Roll Call #0: Legislative Preview

Legislation, Policy Brief | 01/07/2022

Virginia Barry
Policy & Government Affairs Manager, Stand for Children Washington


Session Week #0

A summary of the bills impacting schools, students, and families this week.

Happy New Year!  Welcome to your first Roll Call newsletter of 2022. The Stand Washington team is getting excited for the first day of the new legislative session on Monday, January 10. That means that every Friday for the next nine weeks I’ll send out a Roll Call email to update you on key bills that support young people and their families in the areas of education policy and criminal legal system reform. 

We spent the summer and fall talking with community members, families, partner organizations, and other advocates to put together our 2022 Legislative Priorities. They reflect the collective energy of our community to ensure that legislators focus on what matters most to young people and their families. You can see our full agenda below:

Today’s Roll Call is a preview of what we expect to see starting next week. It’s an even-numbered year, which means that legislators have 60 days to pack as much of they can into session. We’ve already seen over 500 bills pre-filed in addition to ones being reintroduced from the 2021 session. Here’s what we we’ll be watching most closely at Stand during the first week: 

  • Senator Claire Wilson’s bill to eliminate the “parent pay” statute, which charges families for their child’s incarceration (SB 5535) will be heard in the Senate Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee on January 13. Currently, Washington requires that parents or caregivers pay a portion of their gross income when their child is confined in a juvenile detention facility. Stand supports this bill as an important step toward removing all LFOs for children involved in the criminal legal system. 
  • Two bills (SB 5595 and HB 1664) that would protect funding for school support staff, including school counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses. In addition, it phases in funding for school nurses at elementary, middle, and high schools, and reduces class sizes at CTE skill centers. Both bills receive hearings this week: SB 5595 will be heard January 12 in Senate EL/K-12, and HB 1664 in House Education on January 13.
  • HB 1687, Representative Steve Bergquist’s bill to remove the GPA requirement from the College Bound Scholarship when a student enrolls at a community or technical college. This bill builds off the success of last year’s SB 5321, which expanded eligibility for the scholarship. It will be heard in the House Committee on College & Workforce Development on January 12.

I’ll be back next Friday with a report on the first week. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make an impact this session, please join our first Monday Action Meeting of 2022 at 6pm on Monday, January 10th. 

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