Washington's 2018 Legislative Wrap-Up
The Washington State Legislature finished its business on time, including several wins for families and kids
Pictured above: Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and Spokane City Police Chief Craig Meidl meet with State Representative Jacquelin Maycumber.
After years of extended sessions, the Washington State Legislature finished its business on schedule for the first time since 2014.
While 2018’s short, 60-day session primarily focused on adopting a supplemental budget, the Legislature took action on a number of policy areas.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ 2018 priorities included expanding home visiting, ensuring quality out of school time activities for youth, and growing access to quality early learning experiences.
Some of the key outcomes our members helped secure include:
Increased Home Visiting Funding
An ongoing $2.3 million investment in home visiting which will expand access for 275 families a year. This represents a 40% increase in state funding for home visiting. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids also supported legislation that calls for exploration of new funding streams for home visiting to further expand access.
Expanded Learning Opportunities
$750,000 to support another one-year continuation of an expanded learning opportunity pilot that aims to increase the quality of programs that help steer youth from crime.
Support for Early Learning Facilities
A more than $10 million investment in the capital budget for early learning facilities. This will help address the infrastructure gap and ensure there are more preschool classrooms available. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids also supported legislation that brings more flexibility to the income requirements for the state’s preschool program, which will particularly benefit rural communities.
Investment in the Department of Children, Youth and Families
Continued investment in the infrastructure for the new Department of Children, Youth and Families, including transfer of administration of the child care subsidy program from the Department of Social and Health Services to the new department. This will ensure better coordination of services and ultimately is designed to improve outcomes for kids and their families.