Legislative Session Week 2 Update

We are two weeks into the 2020 session, and have lots of news to share! This year’s session is only 60 days long, and WSCADV has hit the ground running to advocate for survivors on multiple bills.

Some highlights:

  • WSCADV’s Leigh Hofheimer testified in support of SB 5164, to provide medical, food, WSCADV's Leigh Hofheimer testifying at the State Legislatureand cash assistance to immigrant survivors who report trafficking and other serious crimes. This bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Human Services Committee earlier this week, and is now headed to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
  • The Senate passed SB 5395 to require all Washington public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education, including education about healthy relationships and affirmative consent. A similar bill (HB 2184) was also heard by the House Education Committee. WSCADV’s Amber Barcel signed in to testify in support of this bill, but there was such a huge turnout she didn’t get a chance! No worries, we know that happens, and still got some great photos and opportunities to share our message of why this is so important for preventing domestic & sexual violence.
  • No one should have to stay in an abusive relationship because they don’t have access to economic safety nets. Our team testified in support of two bills – Traci Underwood for SB 6478 and Ilene Stohl HB 2441 – to improve access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

We were also proud to join many allies to support HB 2567, the Courts Open to All Act. This bill seeks to ensure that people who are immigrants can access Washington courthouses without being arrested by immigration officials. This is critical for immigrant survivors who have reported a fear of going to court for protection orders, family law cases, and other matters because federal immigration officials have arrested immigrants in courthouses, both in Washington and across the country. When survivors are scared to reach out for help, our communities are less safe.

And there are many more bills we are supporting! Please visit our State Legislative Advocacy page to see regularly-updated information about everything we are tracking.