We’ve just passed the third major cutoff of legislative session – Wednesday (March 8th) was the deadline for most bills to pass out of their “house of origin,” meaning a full vote of either the House or the Senate. Those bills will now need to be heard and voted out of a policy committee by March 29. At the same time, work on the budget is really heating up. We expect the House and Senate to each release their proposed budgets by the end of March, and then spend most of April working behind closed doors to reconcile their proposals into a final budget.
This is an exciting time to watch the bills we’ve been tracking as they advance through the legislative process, but it is also an incredibly important time for executing new strategies and tactics for our legislative priorities that did not make it through. For that, we need you! See below for opportunities to join us in continuing to be powerful advocates for ninth grade success and debt free justice.
We need your help to tell lawmakers to include $5.65m in the state budget to continue and expand the successful Ninth Grade Success Teams approach.
We are also working to advance parts of our Debt Free Youth Justice bill through the budget and through supporting other bills. Unfortunately, SB 5474 will not be moving forward, but we can still make important progress. In particular, we are excited to support HB 1169, which will eliminate the remaining mandatory court fees in juvenile court and create a path for those with juvenile court debt to petition the court for relief. It’s a small piece of our larger goal, but a very important step in the right direction.
Checking in on some of our other bills we are tracking, many of them have cleared the latest cutoffs and have moved to the opposite chamber.
- Dual Credit Equity – HB 1146 which improves notification about dual credit programs and available financial assistance, and HB 1316 which expands summer Running Start programs have both advanced to the Senate. HB 1316 is scheduled for a hearing on Monday. And SB 5048, which would make College in the High School free for all students, passed the Senate unanimously and heads over to the House.
- High School and Beyond planning – SB 5243, which directs OSPI to identify common digital platforms for students’ high school and beyond plans, also passed the Senate unanimously and heads to the House, where it will be heard in policy committee on Tuesday.
- HB 1479 to eliminate isolation and restraint in schools is also moving forward, and will be considered in the Senate.
As always, thank you for your advocacy! Please take a moment to contact your lawmakers today to support funding for Ninth Grade Success in the state budget.