Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Week 7 Virtual Olympia

Week 7: Bills Still in Play

Advocacy Days

Miss an advocacy day? You can watch recordings here of the Wednesday briefings hosted by The Arc of Washington and the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council.

Next up: March 3 - Education During COVID-19, with special guest Senator Claire Wilson (Federal Way), vice chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee. 10 am on Zoom!

Spanish interpretation will be provided live. Close captioning will also be provided live.

 

What's up this week?

Bill action this week and next will be in the Rules committees and on the chamber floors.

Bills that passed policy and fiscal committees have been referred to Rules committees. These committees then choose which bills to send to the full chamber for a vote.

We compiled a list of bills we've been sharing on this blog into an excel sheet and have been tracking which ones are still in play. You can access our list here:

You can check the House calendar here to see which bills are up for a vote: https://app.leg.wa.gov/far/House/Calendar

You can check the Senate calendar here to see which bills are up for a vote: https://app.leg.wa.gov/far/Senate/Calendar

You can watch floor action on TVW: https://www.tvw.org/

Advocacy tip: Now is a good time to engage with legislators about the budget. They may be voting or in caucus (that is when they meet to discuss bills) but their staff is meeting with constituents and gathering information for them.

You can find your legislators here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

You can find a roster of all members and their lead staff here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members

 

Curious who is on the Rules committees?

House Rules: https://leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/RUL/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx

King County legislators on House Rules include:

  • Representatives Bergquist, Gregerson, Orwall, and Sullivan from South King County
  • Representatives Springer, Thai, and Walen from East King County
  • Representative Davis from North King County

Senate Rules: https://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/RULE/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx

King County legislators on Senate Rules include:

  • Senators Keiser, Hasegawa, and C. Wilson from South King County
  • Senators Carlyle, Nguyen, and Pedersen of Seattle
  • Senator Kuderer of East King County

And yes, if there is a bill you are hoping will make it out of Rules you can contact committee members, but they are more likely to engage with you if you live in their legislative district.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Week 6 Virtual Olympa

Week 6 Virtual Olympia

Join us for advocacy days! 

This week’s focus is on families - the care they provide and challenges they face. Register here for Wednesday's Family Advocacy Day briefing

(10 am via Zoom)

All advocacy day briefings are recorded. You can view past advocacy days and register for future ones here 

  • Jan 27 – 2021 Legislative Briefing & Legislative Reception
  • Feb 3 – Community residential
  • Feb 10 – Employment supports
  • THIS WEEK: Families save money
  • Feb 24 – March is DD awareness month


Special education update:

We strongly encourage you to watch the work session held Monday for the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee: Addressing learning loss and inclusion for students and youth receiving special education services

They discussed funding and policy considerations that OSPI is pulling together. Also – there is a great panel presentation on the Inclusionary Practices project underway. Super informative both in explaining what educators are doing, and in offering ideas for policy and funding asks.

 

Bill action this week:

Attention moves to fiscal committees and floor votes.

Note, the House Appropriations committee is expected to hear and vote on bills through Saturday, but only has bills scheduled through Tuesday at this time. You can check for agenda updates later in the week here

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16

Finance; 9 am

HB 1477 - Implementing the national 988 system to enhance and expand behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention services.

Sponsors: Orwall, Davis, Ortiz-Self, Callan, Simmons, Johnson, J., Goodman, Ryu, Ormsby, Valdez, Frame, Berg, Bergquist, Harris-Talley, Chopp, Macri, Peterson, Pollet

  • Directs the Department of Health to designate crisis hotline centers that meet standards related to technology and the ability to identify and deploy community crisis resources for persons experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
  • Requires behavioral health administrative services organizations to have community-based rapid crisis response services for persons who contact the 988 Crisis Hotline in need of stabilization services.
  • Establishes a 988 Crisis Hotline System Director to provide direction and oversight in the implementation and administration of the 988 Crisis Hotline and behavioral health crisis system.
  • Creates an implementation coalition to monitor the implementation of the 988 Crisis Hotline System and the improvements to behavioral health crisis services.
  • Establishes the Statewide 988 Behavioral Health Crisis Response Line Tax on phone lines to fund the crisis hotline centers and response services.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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HB 1460 - Closing the digital divide by establishing excise taxes on telecommunications services to fund the expansion of the universal service programs in Washington.

Sponsors: Gregerson, Taylor, Simmons, Johnson, J., Lekanoff, Santos, Slatter, Dolan, Peterson, Callan, Ormsby, Morgan, Bateman, Bergquist, Ramel, Thai, Valdez, Pollet, Lovick, Macri, Chopp, Hackney, Ortiz-Self, Riccelli, Kloba, Harris-Talley

  • Establishes the following programs: Senior Call-Check Service and Notification Program; Washington Lifeline Program; Universal Teleconnect Service Program; Digital Equity Opportunity Grant Program; and Digital Equity Planning Grant Program.
  • Modifies the existing Universal Communications Services Account to create a Universal Services Account for receipt of revenues and expenditures of programs under the Act.
  • Establishes a monthly $0.25 telephone and voice over Internet protocol tax on all switched access lines in the state.
  • Establishes a monthly $0.25 Internet access tax imposed on all Internet access service subscriptions in the state.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

-

House Appropriations; 1:30 pm

SHB 1086 - Creating the state office of behavioral health consumer advocacy.

