This is an exciting week in Olympia. With many bills starting to move to the House and Senate floor, housing and homeless advocates will be working the Capitol hallways side-by-side with advocates for the United Ways of Washington's agenda and full funding of the 2-1-1 Washington Information Network. Read on for details and how you can get involved, even if you're not coming to Olympia this week.
Legislature Prepares to Move Bills to Floor for Further Consideration
Attention shifts from committee work to floor deliberations as the House and Senate consider bills that have already passed committees from the originating legislative body. Several of the bills we've been following on our tracking list are still located in budget and financial committees, such as SB 5437 which would expand the eligibility of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program. The Senate Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to consider the bill for passage this Thursday but there is no guarantee it will be brought up for a vote. Click this to let your delegation know of your interest in this bill or contact them directly.
Bill Will Create Dedicated Fund for the 2-1-1 Washington Information Network
State Rep. Larry Springer (D- Kirkland), House Deputy Majority Leader, introduced a bill this week that will create an account for operational funding of the Washington information network 211 organization. HB 2126 creates a dedicated account and requires that every fiscal year, an amount of no less than $2 million collected from the Washington Telephone Assistance program be transferred into the 211 account. The bill, introduced on Tuesday, was referred to House Appropriations Committee and likely will be considered with other bills associated with the budget.
If You Can't Be There in Person - Be There Virtually
You can still be part of the United Way Lobby Day on Thursday even if you're not coming to Olympia. Participating United Ways of Washington are joining the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance and the Washington 2-1-1 network for an in-person advocacy push on that day and you can help. Thursday is a great day for you to contact your legislative district and support bills from our tracking list. Getting your calls along with in-person visits will be a nice way to indicate broad support for our agenda. Calling your legislator directly is more effective but you can also simply call the toll-free hotline - 1-800-562-6000.