This week marked the first major deadline of legislative session – all bills had to receive a vote in the policy committee by Wednesday 1/31. We are now racing towards the second major cutoff – all bills that have a projected cost greater than $50,000 must receive a hearing and vote in a fiscal committee by Monday 2/5. The fiscal committees are meeting all day Saturday and Monday to try and move through as many bills as possible.
Stand WA Priority Bills:
- HB 2053 (Ninth Grade Success Initiative) has received a hearing in a fiscal committee but has not yet been scheduled for a vote. If it doesn’t receive a vote by Monday the bill won’t advance, but we can still advocate for funding in the budget.
- SB 5974 (eliminating uncollectible juvenile court debt) was voted out of the Senate this week with a strong bipartisan vote. This is great news and means the bill is moving well ahead of schedule! It now needs to move through the process in the House of Representatives.
Other important priorities:
- Stand WA convenes the High School Success Coalition, which is prioritizing bills that support high school students to access post-secondary opportunities this session.
- HB 2214 would ensure those receiving food benefits (such as SNAP) are automatically qualified for the Washington College Grant. This bill was heard in House appropriations yesterday and is scheduled for a vote on Saturday.
- HB 2025 would expand the number of students participating in the state work study program working in college access programs. It is scheduled for a hearing in House Appropriations on Saturday and for a vote on Monday. Sign in Pro here!
- SB 5904 would align timeframes for state financial aid programs with federal financial aid programs, reducing confusion for students and removing barriers to completing their degree. It received a hearing in Senate Ways & Means but has not yet been scheduled for a vote.
- SB 6254 would expand college navigation and financial aid counseling for students. It has a hearing scheduled on Saturday in Senate Ways & Means, but has not yet been scheduled for a vote. Sign in “pro” here!
Tune into tvw.org to watch the Appropriations and Ways & Means committees live this weekend and Monday, and we will provide an update on bill status next week.
Government Affairs Director