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  • Legislative Update for January 29, 2021

    Jan 29, 2021
    Week three of the legislative session ended today. We saw some of the first floor action this week with several critical bills passing the House and Senate floors. Both houses promised these “early action” bills. One of them is HB 1121, which is the graduation waiver bill. The other is SB 5044 which would add equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism to existing cultural competency standards and training for school board directors, district staff, and school staff on one of three state funded professional days.
  • Retirement & Health Benefits for January 29, 2021

    Jan 29, 2021
    Hearings are being held every day and the challenge is to communicate one’s position within the one minute typically given to testify. Because of the limited time given for public testimony, constant phone and email correspondence with legislators remains critical this session.
  • Legislature Introduces the Fair Start Act for Young Children

    Jan 25, 2021
    High-quality childcare and early learning experiences are essential for children and their families. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, finding care has been very difficult for many and the Legislature intends to address this issue through the Fair Start Act (HB 1213/SB 5237 which are companion bills).  The Fair Start Act, sponsored by both Rep. Tana Senn and Sen. Claire Wilson, establishes a new fund that would expand access to affordable childcare by increasing eligibility and decreasing copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
  • Legislative Update for January 22, 2021

    Jan 22, 2021
    Here in Olympia, there seems to be a constant stream of bills that will eventually have hearings dropping each day. There are also budget discussions taking place for how and when districts will receive the second round of federal dollars for K–12 education along with how the state funding will continue to support schools. And, we are hearing from President Biden there might be a third round of funding from the federal government. The short version, I believe, is that funding will be stable for next school year. How that all gets sorted out, however, remains to be seen. An important concern we’ve shared with legislators is making sure the dollars driven to specific programs that are dependent upon enrollment numbers like levy equalization (LEA), learning assistance (LAP), skills centers, institutional education, special education, hi-cap, and more, stay steady as well.
  • Retirement & Health Benefits for January 22, 2021

    Jan 22, 2021
    Even though the Democrat leadership has asked members to limit the number of bills they introduce, clearly, they and their Republican counterparts didn’t listen. Even so, the reality, however, given that the session is an entirely virtual one, is that just a fraction of these bills will make it through the process compared to previous sessions.

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Roz Thompson | Government Relations & Advocacy Director | (800) 562-6100

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