Legislative Update | Week of January 10, 2022

Roz Thompson, Governmental Relations & Advocacy Director, AWSP
Jan 13, 2022

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The saying that short legislative sessions are like sprints and long legislative sessions are like running marathons is completely true! This week, the 2022 legislative session got off to a rapid start. With about 1,500 bills either recently introduced or leftover from last year and more on the way, bill hearings began right away on Monday and both the House and Senate began voting bills out of their respective chambers on Wednesday.

Hearings on the Governor’s supplemental budget (which provides a starting point for the final adjusted budget of the 2021–23 biennium) took place in both Appropriations and Ways and Means early in the week. I supported the budget, specifically for the investment in updating the prototypical funding model ratios for support staff positions such as nurses, counselors, social workers, and psychologists.

Besides several other significant budget items, we are thrilled Governor Inslee’s budget includes $52 million for outdoor education for 5th and 6th-grade students all across the state.

Since our state has a substantial surplus — as well as unspent money from federal relief funds — there should be a way to keep school funding stable and support some additional funding needs, like permanently updating the critical staffing section in the prototypical model. But how the different pieces of this very complicated school funding puzzle all fit together by the end of this session is still to be determined.

Here are important budget and policy bills I am tracking and weighing in on, either by remote or written testimony.

Budget Bills

Policy Bills

  • HB 1162 | High School Graduation
  • HB 1611 | Highly Capable Students
  • HB 1699 | Increasing Hours for Retired School Workers
  • HB 1759 | Health and Safety Information on Websites
  • HB 1760 | Dual Credit Program Access
  • HB 1800 | Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Services for Minors
  • HB 1829 | African American Studies
  • HB 1834 | Student Absences for Mental Health
  • HB 1835 | FAFSA/WAFSA Completion Initiatives
  • HB 1938 | Student Financial Education
  • HB 1941 | Active Shooter Drills
  • HB 1942 | Paraeducator Course of Study
  • SB 5487 | Small District Consolidation
  • SB 5497 | Student Board of Education Members
  • SB 5537 | Compulsory School Attendance
  • SB 5719 | Dual Credit Costs
  • SB 5720 | Student Financial Literacy
  • SB 5734 | Student PE and Health Requirements

A huge thank you to Derek Forbes, Principal at Meridian High School and your AWSP Advocacy Council Chair, for testifying this week on adding a performance exhibition pathway to graduation requirements as described in HB 1162.

In this remote environment, it’s easy to sign up to share your voice in public hearings. Learn more about testifying remotely. If there is a bill you are passionate about and you’re interested in testifying on behalf of AWSP, let me know.

Anyone can be an advocate and our “Virtual Week on the Hill” will be January 31 – February 4, 2022. Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved. Thank you for all that you are doing to support students and staff!

  • Budget
  • Leg Update
  • Advocacy & Legislation
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