The WDA Legislative Advocacy Program
2016 Legislative Session
2016 is a short 60-day session and, as it is an election year, it is expected the session will end on time. (Legislators who are seeking re-election face campaign restrictions during and immediately after the legislative session so they have an incentive to keep the session short.) Whether it ends on time depends upon reaching budget compromises on funding for education in response to the McCleary decision as well as addressing Western State Hospital issues and funding for other programs and services. With the House in the control of the Democrats and the Senate in the hands of the Republicans, it is anyone’s guess as to how they will arrive at a budget. We have received reassurances that they are not looking at cuts to existing programs; however, we’ll be keeping a close eye on WDA and indigent defense funding.
Our proactive priority legislative focus is upon indigent defense funding, expanding eligibility for DOSA, and the Fair Chance Act, which would prohibit employers from asking about arrests or convictions before an applicant is determined otherwise qualified for a position.
How can you help? The WDA/WACDL Legislative Committee meets weekly at 12:15 pm on Fridays during the session and we are seeking members to participate in committee activities or to testify.
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.