Sponsors: Simmons, Caldier, Bateman, Ortiz-Self, Shewmake, Ryu, Chopp, Cody, Goodman, Fey, Stonier, Macri, Fitzgibbon, Frame, Davis

  • Eliminates regional behavioral health ombuds services and establishes the State Office of Behavioral Health Consumer Advocacy (SOBHCA) to coordinate the activities of behavioral health advocates across the state.
  • Directs the SOBHCA to certify and coordinate the activities of behavioral health advocates throughout the state.
  • Requires Medicaid managed care organizations to contract with the SOBHCA to reimburse it for behavioral health consumer advocacy services provided to their enrollees.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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ADVOCATES’ CHOICE

SHB 1213 - Expanding accessible, affordable childcare and early childhood development programs.

Sponsors: Senn, Chopp, Ramos, Bateman, Sells, Shewmake, Lekanoff, Peterson, Stonier, Duerr, Fitzgibbon, Berry, Rule, Davis, Wicks, Fey, Callan, Dolan, Frame, Lovick, Chapman, Ryu, Santos, Thai, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Simmons, Slatter, Gregerson, Bergquist, Hackney, Valdez, Ramel, Riccelli, Macri, Goodman, Harris-Talley

  • Establishes a new account for child care and early learning purposes and includes a nonexhaustive list of allowable uses.
  • Increases eligibility and decreases copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and expands eligibility in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
  • Provides for increased rates, training, grants, and services for child care and early learning providers.
  • Increases supports for families of children from birth to age 3, as well as for their providers.

Our take: There are many reasons to support stabilizing the childcare workforce and helping early programs build out. The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program – the state’s preschool program – is an inclusive model available to low-income children and children with IEPs. The more ECEAP slots we have, the greater access we all have to inclusive preschool options. 

We appreciate the complex needs rate enhancement for ECEAP programs to better support children with disabilities or who have other complex needs. (What would make the bill ideal: Banning the practice of making self-toileting a requirement for childcare at state-subsidized programs.) 

This bill is a priority of the Early Learning Action Alliance

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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SHB 1225 - Concerning school-based health centers.

Sponsors: Stonier, Bateman, Lekanoff, Johnson, J., Davis, Cody, Santos, Thai, Ortiz-Self, Ormsby, Valdez, Riccelli, Tharinger

  • Establishes the school-based health center program office within the Department of Health.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

-

SHB 1325 - Implementing policies related to children and youth behavioral health.

Sponsors: Callan, Eslick, Leavitt, Fitzgibbon, Thai, Duerr, Senn, Ortiz-Self, Davis, Bergquist, Ramos, Lekanoff, Pollet, Dent, Goodman

  • Establishes the Partnership Access Line for Moms and the Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens as ongoing programs.
  • Requires the Health Care Authority to provide reimbursement for up to five sessions of mental health intake and assessment of children from birth through age 5 in home and community settings.
  • Requires providers to use the current version of the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

-

Senate Ways and Means; 1:30 pm

ADVOCATES’ CHOICE

SSB 5160 - Addressing landlord-tenant relations by providing certain tenant protections during and after public health emergencies, providing for legal representation in eviction cases, establishing an eviction resolution pilot program for nonpayment of rent cases, and authorizing landlord access to state rental assistance programs. 

Sponsors: Kuderer, Liias, Conway, Das, Lovelett, Saldaña, Wilson, C.

  • Prohibits landlords from terminating or refusing to renew a rental lease that expires at the end of the lease term or is subject to a 20-day termination notice until two years after expiration of any public health emergency, with exceptions.
  • Authorizes tenants adversely impacted by COVID-19 to terminate their tenancy upon a 20-day written notice.
  • Requires landlords, before any collection action for unpaid rent accrued during the Governor's eviction moratorium or public health emergency and if the rent debt is no more than six months, to first offer tenants a repayment plan schedule equal to or greater than payment of the rent debt in monthly payments of at least one-sixth of the rent debt owed.
  • Requires the court to appoint counsel for indigent tenants at the initial hearing and at trial and for the state to pay the costs of such legal services subject to amounts appropriated.
  • Requires the Administrative Office of the Courts to contract with dispute resolution centers to establish a two-year, statewide eviction resolution pilot program to facilitate the resolution of nonpayment of rent cases.
  • Requires the Department of Commerce to authorize landlords an opportunity to apply to certain state rental assistance programs, if feasible, while establishing necessary application and eligibility and conditions on receipt of funds .
  • Provides that unlawful detainer actions are presumptively of limited dissemination, with exceptions.
  • Eliminates the optional notice for landlords to use in nonpayment of rent cases that instructs tenants to pay into the court registry the rent allegedly owed or file a statement denying rent is owed.

