Governor Inslee has called for a special 30 day legislative session due to the inability of the House and Senate to come to agreement on the budget. Unfortunately, this means WDA’s funding is still in limbo. We are cautiously optimistic that it will be restored in the final budget, but, watch your inbox for action alerts as we may need to remind the budget negotiators or the full legislature of the critical nature of the funding.
The regular session ends this Sunday, April 26, and there has been a flurry of late action on bills, especially those relating to mental health. Unfortunately, our higher priority issues this year including, DOSA and LFO reform as well as the Fair Chance Act (prohibiting employers from asking about convictions on job applications) all died. The current status of the bills we’ve been tracking can be found here.
With the exception of a few bills that have been identified as necessary to implement the budget, anything not passed by Sunday will be officially dead. However, while the legislature is in session they can make exceptions to their rules, it is unlikely that any policy bills that are not budget related will be resurrected during the special session.
WDA and WACDL already have submitted two veto letters, one earlier this session on competency restoration
and another one requesting a veto on a section of the medical marijuana bill
that would affect affirmative defense protections. We expect to send a number of others on the mental health bills as our concerns expressed in a joint letter to the legislature
with the ACLU earlier this month were not addressed. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Further information on the legislature and the legislative session may be found at:
If you are interested in participating in the committee or have questions about our legislative program, please contact Christie Hedman at 206-623-4321.