Last week was policy committee cutoff at the Legislature. With over 2000 bills introduced this session, it is a challenge to make sure that everything keeps moving along. Bills in policy committees that were not voted out of committee by last Friday’s deadline are dead for this session. Next up is fiscal committee cutoff. Here are a few bills “on the move” this week.
- School safety
In the Appropriations Committee, we heard House Bill 1216 focused on helping schools prepare, respond, and most importantly, prevent incidents of violence or other emergencies in schools. The bill establishes Regional School Safety Centers to help school districts establish school-based threat assessments, coordinate behavioral health, and provide information on best practices for school safety. It also adds regional mental health coordinators to help school districts with curriculum, training and other ways to help strengthen schools’ climate. One more step in ensuring we keep our kids safe at school.
- Long-term Care & Tobacco to 21
Beyond the action in committees, we have already passed a few exciting bills out of the House, including raising the age for buying tobacco to 21 and creating the Long Term Care Trust Act. During passage of the Trust Act, I spoke about the importance of being able to care for our loved ones in their homes, without forcing them into poverty.
Bills making the news
- Washington condo reform gains steam amid shortage of affordable homeownership options, Seattle Times article
- An opinion piece in the Seattle Times I wrote with Senator Joe Nguyen urges the legislature to make policy changes to state assistance programs that help families experiencing hardships.
Thank you for taking the time to read about what is happening in Olympia. As always, I welcome your comments, questions or concerns.