Sunday, February 4, 2018

Inclusion, access and transportation bills we are tracking in 2018

Now until February 14 is a critical time to act!

A bill is a draft of a proposed law. These bills have cleared the initial policy committee hurdles; some still need to clear fiscal committees. Once these hurdles are met, a Rules Committee will decide when and whether to present them to the full chamber for a vote.

If you see a bill you care about, please contact your legislators. You can click on the “Comment on” links here, or call the Legislative Hotline at 1.800.562.6000.

For TTY-ASSISTANCE: 1.800.833.6384 (voice) or 1.800.833.6388 (TTY).


HB 2651 - Increasing the personal needs allowance for people in residential and institutional care settings
SPONSORS: Stanford, Johnson, Macri, Haler, Tharinger, Goodman, Caldier, Appleton, Harris, Jinkins, Barkis, Dolan, Senn, Gregerson, Wylie, Tarleton, McBride, Doglio, Eslick, Pollet, Slatter, Fey, Santos

Establishes that the baseline monthly Personal Needs Allowance (PNA) for clients in institutional and residential settings is $70 beginning January 1, 2019. Beginning January 1, 2020, maintains the requirement that that the PNA for clients in institutional and residential settings be increased annually by the percentage cost–of-living adjustment for federal Social Security benefits.

STATUS: Passed the House 98-0. Passed the Senate 49-0. Signed by the governor March 21.
(Note: Original bill would have set the PNA at $85. The amount was reduced by the Appropriations Committee.)
A companion bill, SB 6237, (sponsors: Keiser, Bailey, Rolfes, Walsh, Hasegawa, Chase, Darneille, SaldaƱa, Conway, Kuderer) was heard in Senate Ways and Means, but did not move out of committee.

HB 2750 - Concerning quality in assisted living facilities
SPONSORS: Tharinger, Johnson, Cody, Stonier, Slatter, Robinson, Jinkins, Appleton, Muri, Gregerson

Creates the Assisted Living Facility Quality Council to make recommendations on measuring quality, providing consumer information, and reporting value related to assisted living facilities. Establishes the Assisted Living Facility Quality Measurement Program to provide information to consumers about assisted living facilities. Authorizes civil penalties up to $3,000 per incident for violations of assisted living facility standards and up to $10,000 for operating an assisted living facility without a license.

STATUS: Passed the House 91-7 (Updated Feb. 15)

HB 2822 - Concerning service animals
SPONSORS: Steele, McBride, Muri, Johnson, Caldier, Valdez, Eslick, Gregerson

Adopts the federal definition of service animal. Creates a civil infraction for the misrepresentation of a service animal.

STATUS: Passed the House 98-0. Passed the Senate 46-2, with 1 excused. Governor signed March 22.


SB 5594 - Concerning transition services for people with developmental disabilities
SPONSORS: Keiser, Rivers, Cleveland, Fain, Darneille, Miloscia, Wellman, Frockt, Conway, Rossi

Prohibits long-term admissions to Fircrest School. Requires the Intermediate Care Facility at Fircrest to cease operation as of December 31, 2022.

Requires the Nursing Facility at Fircrest to cease operation when the population reaches 16 persons.
Requires the net proceeds from the use of land at Fircrest to be deposited into the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Trust account.

Allows funds within the DD Trust account to be used for State Operated Living Alternative (SOLA) placements, and other community residential services supporting people with developmental disabilities.

Requires DSHS to study the siting of a Federally Qualified Health Center and recommend a location based on the needs of the developmental disability population.

Requires DSHS to complete an appraisal of the lands at Fircrest and submit a report to the Governor and Legislature on options for transferring the Fircrest School lands.

STATUS: Did NOT pass the Senate


SB 6565 - Authorizing wheelchair accessible taxicabs access to high occupancy vehicle lanes
SPONSORS: Hasegawa, Chase

Allows the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to grant  access  to  high  occupancy  vehicle  (HOV)  lanes  by  wheelchair-accessible taxis.

STATUS: Did NOT pass the Senate. 

- Ramona Hattendorf, Director of Advocacy
The Arc of King County