Our take: This bill is a priority of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. In their words: This bill will expand legal assistance for renters throughout Washington, require a reasonable payment plan for tenants to get caught up, and more. Right to Counsel policies around the nation have been shown to drastically reduce evictions and prevent homelessness, and we have the opportunity to give tenants access to representation in our communities.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

 -

ADVOCATES’ CHOICE

SSB 5237 - Expanding accessible, affordable childcare and early childhood development programs.

Sponsors: Wilson, C., Dhingra, Das, Billig, Conway, Darneille, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Nguyen, Nobles, Pedersen, Saldaña, Salomon

Companion to HB 1213.

  • Establishes a new account for child care and early learning purposes and includes a non-exhaustive list of allowable uses.
  • Expands eligibility and decreases co-payments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and expands eligibility in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
  • Provides increased rates, training, grants, supports, and services for child care and early learning providers.
  • Increases prenatal-to-three supports for providers and families.

Our take: Please see comments on HB 1213, above. Great programs; solid investments. Passage and funding should improve access for children with disabilities. Even better: Preventing state-subsidized childcare providers from refusing children who are not self-toileting. Many legislators, and quite a few childcare advocates, do not realize the impact toileting requirements have on families of children with disabilities.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

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SSB 5327 - Creating a confidential youth safety and well-being tip line.

Sponsors: Brown, Frockt, Lovelett, Rivers, Short, Warnick, Wellman

  • Requires the Attorney General to establish a YES tip line to receive and respond to tips from the public regarding risks or potential risks to the safety or well-being of youth.
  • Creates confidentiality provisions regarding information provided to the YES tip line.
  • Directs the Attorney General to create a reference and best practice tool kit for law enforcement and mental health resources that provides statewide and community mental health resource information

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17

House Appropriations; 1:30 pm

SHB 1073 - Expanding coverage of the paid family and medical leave program.

Sponsors: Berry, Wicks, Fitzgibbon, Bateman, Tharinger, Simmons, Kloba, Ramel, Ortiz-Self, Goodman, Ryu, Bronoske, Hackney, Chopp, Riccelli, Stonier, Frame, Macri, Davis, Pollet, Bergquist, Harris-Talley

  • Modifies the definition of "family member" for Paid Family and Medical Leave.
  • Provides temporary alternate eligibility for claims through June 30, 2022.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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SHB 1220 - Supporting emergency shelters and housing through local planning and development regulations.

Sponsors: Peterson, Macri, Bateman, Ryu, Lekanoff, Fitzgibbon, Kloba, Davis, Lovick, Santos, Ortiz-Self, Simmons, Berg, Hackney, Chopp, Tharinger, Frame

  • Updates the housing goals of the Growth Management Act to include planning for and accommodating affordable housing.
  • Requires jurisdictions to address moderate, low, very low, and extremely low-income housing in the housing element of the comprehensive plan.
  • Requires jurisdictions to address racially disparate impacts and displacement in the housing element of the comprehensive plan.
  • Requires the Department of Commerce to provide the inventory and analysis of existing and projected housing needs required in the housing element of the comprehensive plan.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

-

HB 1500 - Concerning regular financial audits of school districts.

Sponsors: Sullivan, Ortiz-Self, Pollet

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

-

Senate Ways and Means; 4 pm

SSB 5228 - Addressing disproportionate health outcomes by building a foundation of equity in medical training.

Sponsors: Randall, Liias, Das, Lovelett, Nobles, Wilson, C., Darneille, Hasegawa, Keiser, Kuderer, Nguyen, Robinson

  • Requires public medical schools to develop health equity curriculum for medical students.
  • Requires public medical school students to complete a course, or courses, on health equity prior to graduating.
  • Requires each public medical school to create a goal regarding student representation and report progress on that goal annually.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

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SSB 5259 - Concerning law enforcement data collection.

Sponsors: Nobles, Carlyle, Darneille, Das, Dhingra, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Nguyen, Pedersen, Randall, Robinson, Saldaña, Stanford, Wellman, Wilson, C.

  • Requires the Attorney General's Office establish an advisory group to make recommendations for implementation of a program for statewide data collection, reporting, and publication of use of force data.
  • Directs the advisory board to conduct a competitive bid process to select a university to design, develop, and mange the data collection program.
  • Requires that no later than July 1, 2022, all law enforcement agencies must report all instances of the use of force to the university on a quarterly basis.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

-

ADVOCATES’ CHOICE

SSB 5268 - Transforming services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by increasing the capabilities of community residential settings and redesigning the long-term nature of intermediate care facilities.

Sponsors: Keiser, Braun, Nguyen

Requires courtesy caseload forecasting and budgeting projections for the number of individuals requesting supported living, services provided through the Core, Individual and Family Services, and Basic Plus Waivers, and the number of individuals expected to reside in state-operated living alternatives (SOLAs).

