The 2015 Washington State Legislative Session was a big success for children’s issues!
Children’s Campaign Fund applauds the Washington Senate and House of Representatives for supporting sound and effective legislation that will help children succeed.
We are thrilled to report that the elected CCF Champions for Children offered bipartisan support for the Children’s Campaign Fund legislative priorities.
We give our gratitude to the Champions for Children for their leadership to help pass the Early Start Act (SB 5452), Anti-sex Trafficking (SB 5884), YEAR Act (SB 5564), Homeless Youth Act (SB 5404), and Extended Foster Care (SB 5740).
The 2015 CCF Champions include: Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D), 36th Rep. Judy Clibborn (D), 41st Rep. Frank Chopp (D),43rd Rep. Eileen Cody (D), 34th Rep. Hans Dunshee (D), 44th Sen. Joe Fain (R), 47th Sen. David Frockt (D), 46th Rep. Roger Goodman (D), 45th Sen. Cyrus Habib (D), 48th Sen. Andy Hill (R), 45th Rep. Ross Hunter (D), 48th Rep. Ruth Kagi (D), 32nd Sen. Karen Keiser (D), 33rd Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D), 36th Sen. Sharon Nelson (D), 34th Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D), 21st Rep. Kevin Parker (R), 6th Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D), 37th Rep. June Robinson (D), 38th Rep. Tana Senn (D), 41st Rep. Pat Sullivan (D), 47th Rep. Maureen Walsh (R), 16th
Early Start Act, Senate Bill 5452
Sponsors: Sen. Steve Litzow (prime sponsor), and Senators Billig, Fain, Dammeier, Hargrove, Hill, Rivers, Brown, Mullet, Frockt, Jayapal, Angel, Cleveland, Kohl-Welles, Keiser, McAuliffe and Habib
More Washington children will enter elementary school prepared because of the Early Start Art. The landmark legislation, which garnered bipartisan support, provides parents and guardians access to high-quality early learning programs for preschool-age children. It sets quality standards for early learning and provides support to early learning educators across Washington state.
Anti-sex Traffiicking, Senate Bill 5884
Sponsors: Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (prime sponsor), and Senators Darneille, Padden, Keiser, Conway, Chase and Hasegawa
With the creation of a human trafficking information clearinghouse and activating the Washington State Task Force on the Trafficking of Persons, our state continues the fight against human exploitation.
The clearinghouse serves the many groups working to combat human trafficking, and helps them share resources and collaborate to curb trafficking. This bill also reauthorizes the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Statewide Coordinating Committee to continue to address increasing protections for exploited youth by examining local and regional practices and data as well as making recommendations on Washington laws and practices.
YEAR Act, Senate Bill 5564
Sponsored: Sen. Steve O'Ban (prime sponsor), and Senators Darneille, Miloscia, Hargrove, Kohl-Welles, Fain, Jayapal, Brown, Habib, Dammeier, Frockt, Litzow, Warnick, Hasegawa, and McAuliffe
The YEAR Act, designed to give low-income youth with juvenile records more opportunities, allows automatic sealing of juvenile offense records for youth without regard to ability to pay legal financial obligations. It eliminates many of the court fines and fees that create a financial burden and barriers to seal records for juvenile non-violent offenders.
Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection (HYPP) Act, Senate Bill 5404
Sponsors: Sen. Steve O'Ban (prime sponsor), and Senators Darneille, Frockt, Miloscia, Kohl-Welles, McAuliffe, Chase, Pedersen, and Conway
The HYPP Act creates the Office of Youth Homelessness responsible for safety and housing services for homeless youth. Working in accord with the Washington Youth and Families Fund, the office oversees investments in stable housing, education and employment opportunities, and addresses the wellbeing of young people experiencing homelessness.
Extended Foster Care (EFC), Senate Bill 5740
Sponsors: Sen. Joe Fain (prime sponsor), and Senators Billig, Litzow, McAuliffe, Frockt, Miloscia, Darneille and Jayapal
This bill helps young adults aging out of Washington’s foster care system with safe and appropriate housing support. It supports youth in foster care as they transition into adulthood with the resources necessary to achieve educational and professional goals.
While two other Children’s Campaign Fund 2015 legislative priorities, Social Emotional Learning Bill (HB 1760, SB 5688) and Breakfast After the Bell (HB 1295, SB 5437), were not signed into law, CCF considers the bipartisan efforts by the House and Senate on behalf of these bills and their inclusion into the 2015 budget a success for children.