Friday, February 27 marked the second cutoff for bills that passed out of committees to Senate Ways & Means or House Appropriations and have fiscal notes. Most of our priority bills are still alive (see below)! But they need YOUR attention and action as the next cutoff date for all bills is Wednesday, March 11, by when they must be voted off the floor and moved to the other chamber. Let’s advocate together to ensure that the 3,772 unsheltered homeless individuals counted in King County have a place to stay & to help 32,494 students statewide who experienced homelessness in the 2013-2014 school year.
Phone calls and emails from Coalition members and friends have been making a HUGE difference down in Olympia. Thank you so much for being active. We hope you’ll keep getting messages to your legislators throughout the entire session!
Take 5: call the Legislative Hotline to leave a message for your representatives and let them know what bills you support and also urge them to invest $100 Million in the Housing Trust Fund. These bills and budget asks are crucial to helping people experiencing homelessness in our community. Hotline Number: 1-800-562-6000 – real (and kind) people answer the phone! Hotline Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-8pm
KEY LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES updated 3/2/2015:
Please use this table to see the progress of bills that are part of our Legislative Priorities throughout the 2015 Legislative Session. For further information about bills and links to one-pagers please scroll below the table. Note that many bills are in both the Senate (SB) and House (HB) and therefore have their own rows in the table. Feel free to sort!
|Bill Name||Bill Number||2/20/2015 Status||2/27/2015 Status||3/5/2015 CURRENT STATUS|
|Homeless Student Stability Act (House)||HB 1682||ALIVE - amended and passed out of Education Committee on Tuesday, February 17 and referred to Appropriations Committee.||ALIVE - amended and passed out of Appropriations Committee on Friday, February 27.||ALIVE - Placed on second reading by Rules Committee 3/4.|
|Homeless Youth Act (House)||HB 1436||ALIVE - Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday, February 24 at 1:30pm.||ALIVE - amended and passed out of Appropriations Committee, referred to Rules 2 Review on February 27.||ALIVE - VOTED & PASSED 62 - 36! on 3/4.|
|Homeless Youth Act (Senate)||SB 5404||ALIVE - Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Tuesday, February 24 at 1:30pm.||ALIVE - Amended and passed out of Ways & Means Committee on February 27. Passed to Rules Committee.||ALIVE - Placed on second reading by Rules Committee 3/4.|
|Fair Tenant Screening Act (House)||HB 1257||ALIVE - amended and passed out of Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 12 and referred to Rules Committee.||ALIVE - February 27 - Placed on second reading by Rules Committee||ALIVE - VOTED & PASSED 51-47! on 3/5|
|Truth in Eviction Reporting (Senate)||SB 5376||ALIVE - amended and passed out of Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee on Thursday, February 19 and referred to Rules Committee.||ALIVE - February 23 - Placed on second reading by Rules Committee.||ALIVE - TAKE ACTION (see below) 2/23 - Placed on second reading by Rules Committee.|
|Youth Equality and Reintegration (YEAR) Act (House)||HB 1481||ALIVE - Scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on General Government & Information Technology Wednesday, February 25 at 8:00am.||ALIVE - Referred to Rules 2 Review on February 27||ALIVE - Placed on second reading by Rules Committee 3/3|
|Youth Equality and Reintegration (YEAR) Act (Senate)||SB 5564||ALIVE - Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means Tuesday, February 24 at 1:30pm.||ALIVE - Passed out of Senate Ways & Means on February 27. Passed to Rules Committee.||ALIVE - Placed on second reading by Rules Committee 3/4.|
|Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) Act (House)||HB 1553||ALIVE - Heard, amended and passed in the House Public Safety Committee. It was sent to Rules and is now on the floor calendar awaiting a vote.||ALIVE - Heard, amended and passed in the House Public Safety Committee. It was sent to Rules and is now on the floor calendar awaiting a vote.||ALIVE - VOTED & PASSED in House 97-0! HSB 1553 referred to Senate Law & Justice Committee on 3/3.|