Directs the Department of Social and Health Services to examine the need for community respite beds and crisis stabilization services, study Medicaid rates for contracted community residential service providers, develop quality metrics for community residential and residential habilitation centers, coordinate services across systems, and establish a staffing plan to achieve one case manager per 35 clients.

Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to review the Developmental Disabilities Administration's eligibility procedures.

Our take: This is a critical bill that advances a vision of coordinated community supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It builds on last year’s caseload forecasting bill and helps define the evolution of residential habilitation centers. This bill does not require the legislature to fund additional DDA waiver slots, or create entitlement services, but it would require the state to assess what the actual need is and price it out. It is a necessary step in aligning state services to actual community need. We also like the rate study for direct support providers. 

This is a priority bill of The Arc of Washington and its state chapters.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18

House Finance committee; 8 am

SHB 1015 - Creating the Washington equitable access to credit act.

Sponsors: Maycumber, Chapman, Tharinger, Graham, Santos, Macri

  • Establishes the Equitable Access to Credit Program (Program) within the Department of Commerce for the purpose of awarding grants to qualified lending institutions to provide access to credit for historically underserved communities.
  • Creates a credit against business and occupation (B&O) taxes owed for contributions made to the Program.
  • Authorizes a maximum B&O tax credit of $1 million per taxpayer per year and a total B&O tax credit for the Program of $8 million per year

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19

Senate Ways and Means; 9 am

SSB 5287 - Concerning affordable housing incentives.

Sponsors: Das, Kuderer, Conway, Keiser, Liias, Nguyen, Nobles, Pedersen, Randall, Salomon, Wilson, C.

  • Authorizes a 12-year extension of existing 8-year and 12-year Multi-Family Property Tax Exemptions (MFTEs) that are set to expire if they meet certain affordability requirements.
  • Establishes a new 20-year property tax exemption for the creation of permanently affordable homes.
  • Temporarily expands the 12- year MFTE and the 20- year exemption for permanently affordable homes to all cities until December 31, 2024 if they meet certain density requirements.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

-

SSB 5399 - Concerning the creation of a universal health care commission.

Sponsors: Randall, Cleveland, Das, Dhingra, Frockt, Hunt, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Nguyen, Nobles, Robinson, Saldaña, Stanford, Van De Wege, Wellman, Wilson, C.

  • Establishes the universal health care commission.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

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SB 5265 - Creating a bridge year pilot program.

Sponsors: Hunt, Das, Nguyen, Wellman, Wilson, C.

  • Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer a bridge year pilot program that allows students in the graduating classes of 2021 and 2022 an additional year to take courses at the student’s high school, an institution of higher education, or a combination.
  • Establishes that students participating in the program shall be considered Running Start students for funding allocation and enrollment purposes.
  • Allows bridge year students to participate in Running Start and take College in the High School courses.
  • Directs participating high schools to establish a bridge-year liaison who, in consultation with participating students, creates individual learning plans for participating students.
  • Requires districts to expunge any D or F grade from a participating student’s transcript if the student takes the same course during their bridge year and completes the course with a higher grade.
  • Permits students in the pilot program to participate in extracurricular activities at their high school.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

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SB 5405 - Instructing the joint legislative audit and review committee to perform racial equity analyses.

Sponsors: Hasegawa, Conway, Liias, Nguyen, Saldaña, Wilson, C.

  • Requires the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to incorporate a racial equity analysis, or note if a racial equity analysis is not necessary or appropriate, in its performance audits, sunset reviews, and other audits or reports.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

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SSB 5241 - Promoting economic inclusion.

Sponsors: Dhingra, Nguyen, Darneille, Das, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Liias, Nobles, Saldaña, Stanford, Wilson, C.

  • Creates economic inclusion grants, subject to appropriation, to promote equity, economic inclusion, and a stable financial foundation for people experiencing poverty.
  • Directs the Department of Commerce to provide progress reports and other information regarding economic inclusion grants to the Governor, Legislature, and the Legislative Executive WorkFirst Poverty Reduction Task Force, by November 15, 2021, and annually thereafter.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

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SSB 5249 - Supporting mastery-based learning.

Sponsors: Wellman, Nobles, Das, Dhingra, Hasegawa, Kuderer, Nguyen, Saldaña, Wilson, C.

  • Requires the Mastery-Based Learning Work Group to develop a Washington State profile of a high school graduate, in consultation with the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee and others
  • Places additional representatives from various education groups on the work group.
  • Directs the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop recommendations relating to the profile of a graduate.
  • Requires the SBE to perform a survey on graduation pathways that includes high school students and recent graduates.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

 

Bills referred to fiscal committee but not yet scheduled:

HB 1153 – Increasing language access for K-12 families

HB 1295 – Providing education in institutional settings

 

Bills referred for floor vote:

SB 5284 - Eliminating subminimum wage/disabilities

 

 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Week 5 Virtual Olympia

 

Next week is the first cutoff for bills – they need to pass out of the policy committee in their chamber of origin –  and committees are busy this week considering amendments. Bills with fiscal notes move on to the budget writing committees for consideration, while bills addressing revenue are being heard in finance committees.

