State Legislative Update 2/28/19

STATE UPDATE

As a little reminder when you’re reading the chart below, the way stuff gets passed in our state legislature is:

  • Step 1 – Pass out of Policy Committee (House – Human Services & Early Learning Committee, Senate – Early Learning and K-12 Committee)
  • Step 2 – Pass out of House Appropriations or Senate Ways and Means *WE ARE HERE – CUTOFF IS 3/1 TO GET OUT OF Apps/W&M
  • Step 2.5 – Bills go to Rules Committee, and they decide what gets voted on on the floor with the whole chamber
  • Step 3 – Pass whole chamber and move to other house, and start process over
  • Step 4 – Pass in other house policy committee, pass in other Appropriations/W&M, and Floor
  • Step 5 – Make sure language is the same in the House and Senate – could change in conference committee, or one chamber could accept the language in the other
  • Step 6 – Governor signature/veto

 We’re partway through the session, at the point where if a bill has not passed out of Appropriations/Ways and Means by tomorrow it is dead.  When it says ‘Rules’ it means it passed out of Approps/Ways and Means and is waiting to get pulled for a floor vote of the whole chamber. So here we go!  I have attached a Word version of this in case this is illegible on your email.  There are other policy bills that we are tracking and supporting, but these are the main ones.

 

 

House Bill

House Status

Senate Bill

Senate Status

Original Bill

Now

ECEAP Eligiblity & Early ECEAP - Enable programs to enroll more children above 110%FPL

SHB 1351

Rules

SSB 5437

Ways and Means

Add children 110-130%, homeless and tribal to ECEAP Entitlement, and pilot Early ECEAP for 150 children.

No change to entitlement, no funding for Early ECEAP.  Changes to eligibility adds 'allowed' category up to 200% and prioritizes children 110-130, homeless/tribal, etc.

ECEAP sabbatical year - Allows ECEAP to enroll EHS/ESIT children when they turn 3

SHB 1267

Dead

SB 5089

Rules

Allow ECEAP enrollment of ESIT/EHS kids at age 3 and include in entitlement.

Allows enrollment at age 3 for ESIT/EHS kids, but not in entitlement

Student Parents - Eliminate Working Connections 20 hour work requirement for certain parents

SHB 1303

Rules

SSB 5341

Dead

Eliminate 20 hour work requirement and allow WCCC recipients to get AA-transfer degree

Full Time Students exempt from work requirement for certificate program (not AA) in Nursing, Mental Health, Para Ed, ECE starting 8/2020

Homeless/Tribal ECEAP & Homeless Childcare - 12 month authorization for homeless CC and categorical ECEAP eligibility for Homeless/Tribal

SHB 1574

Dead

SSB 5820

Ways and Means

Original was just Childcare and ECEAP was in ECEAP eligibility bill.  2nd version Homeless/ Tribal ECEAP then moved out of that and into 1574/5820.

Homeless/Tribal ECEAP taken back out and watered way down back in ECEAP Eligibility Bill.  Homeless childcare only.

SEBB ESD Fix - Delays implementation of School Employee Benefits requirement for ESD's for 4 years

HB2096

Rules

None

N/A

   

 

You may notice that many unpleasant changes have been made to these bills.  This is because the state has a 3-6 billion budget deficit, and they won’t pass hardly anything that costs any money.  So we have had to bend and twist around and make our bills into pretzels to reduce the cost to zero in most cases.  It is very, very aggravating.

ECEAP Budget

The other process that is ongoing is the budget.  In the next couple weeks the members will write their budgets.  Now is the time to contact them about the importance of a slot rate increase.  Please email all your legislators (or better yet, all those in your service area) explaining why this is so critical for your community/families.  For parents  and staff and friends, this is a very quick way to send this message.  We are asking for 17% increase, which is a huge ask in this budget climate, and way higher than what’s in the Governor’s budget (6%).  We need all the help we can get

We're also asking for a substantial investment ($55 million) in the Early Learning Facilities Fund, and lawmakers will start writing that budget soon as well.

 

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