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2016 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Policy & Legislation

legislativewrapupThe 2016 Washington State Legislative Session wrapped up March 29th with the legislature’s passage of a supplemental budget, two weeks into a special legislative session. After being unable to reach a compromise on the budget during the regular 60-day session, Governor Jay Inslee called the special session and vetoed a record 27 bills in an attempt to force the legislature to work together on the budget. After fifteen days the legislature was able to come together on a budget deal which fully funds state activities but leaves much on the education front until 2017, and worked together to overturn the vetoes in record numbers – the first time a Governor’s veto has been overturned since the mid-1990s.

There were a few bills relating to summer and afterschool as well as school-age child care. Even though some of these bills did not become law, SOWA is excited about the progress that was made to raise the profile of this importance of afterschool and summer as critical pieces of education. Some of these bills included:

  1. SB 6371/HB 2671 – This bill exempts school-age child care programs run and funded directly by public and private schools from licensing. Any of these programs that accept subsidy are not exempt. (Senate Bill passed, awaits governor’s signature).
  1. SB 6368/HB 2690 – This bill was to create a pilot project to expand a mentoring and tutoring program in Snohomish County. (Bill did not pass).
  1. SB 6370/HB 2621 – This bill, which was controversial, would have sped up background check timelines by allowing DEL records to all CPS records. This includes unfounded allegations, however, background check staff would know those allegations were unfounded and very few individuals have access to these records. (Bill did not pass).

As we move forward into the 2017 legislative session, SOWA will continue to work at the local, state, and federal levels to continue to increase funding and awareness about the crucial role afterschool and summer play in children’s lives.  Stay up to date by signing up for our take action emails.

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