New this year: More bills to even out our regressive tax structure, either through granting reprieves or credits to lower income individuals and families, or by increasing taxes on the wealthy. HB 1496 (being heard Thursday in House Finance) would implement a capital gains tax. Half the revenue would fund early learning, the other half would go into the state general fund.

Our position: The Arc of King County supports state progressive revenue measures to address the inequality embedded in our tax code and to increase funding to support inclusive communities that benefit people with I/DD of all ages, especially Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with I/DD.

 

ADVOCACY TIP: If a bill you support passes out of committee, it is always a good idea to thank legislators for their work. Sponsors are listed on the bill page; you can see how committee members voted by clicking on committee majority and minority reports.

 

HEARD MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8

House Finance; 10 am

HB 1477 - Implementing the national 988 system to enhance and expand behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention services

Sponsors: Orwall, Davis, Ortiz-Self, Callan, Simmons, Johnson, J., Goodman, Ryu, Ormsby, Valdez, Frame, Berg, Bergquist, Harris-Talley, Chopp, Macri, Peterson, Pollet

  • Directs the Department of Health to designate crisis hotline centers that meet standards related to technology and the ability to identify and deploy community crisis resources for persons experiencing a behavioral health crisis.
  • Requires behavioral health administrative services organizations to have community-based rapid crisis response services for persons who contact the 988 Crisis Hotline in need of stabilization services.
  • Establishes a 988 Crisis Hotline System Director to provide direction and oversight in the implementation and administration of the 988 Crisis Hotline and behavioral health crisis system.
  • Creates an implementation coalition to monitor the implementation of the 988 Crisis Hotline System and the improvements to behavioral health crisis services
  • Establishes the Statewide 988 Behavioral Health Crisis Response Line Tax on phone lines to fund the crisis hotline centers and response services.

Comment on this bill

Testimony is closed

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HB 1460 - Closing the digital divide by establishing excise taxes on telecommunications services to fund the expansion of the universal service programs in Washington.

Sponsors: Gregerson, Taylor, Simmons, Johnson, J., Lekanoff, Santos, Slatter, Dolan, Peterson, Callan, Ormsby, Morgan, Bateman, Bergquist, Ramel, Thai, Valdez, Pollet, Lovick, Macri, Chopp, Hackney, Ortiz-Self, Riccelli, Kloba, Harris-Talley

  • Establishes the following programs: Senior Call-Check Service and Notification Program; Washington Lifeline Program; Universal Teleconnect Service Program; Digital Equity Opportunity Grant Program; and Digital Equity Planning Grant Program.
  • Modifies the existing Universal Communications Services Account to create a Universal Services Account for receipt of revenues and expenditures of programs under the Act.
  • Establishes a monthly $0.25 telephone and voice over Internet protocol tax on all switched access lines in the state.
  • Establishes a monthly $0.25 Internet access tax imposed on all Internet access service subscriptions in the state.

Comment on this bill

Testimony is closed

-

HB 1035 - Providing local governments with options to grant rent relief and preserve affordable housing in their communities.

Sponsors: Kloba, Ryu, Ortiz-Self, Duerr, Wylie, Tharinger, Ramel, Gregerson, Valdez, Hackney, Callan, Santos, Pollet, Harris-Talley

  • Authorizes cities and counties to create an affordable housing incentive program.
  • Authorizes an affordable housing incentive program to provide a six-year property tax exemption to certain qualifying properties.
  • Establishes various program requirements and administrative provisions

Comment on this bill

Testimony is closed

-

House Children, Youth & Families; 1:30 pm

HB 1451 - Concerning the entitlement date and definition for the early childhood education and assistance program.

Sponsors: Sullivan, Lekanoff, Thai

  • Delays the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) entitlement from the 2022-23 school year to the 2026-27 school year.
  • Requires the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature with an implementation plan to meet the ECEAP entitlement by September 2, 2022.
  • Requires the DCYF to adopt rules outlining the requirements related to educational activities and comprehensive services required to meet the ECEAP entitlement requirement by January 1, 2023.

Our take: The implementation plan addresses logistics like braiding funds and that seem to be barriers to districts offering inclusive early learning. It would help communities leverage ECEAP, Head Start, developmental programs, and private programs to offer high quality, inclusive early learning.

Unforuntately, there is an amendment that would drop the planning process from the bill, so this just becomes a vehicle to delay making ECEAP an entitlement. Another early learning bill similarly delays making ECEAP an entitlement. Once ECEAP does become an entitlement, however, students served under IDEA must be admitted; currently special education status is one qualifier for ECEAP, but space is limited and access uneven for children with disabilities. Generally, unless a child is also low-income, special education status will not earn you a spot in ECEAP.

Here are the parts of planning process that we liked; the proposed amendment strikes all of them. We are hopeful some may resurface as a budget proviso or next session.

