February 19th was the cutoff for bills to be approved in their “house of origin” (the house in which the bill was introduced). Three of WSCADV’s priority bills cleared that hurdle:
- SB 5164, which would provide food, medical, and cash assistance to immigrant survivors who are victims of trafficking and other serious crimes. WSCADV and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project testified in front of the House Committee on Human Services & Early Learning in support of SB 5164 this morning.
- SB 5395, legislation that would require all public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education, including education about consent and healthy relationships. Thanks to everyone who responded to yesterday’s Action Alert and called their representatives to urge their support of this bill to prevent domestic and sexual violence. Didn’t get a chance to call yesterday? No worries – we could still really use your help! Follow these steps and make your voice heard!
- HB 2567, prohibiting warrantless civil arrests of people in Washington courthouses. This is a critical protection for immigrant survivors who are not reaching out for help because federal immigration officials have been targeting immigrants for arrest in courthouses. The next step for this bill is a hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on February 25th.
These bills now must be approved by the policy committee in the “opposite house” by next Friday, February 28th to keep advancing.
We’re also very glad to report that the one bill WSCADV was opposing – HB 2806 requiring early mediation in family law cases involving children – is not moving forward this session. This legislation failed to move forward thanks to the many advocates who spoke up on behalf of the safety of survivors and their children. Our sincere gratitude to all who helped to improve legislators’ understanding of the risks that survivors face when they are pressured or forced to try to mediate family law cases with an abusive partner. Thank you! Policy advocacy works!
And finally, we closed out the week at the Washington Working Families Tax Credit rally to raise awareness about the impact it would have on survivors across our state, and testifying in support of HB 2441 to improve survivors’ access to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Catch up on the status of all the bills WSCADV is following this session by visiting our State Legislative Advocacy page.