The WDA Legislative Advocacy Program
2016 Legislative Session
All in all this was a fairly quiet legislative session, although the Legislature did require a special session to address budget issues as they were unable to come to agreement within the 60 allotted days. It was expected that they might address the larger impending budget crisis, but instead neatly side-stepped it by deferring the school funding issue for one further year. They did, however, appropriate additional funding for mental health services and provided a slight increase to the State Office of Public Defense's budget to cover unexpected costs for expert services in 71.09 cases. Although we were not successful in expanding eligibility for DOSA, and passing the Fair Chance Act, which would prohibit employers from asking about arrests or convictions before an applicant is determined otherwise qualified for a position, we were successful in stopping or moderating a number of pieces of damaging legislation.
Here is a link to bills that passed this session: 2016 Legislative Session Bill Summary.
Further information on the legislature and the legislative session may be found at
- State Website: http://www.leg.wa.gov/legislature; or
- Bill information: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/.
If you are interested in participating in the committee or have questions about our legislative program, please contact Christie Hedman at 206-623-4321.