  • Requires an implementation plan by September 2022 and adoption of certain rules. Of interest to disability advocates, the plan requires:
  • Description of how funding streams can be combined, including funds for developmental preschools, Head Start, local government preschools, Title I
  • Description of how combined funding streams can build high-quality, inclusive preschool programs that can be delivered in a variety of public or private settings;
  • Estimates of unmet need by geographic location, by age and type of program;
  • A tool kit to be made available on the DCYF's website for potential preschool program operators to implement a high-quality, inclusive preschool program.

Comment on this bill

Testimony is closed

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House Health Care & Wellness; 1:30 pm

HB 1411 - Expanding health care workforce eligibility.

Sponsors: Simmons, Davis, Santos, Valdez, Berry, Fitzgibbon

  • Prohibits the Department of Social and Health Services (Department) from automatically disqualifying a person who has a criminal record containing certain crimes from:

(1)    having unsupervised access to, working with, or providing care to a vulnerable person; or

(2)    acting as a long-term care worker or vocational and employment services provider.

  • Establishes a work group to identify an informed consent process to allow older adults and people with disabilities to hire an individual with a criminal record that would otherwise disqualify the person from providing paid home care services.
  • Authorizes the Department to exercise its discretion regarding whether to permit or prohibit a person with a certificate of opportunity of restoration to have unsupervised access to children, vulnerable adults, or individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities.
  • The crimes and the specified minimum times are:
  • Selling drug paraphernalia after at least three years have passed;
  • Selling marijuana to a person under the age of 21 years old after at least three years have passed;
  • Theft in the first degree after at least five years have passed;
  • Robbery in the second degree after at least five years have passed;
  • Extortion in the second degree after at least five years have passed;
  • Assault in the second degree after at least five years have passed; and
  • Assault in the third degree after at least five years have passed.
  • While the Department may not automatically disqualify a person, the Department or an employer under contract with the Department has the discretion to consider any of the convictions when conducting a character, competence, and suitability review regarding a person to be employed in a position caring for, or having unsupervised access to, a vulnerable adult.

Comment on this bill

Testimony is closed

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Senate Health & Long Term Care* 1:30 pm

SB 5399 - Concerning the creation of a universal health care commission.

Sponsors: Randall, Cleveland, Das, Dhingra, Frockt, Hunt, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, Nguyen, Nobles, Robinson, Saldaña, Stanford, Van De Wege, Wellman, Wilson, C.

  • Establishes the universal health care commission

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate – Written testimony will be accepted until 1:30 pm Tuesday

 

HEARD TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9

House Housing, Human Services & Veterans; 8:00 am

HB 1441 - Prohibiting discrimination against prospective tenants for unpaid rent or eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsors: Morgan, Macri, Simmons, Berry, Johnson, J., Davis, Valdez, Taylor, Wicks, Fitzgibbon, Ramel, Bergquist, Chopp, Gregerson, Peterson, Ormsby, Pollet, Hackney, Thai, Berg, Harris-Talley

  • Prohibits a landlord from discriminating against a prospective tenant based on unpaid rent or an eviction that resulted from unpaid rent that accrued during an eviction moratorium.
  • Imposes civil penalties for violations.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House (written testimony take to 8 am 2/10)

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Education; 8:00 am

HB 1444 - Providing trauma-informed counseling and supports to students who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsors: Rule, Wicks, Simmons, Berry, Johnson, J., Taylor, Orwall, Ryu, Fitzgibbon, Ramel, Wylie, Pollet, Thai, Harris-Talley

  • Creates, temporarily, a limited school mental health staff certificate for Department of Health licensed or certified mental and behavioral health professionals, for the purpose of providing trauma-informed counseling and supports to students who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Requires school districts to employ one person with either a school counselor certificate or a temporary mental health staff certificate for every 150 students, beginning with the 2021-22 school year and through July 1, 2025.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House (written testimony deadline 8 am 2/10)

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Senate Housing & Local Government; 8:00 am

SB 5390 - Increasing housing supply through the growth management act and housing density tax incentives for local governments.

Sponsors: Liias, Gildon, Nguyen, Saldaña

  • Amends the elements of a comprehensive plan to ensure consideration of multifamily housing units and housing targets.
  • Increases urban densities within urban growth areas (UGAs) in buildable land areas to six net dwelling units per acre.
  • Creates real estate excise tax density incentive zones within UGAs in buildable lands areas.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate

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House Finance; 1:30 pm

HB 1465 - Making the estate tax more progressive by exempting small estates, reducing estate taxes on medium estates, increasing the estate tax on larger estates, and addressing equity in homeownership and homelessness.

Sponsors: Orwall, Ramel, Ryu, Wylie, Frame, Ormsby, Valdez, Pollet, Thai, Chopp, Macri, Harris-Talley

  • Makes changes to the Washington estate tax, including increasing the exclusion amount, changing deductions, and making changes to the rates and rate structure.
  • Creates the Equity in Housing Account to be funded by 10 percent of the estate tax revenues.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House (written testimony deadline 1:30 pm 2/10)

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HJR 4204 - Concerning a constitutional amendment providing for a residential real property exemption from property taxes levied for state purposes.

