News

New law ensures access to vital services for families

New law ensures access to vital services for families

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] OLYMPIA – Families that rely on Washington’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program will see an additional boost in benefits along with clarified expectations under legislation signed into law today by Gov. Inslee. Senate Bill 5214, sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle), will allow more families to continue using the vital social program during times of high statewide unemployment. The new law will allow for hardship extensions beyond the 60-month lifetime TANF limit if state unemployment is at or above 7 percent. “Even before the public health crisis we are currently in, it was clear that our ...

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Governor approves Wilson bill to improve reentry services

Governor approves Wilson bill to improve reentry services

  OLYMPIA Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation that will improve public safety by ensuring access to services for formerly incarcerated or confined individuals reentering the community. Senate Bill 5304, sponsored by Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), will provide a “warm handoff” when someone leaves custody and rejoins the community by allowing them to be covered by Medicaid upon their release from incarceration or confinement. It will also ensure that their managed care provider is notified of their release and given the necessary information to initiate their benefits. "Healthcare coverage during this transition will give people access to services ...

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Governor signs historic legislation expanding access to childcare

Governor signs historic legislation expanding access to childcare

  OLYMPIA Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation that will address one of the leading challenges for Washington households by dramatically increasing the accessibility and affordability of childcare while stabilizing and expanding an industry in crisis. “Childcare is a major concern for the vast majority of households in Washington,” said Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), the bill’s sponsor. “This new law will help parents keep their jobs and the salaries they need to take care of their families by increasing access to affordable, quality childcare.” Pre-pandemic, the Child Care Collaborative Task Force reported that the childcare crisis was costing ...

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Inslee signs capital gains excise tax into law

Inslee signs capital gains excise tax into law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2021 OLYMPIA – Earlier today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a critical piece of tax reform legislation. Senate Bill 5096, sponsored by Sen. June Robinson, D-Everett, enacts a capital gains excise tax to fund the expansion and affordability of child care, early learning, and the state’s paramount duty to provide an education for the children of Washington. “This important step to rebuild our unfair tax code was taken after years of work, years of dialogue, and thousands of voices calling for this policy,” said Robinson, who also serves as the Operating & Revenue Vice Chair ...

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Das bill expanding affordable housing development becomes law

Das bill expanding affordable housing development becomes law

OLYMPIA – A bill signed today by Gov. Jay Inslee extends the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) to expand affordable housing building incentives. “Now more than ever, we need to advance solutions to our housing crisis and get – or keep – a roof over our neighbors’ heads,” said Sen. Mona Das (D-Kent), the sponsor of the bill. “This bill was a top priority for our community, and a broad coalition of local lawmakers, low-income housing advocates, associations of cities and counties, and housing developers came together to see this through.” In Washington, where there are only 29 affordable ...

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Sen. Claire Wilson receives national Sex Education Champion award

Sen. Claire Wilson receives national Sex Education Champion award

  OLYMPIA – Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn) received the State Sex Education Champion award late Wednesday from SIECUS, a national organization that advocates for and advances comprehensive sexuality education policies. The State Sex Education Champion award recognizes leaders who speak to the importance of all people receiving comprehensive sexuality education and quality sexual and reproductive health services that affirm their identities and allow them to access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom, as they define it for themselves. The award recognizes long-term outcomes will positively impact all levels of society, particularly around issues of gender and racial equity, sexuality, ...

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Darneille bill requiring investigation of in-custody deaths signed into law

Darneille bill requiring investigation of in-custody deaths signed into law

  OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation today that requires a fatality review following any unexpected death in a Washington jail or prison. Senate Bill 5119, sponsored by Sen. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma), requires prisons and local jails across Washington to conduct a fatality review any time an individual who is incarcerated dies unexpectedly or when the Office of Corrections Ombuds flags a case for review. The new law establishes a process for convening a fatality review, including a requirement that the team carrying out the review be made up of people with specific expertise and no involvement in ...

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Governor approves resentencing for life sentences given based on old law

Governor approves resentencing for life sentences given based on old law

OLYMPIA – Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation requiring resentencing for individuals sentenced to life without parole due to a conviction for robbery in the second degree. In 1993, Washington became the first state to adopt a three-strikes law requiring sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOP) upon conviction of a third “most serious offense.” But robbery in the second degree was removed from the list of most serious offenses after the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5288 in 2019, rendering it no longer a three-strikes offense. As passed, however, that bill did not ...

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Governor signs bill to increase access to computer science degrees

Governor signs bill to increase access to computer science degrees

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law today that allows community and technical colleges in Washington to offer bachelor’s degrees in computer science. Senate Bill 5401, sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle), creates more options for Washington students to earn degrees and enter the competitive computer science workforce. “Allowing our community colleges to offer these degrees will extend opportunities to so many of our neighbors,” said Nguyen. “With all the talented people living in our state, it’s so important that we provide options and paths forward.” Washington’s Employment Security Department estimates that more than ...

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Billig: “The 2021 legislative session saw the end of incremental change and the beginning of a fundamental transformation”

Billig: “The 2021 legislative session saw the end of incremental change and the beginning of a fundamental transformation”

“When we began this session 105 days ago, we had a choice.  We could come in to do the minimum and get out of town. Instead, we chose to rise to the moment as a Legislature and as a state and invest in robust, long-term recovery that works for everyone.” “We listened. We acted. The 2021 legislative session saw the end of incremental change and the beginning of a fundamental transformation to institutions that were always intended to work for people but too often fell short. “We addressed tax reform through the Working Families Tax Credit for Washingtonians struggling ...

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