Happy first week of session! I started as the Government Affairs Director with Stand for Children in August, so this is my first legislative session with Stand, and I’m excited to move forward our collective priorities together! I’m also excited to be coming into a hybrid legislative session, with more ways to participate than ever – legislators and lobbyists are back in Olympia, and members of the public can participate in person or via zoom.
I was able to attend the opening of the House of Representatives on Monday, and it was a really nice way to kick the session off. It definitely has a “back to school” feel in Olympia. Watching the swearing in ceremony was also a nice reminder that legislators are humans too – they were cheered on by family and friends, and are excited to be back in person and building new relationships and strengthening old ones.
A few updates on where we are one week in:
- More than 1000 bills have been introduced so far!
- The Governor’s proposed operating budget was heard in the House Appropriations Committee & Senate Ways and Means Committee this week.
- Stand testified in support of K-12 budget investments, urging final budget to include funding for ninth grade success team approach, dual credit equity, and learning acceleration
- Stand’s lead priority bills are expected to drop today, and we’ll update you with bill numbers as soon as we can!
- Ninth Grade Success Team Approach – Sen Liias is sponsoring this bill to sustain and expand a proven approach to improving the “ninth grade on track rate” for high schools around the state. Ninth grade is a pivotal year, and being “on track” in ninth grade is a strong predictor of on-time high school graduation.
- Debt Free Youth Justice – Sen Frame and Rep Farivar are sponsoring a bill that would eliminate harmful and ineffective fines and fees in juvenile court, and better serve those harmed by juvenile offenses with a Community Compensation Fund in lieu of victim restitution.
- As always, we are working with a coalition of partners in the High School Success Coalition to advance important priorities. This year our priorities include:
- Promoting learning acceleration & recovery efforts
- Improving Dual Credit equity
- Supporting effective transitions
I hope you’ll join us in our advocacy this session – with so many bills introduced, we will need EVERY voice raised in support of educational equity and racial justice. Sign up here to join us as an advocate this session!