|Extend Foster Care (House)||HB 1735||ALIVE - to be heard in Appropriations Committee on Feburary 24 at 1:30pm.||ALIVE - amended and passed out of Appropriations Committee on February 27. Referred to Rules 2 Review||ALIVE - VOTED & PASSED 83-15! on 3/5.|
|Extend Foster Care (Senate)||SB 5740||ALIVE - Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on February 25 at 1:30pm.||ALIVE - Amended and passed out of Ways & Means Committee on February 27. Passed to Rules Committee||ALIVE - Passed to Rules Committee 2/27 for second reading.|
|Increasing Efficiency in child care reporting||SB 5098||ALIVE - Referred to Ways & Means||ALIVE - amended and passed to Rules Committee for second reading 2/27||ALIVE - Placed on second reading by Rules Committee March 3|
|Homeless Student Stability Act (Senate)||SB 5065||ALIVE - amended and passed out of Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee on Tuesday, January 20 and referred to Ways & Means Committee.||ALIVE - needs to be voted out of Ways & Means Committee.||DEAD - however one provision requiring better data from OSPI about unaccompanied youth was amended onto the Homeless Youth Act.|
|Source of Income Discrimination Protection (House)||HB 1565||DEAD - was not passed by Judiciary Committee.||DEAD||DEAD|
|Source of Income Discrimination Protection (Senate)||SB 5378||DEAD - was never heard by Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee.||DEAD||DEAD|
|Fair Tenant Screening Act (Senate)||SB 5123||DEAD - was not passed by Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee.||DEAD||DEAD|
|Truth in Eviction Reporting (House)||HB 1460||DEAD - was not passed by the Judiciary Committee.||DEAD||DEAD|
ENSURE a fairer system for Tenants and Landlords:
- Fair Tenant Screening Act (SB 5123 / HB 1257):
- Finding a new home or place to rent is hard and usually people apply for more than one place. Currently the average renter will have to pay for three or more tenant screening reports during this process. The Fair Tenant Screening Act would create the a portable tenant screening report process where a renter could buy (one time) a standard online tenant screening report and provide access to the report to multiple landlords.Pass the Fair Tenant Screening Act to make the tenant screening process more affordable and fair for both tenants and landlords.
- ACTION ALERT!!! Lawmakers who will be voting on the Fair Tenant Screening Act (HB 1257) and Truth in Evictions Reporting Act (SB 5376) have been hearing more from lobbyists against the bills than those of us who are in favor. We encourage you to again share your messages and let them know that many people in our community do support these bills and urge them to vote yes!
- SB 5123 (Frockt) Status: DEAD
HB 1257 (Walkinshaw) Status: ALIVE
- Truth in Eviction reporting (SB 5376 / HB 1460)
- Currently, a tenant can be caught in a landlord’s foreclosure, win an appeal, be wrongfully named, settle to the landlord’s satisfaction, or not be evicted. Despite this, their names still appear with an eviction on their report, which usually results in landlords being reluctant to take them as tenants. Tenant screening reports should only name evictions when the tenant has actually been evicted.
- SB 5376 (Habib) Status: ALIVE
HB 1460 (Robinson) Status: DEAD
- Homeless Student Stability Act (HB 1682 / SB 5065)
- SUPPORT Homeless Students: Pass the Homeless Student Stability Act
- Invests in stability for homeless students using a two-pronged approach: 1) provides funding for school districts to serve homeless students. School funding is designed to match the federal dollars received under McKinney-Vento; 2) creates a grant program serving up to 15 school districts interested in creating school-housing partnerships that will directly increase housing stability for homeless students and families. Funds can be used for housing vouchers, rapid rehousing, host homes, or other programs based on local need and community preference. Partnerships will be data-driven and targeted to improve stability and academic performance of homeless students.