Sponsors: Harris-Talley, Berg, Wicks, Peterson, Ortiz-Self, Simmons, Gregerson, Chapman, Berry, Frame, Thai, Pollet, Ormsby, Davis, Ramel

  • Amends the Washington Constitution to allow for a legislatively enacted residential real property tax exemption from the state levy of up to $250,000 of equalized assessed value.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House (written testimony deadline 1:30 pm 2/10)

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Senate Ways & Means; 4:00 pm

SSB 5294 - Concerning the creation of statewide epidemic preparedness and response guidelines for long-term care facilities.

  • Requires the Department of Health to consult with interested stakeholders to develop a report and guidelines on epidemic preparedness and response for long-term care facilities

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate (written testimony deadline 4 pm 2/10)

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SSB 5147 - Addressing learning loss by exploring alternative school calendars

Sponsors: Hawkins, Wellman, Billig, Dhingra, Frockt, Hasegawa, Kuderer, Muzzall, Nobles, Rivers, Saldaña, Wilson, C.

  • Directs OSPI to establish a program to allow up to 30 school districts to provide 180 instructional days over the course of the entire calendar year.

  • Establishes that in order to participate in the programs, a school district must have a minimum enrollment of 500 students, a maximum enrollment of 10,000 students, and a majority of students qualify for free and reduced price meals.

  • Requires OSPI to distribute funds to participating school districts based on a specific formula, subject to appropriation.

  • Requires OSPI to report on various program outcomes.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/Senate (written testimony deadline 4 pm 2/10)

 

UPCOMING THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11

Finance; 8:00 am

HB 1496 - Creating a more progressive tax system in Washington by enacting an excise tax on sales and extraordinary profits of high valued assets.

Sponsors: Senn, Walen, Davis, Johnson, J., Ramel, Bergquist, Macri, Gregerson, Simmons, Sells, Peterson, Bateman, Berry, Lekanoff, Frame, Fitzgibbon, Duerr, Hackney, Slatter, Kirby, Thai, Chopp, Valdez, Riccelli, Pollet, Ormsby, Harris-Talley, Stonier

  • Implements a capital gains tax.
  • Beginning January 1, 50% deposited into a Fair Starts for Kid account, to pay for early learning and childcare, and 50% deposited into the general fund.
  • Beginning July 1, 2025, 60% deposited into a Fair Starts for Kid account, to pay for early learning and childcare, and 40% deposited into the general fund.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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HB 1247Allowing an additional property tax exemption for seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities leasing land in a mobile home park or manufactured housing community.

Sponsors: Thai, Stokesbary, Ramel, Ryu, Robertson, Leavitt, Bateman, Fitzgibbon, Shewmake, Chapman, Johnson, J., Senn, Frame, Riccelli, Chopp, Wylie, Wicks, Simmons, Boehnke, Berry, Davis, Tharinger, Walsh, Eslick, Goodman, Peterson, Santos, Valdez, Cody, Chambers, Kloba, Ramos, Kirby, Bronoske, Gregerson, Macri, Callan, Paul, Sells, Bergquist, Ormsby, Pollet, Slatter, Stonier, Taylor, Harris-Talley

  • Allowing an additional property tax exemption for seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities leasing land in a mobile home park or manufactured housing community.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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HB 1248 - Allowing leased land in a mobile home park or manufactured housing community to qualify for the senior, veteran, and persons with disabilities property tax exemption.

Sponsors: Orcutt, Caldier, Sutherland, Young

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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House Children, Youth & Families; 10:00 am

Work Session: Overview of housing, residential treatment, and placement options for youth

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House Environment & Energy; 1:30 pm

HB 1490 - Maintaining residential electricity and heating service for low-income households and households with people with disabilities.

Sponsors: Harris-Talley, Ramel, Macri, Simmons, Berry, Lekanoff, Johnson, J., Duerr, Ortiz-Self, Hackney, Slatter, Ryu, Taylor, Orwall, Chopp, Dolan, Riccelli, Bateman, Ormsby, Morgan, Frame

  • Extends the winter shutoff moratorium and energy assistance requirements to apply to rural electric cooperatives in addition to municipal electric utilities, public utility districts, and investor-owned utilities.

  • Establishes a year-round energy service shutoff moratorium for low-income households or households with people with disabilities.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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House Appropriations; 3:30 pm

SHB 1044 - Creating prison to postsecondary education pathways.

