As usual for a short 60-day session, this year’s state Legislature is experiencing a flurry of activity as it approaches the end of its second week. Including new bills that build off of the work of our United Ways. Check it out!
House Bill Would Create Imagination Library Program for Washington
House Bill 2068 would create in state law a program currently being piloted by the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest – Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has provided a $2.3 million grant to UWPNW that will allow it to facilitate statewide participation in this nationwide literacy inspiration program that provides free age-appropriate books to children up to age five. The bill was introduced on Dolly Parton’s birthday today – News Release!
Legislative Explores a Guaranteed Basic Income Program
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, several House Democrats introduced a bill that would create the Evergreen Trust fund which would pay a basic amount to adult applicants whose gross income does not exceed 50 percent of area median income. HB 2009 references communities, such as Tacoma, that are “leading local guaranteed basic income pilot projects across Washington.” Known as the Guaranteed Income Program or GRIT, the pilot program was initiated and run by the City of Tacoma and the United Way of Pierce County. First GRIT checks were issued in December.
House Committee Considers Creating the Washington Future Fund
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Housing, Human Services and Veterans held a public hearing on HB 1861 which would create the Washington Future Fund Trust Fund to provide a sum of money in a savings and investment account for individuals born into families with limited means for the purpose of postsecondary education, purchasing a home, or starting a business, provided the individual meets certain eligibility requirements and makes a claim for funds at the age of 18 through 30.
Continued Look at Landlord-Tenant Relationship
With eviction moratoriums ended or approaching their end in some areas, the Legislature continues to review proposals that address rent increases and evictions. This week the House Committee on Housing, Human Services and Veterans heard testimony on HB 1904 which would require six months notice on rent increases of three percent or more. The bill also limits late fee charges. Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Housing and Local Government is scheduled to act on SB 5576 which would make some changes to eviction notices and summons forms.
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