We advocate for positive changes that improve Washington State’s response to domestic violence and increase survivors’ options for safety and independence. We do this through tracking bills, lobbying in Olympia, and informing and mobilizing our membership to take action on important policy and budget issues.
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2023 Legislative Session
Survivor households are facing increased levels of violence, fewer options, and cascading struggles that were only exacerbated by the pandemic. Domestic violence programs throughout the state are experiencing large caseloads and requests for services while facing funding cuts, more complex survivor needs, an affordable housing crisis, and staffing challenges. Multiple domestic violence programs have seen more than a 50% increase in calls since the beginning of the pandemic, and requests for legal services and housing assistance have greatly increased. Continuation of domestic violence services and safety for survivors and their children are central to our policy advocacy.
Session ran from January 9 to April 24, 2023. This report is a summary of a handful of bills we worked on during the 2023 session. Our top priority was a joint $132 Million budget request with other crime victim services organizations in hopes that the State would make a commitment to invest in survivor services long-term.
The 2023-2025 Operating Budget allocates additional funding for domestic violence and crime victim services, including $8 Million per year of additional ongoing funding for DV emergency shelter contracts, $41.3 Million of one-time funding for crime victim services to help stave off federal funding cuts, and $750,000 of one-time funding (in SFY24) for DV shelters. It also establishes a work group to examine state funding for gender-based violence services and how to establish long-term sustainable funding streams. Governor Inslee signed the budget on May 16, 2023.
Previous Legislative Sessions
To view summaries of previous sessions of the Washington State Legislature, please see the “Public Policy” section of our Resource Library.
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