Sponsors: Leavitt, Simmons, Johnson, J., Eslick, Lovick, Kloba, Lekanoff, Wylie, Bateman, Senn, Goodman, Bronoske, Valdez, Callan, Ramos, Hackney, Morgan, Ormsby, Fey, Frame, Santos, Davis, Pollet, Bergquist

  • Permits the Department of Corrections (DOC) to implement postsecondary education certificate and degree programs at state correctional institutions.
  • Modifies the DOC's educational goals for incarcerated persons to include special education services and postsecondary education certificates or degrees.
  • Requires the DOC to establish a process for identifying, assessing, and accommodating incarcerated persons with learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and cognitive impairments.
  • Requires the DOC to assist with filing financial aid forms and to provide unofficial transcripts to incarcerated persons who participated in postsecondary education programs any time the person completes a program, is transferred to another facility, or is released.
  • Requires the DOC to consider an incarcerated person's educational programming when considering transfers to other facilities and when releasing a person to their county of origin.
  • Requires the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to study and report on enrollment, completion, and recidivism rates of incarcerated persons in the postsecondary education system post release.
  • Requires an annual report from the DOC and other state agencies that includes a variety of data and information on incarcerated persons and postsecondary education.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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SHB 1061 - Concerning youth eligible for developmental disability services who are expected to exit the child welfare system.

Sponsors: Senn, Dent, Leavitt, Wicks, Slatter, Wylie, Simmons, Kloba, Ortiz-Self, Gregerson, Callan, Young, Morgan, Frame, Santos, Rule, Davis

  • Prioritizes eligible individuals who exited a dependency proceeding within the last two years for Medicaid waivers administered by the Developmental Disability Administration (DDA) when there is funded capacity.
  • Requires the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) to provide a report detailing the number of youth involved in the child welfare system who are enrolled clients of the DDA and expected to exit child welfare services after reaching the maximum age that those youth can receive child welfare services.
  • Requires the DCYF to convene a shared planning meeting that includes DDA staff for youth who are dependent and may be eligible for DDA services when the youth is between ages 16 and 16-1/2 for purposes of planning for the youth's transition to adulthood.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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SHB 1227 - Protecting the rights of families responding to allegations of abuse or neglect of a child.

Sponsors: Ortiz-Self, Callan, Senn, Dolan, Fitzgibbon, Ramos, Davis, Santos, Macri, Gregerson, Young, Ormsby

  • Modifies the standard used by hospitals, law enforcement, and courts to authorize detention or removal of a child from a parent.
  • Requires the Department of Children, Youth, and Families to make continuing efforts to place children with relatives and requires such placement unless there is no relative capable of ensuring the basic safety of the child.
  • Requires the court to release a child to a parent unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that removal of the child is necessary to prevent imminent physical harm and that the evidence show a causal relationship between the conditions in the home and imminent physical harm to the child.

Comment on this bill

Testimony options/House

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BILLS ADVANCING THIS WEEK:

  • SB 5284 – Eliminating Subminimum wages. Passed to Rules for consideration for a floor vote
  • SB 5376 – Promoting awareness of the governor’s office of the education Ombuds. Passed to Rules for consideration for a floor vote
  • HB 1366 – Requiring school districts to prioritize the resumption of in-person instruction to certain students following an emergency. Amended to include students with IEPs and ELL students. Passed out of committee.
  • HB 1373 - Promoting student access to information about behavioral health resources. Amended to require information be posted to social media sites. Passed out of committee.

MAY BE ADVANCING:

  • HB 1218 - Improving health, safety, and quality of life for residents in long-term care facilities. Committee action expected 2/10
  • HB 1347 - Concerning exceptional foster care maintenance payments. Committee action expected or 2/11
  • HB 1451 - Concerning the entitlement date and definition for the early childhood education and assistance program. Committee action expected 2/11
  • HB 1295 - Providing public education to youth in or released from institutional education facilities. Committee action expected 2/11
  • HB 1139 - Taking action to address lead in drinking water. Committee action expected 2/12
  • HB 1153 - Increasing language access in public schools. Committee action expected 2/1

 

WAITING FOR LAST STEP

HB1368Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through state actions supported by federal funding.

2/1 - Passed the House 61-36, with 1 excused

2/4 – Passed Senate Ways and Means

2/5 – Sent to Rules

  • This bill appropriates $2.2 billion of federal funds for K-12 public schools, public health, healthcare, assistance to individuals and families, housing assistance, and business assistance. The funding comes from a combination of the federal Consolidated Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Coronavirus Relief Fund under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and Medicaid. Specifically, the bill funds:
  • $714 million for assistance to K-12 schools, including $46 million for non-public school assistance;

o   Requirements: Reopening plans by March 1, 2021; academic, student well-being recovers plans by June 1, 2021

  • $618 million for public health, including $438 million for testing and contract tracing;
  • $100 million for epidemiology and laboratory grants and $68 million for vaccines—this funding is deposited into a newly created non-appropriated account;
  • $365 million for a variety of housing-related items, including rental assistance;
  • $240 million for business assistance grants;
  • $91 million for other income assistance programs, including $65 million for immigration services, $12 million for disaster cash assistance, $9 million for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and $5 million for food assistance;
  • $50 million for a variety of childcare-related items; and
  • $26 million for food banks and other food related programs
  • 24.5 million to DDA community services for rate enhancements through June 2021