- PREVENT Youth Homelessness:
- Pass the Youth Equality and Reintegration (YEAR) Act (HB 1481 / SB 5564), allowing youth who made non-violent mistakes to access housing and employment;
- Extend Foster Care (HB 1735 / SB 5740) for youth with significant medical conditions so that these individuals have a safe place to stay while transitioning to adulthood;
- Pass the Homeless Youth Act (HB 1436 / SB 5404). Successfully addressing youth homelessness ensures that homeless youth and young adults in our state have the support they need to thrive and avoid more costly outcomes in the criminal justice system, human trafficking, long-term dependence on public benefits, or chronic adult homelessness.
- Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) Act (HB 1553)
- Increase efficiency in child care reporting (SB 5098)
- This legislation would streamline a family’s reporting requirements regarding changes to family’s circumstance in order to ensure stability and quality of care for children from low-income households.
- SB 5098 (Billing) Status: ALIVE
- Source of Income Discrimination Protection bill (SB 5378 / HB 1565)
- This legislation would prohibit discrimination in housing based on participation in government assistance programs. Many rental ads now list “not accepting Section 8,” referring to those receiving assistance with their rent. These tenants should be subject to screening checks just like any other tenant, but Section 8 status alone is no reason to prevent a prospective tenant from even applying.
- SB 5378 (Kohl-Welles) Status: DEAD
HB 1565 (Ormsby) Status: DEAD
KEY BUDGET PRIORITIES updated 3/2/2015:
- State Housing Trust Fund:
- Invest $100 million to create good homes and local jobs through our State Housing Trust Fund
- The Governor invested $100 million for affordable housing. Tell your Representatives and Senator to do the same!
- Housing & Essential Needs (HEN), Aged, Blind, & Disabled (ABD) and SSI Facilitation
- PROTECT Crucial Programs & Prevent Homelessness for disabled and elderly Washingtonians: Maintain Housing & Essential Needs (HEN), Aged, Blind, & Disabled (ABD) and SSI Facilitation at current funding levels. Seniors and people with disabilities must be able to meet their basic needs and access recovery resources.
- The Governor did not cut or increase HEN/ABD! Make sure to tell your Representatives and Senator to protect these vital programs.
- RESTORE the 15% cut to Families receiving TANF:
- Washington’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) system provides struggling families with children a modest cash grant to help meet their basic needs, such as housing, clothing, and health items. Many in our communities rely on this vital program to put food on their tables and provide for their children.
- During the 2011 Legislative Session, the TANF cash grant was reduced by 15%. It is high time to take action and RESTORE the 15% cut from 2011. This will increase the grant for a family of 3 from $478 to $562, providing critical resources to our poorest families.
- Columbia Legal Services TANF information
- The Governor’s budget did not restore the grant. However, significantly it didn’t cut it either. Tell your Representatives and Senator to restore TANF in their budgets!
- Legislators must include new revenue, not more cuts, in the budget! Over the past four years, the legislature has cut over $10.5 billion, but has increased revenue by less than $1 billion. As the state House & Senate work to balance the budget for the next two years, programs and services that support the most vulnerable members of our communities are again on the chopping block. Since the Great Recession hit in 2008, we have cut more services than at any time in our state’s history. These cuts damage our state’s ability to create jobs and recover from the recession, and they balance the budget on the backs of people who already struggle the most.
- Medicaid Permanent Supportive Housing Services
- With a Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit, supportive housing providers could bill Medicaid for supportive services provided to eligible residents. This would allow more chronically homeless people to access services, improve the integration of behavioral and health care, and would help individuals with severe and chronic health issues stay off the street and live in a healthy home.
- Not funded in the Governor’s Budget. Tell your Representatives and Senator to fund this in their budgets!
Thank you for calling your legislators and showing your support for these legislative priorities! Please check our blog for timely updates, sign up for Action Alerts on our website, and visit the websites of these great state level advocacy organizations who put together the one-pagers we use: Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, Columbia Legal Services, The Mockingbird Society. Statewide Poverty Action Network. Happy Advocating!