Welcome to the start of the 2020 Washington State Legislative Session! It’s a short session this year, scheduled to run today through March 12th, so we anticipate things will be fast-paced and action-packed!
Our legislative agenda prioritizes the following three pieces of legislation, but we’ll be monitoring and supporting many more as new bills continue to be introduced. Visit our State Legislative Advocacy page to see regularly-updated information about the bills we are tracking and sign up for our Policy Action Alerts.
WSCADV PRIORITY LEGISLATION
Assistance for immigrant victims of trafficking or abuse: Expand access to critical services and support benefits for immigrants harmed by human trafficking & other serious crimes. (SB 5164)
Immigrant victims of trafficking and abuse are frequently trapped in dangerous situations and vulnerable to further exploitation because they struggle to meet basic needs. Increasing access to food, medical, and economic supports while these survivors apply for federal assistance can improve lives, promote community safety, and reduce further victimization.
This bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation this Thursday, and WSCADV plans to testify in support alongside our allies from Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network.
Comprehensive sexual & relationship health education: Support domestic violence prevention by expanding access to comprehensive sexual and relationship health education in schools. (HB 2184)
Domestic violence is preventable when young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills to create and maintain healthy relationships. Current state standards for sexual health education include strong provisions for information about healthy relationships and consent, but many young people across Washington are not able to access this education under the current inconsistent state law.
This bill is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Committee on Education this Thursday as well, and WSCADV plans to testify in support.
Working Families Tax Credit: Increase economic stability for survivors and other low-income Washingtonians.
One of the main reasons people stay with an abusive partner is that they don’t have the money to support themselves or their children. The Working Families Tax Credit—Washington’s version of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit—would put cash in the hands of low-income Washingtonians. Access to an additional $350 has been shown to help survivors in our state find safety and stability by covering things like car repairs needed to keep a job, or changing the locks so they can safely stay in their own home.
Get involved! Join us for Domestic Violence Virtual Advocacy Day on January 28th! Learn more and register today.