On Thursday, March 14, the House Finance Committee is scheduled to take up HB 1527  at an executive session where the committee will consider amendments to the bill and possibly vote the bill out of committee.  The meeting is at 1:30 p.m.  Here's the TVW link to watch the hearing live.This is a good time to indicate your organization's support for this legislation. Here's a list of committee members and staff.

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