The 2021 Legislative Session ended on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Bills that passed the legislature have been sent to the governor’s office for his action to sign the bill into law, allow it to become law without his signature, and/or veto the entire bill or a portion of it. A number of bills have been signed into law and others are awaiting his signature.
You can contact your legislators by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1 800-562-6000. You can also contact them by e-mail using this format: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need to look up your legislators, use the following link to find them: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
You can contact Governor Jay Inslee to urge him to sign legislation that was passed by the legislature as well as thank him his support for the residents of WA State by speaking for and signing progressive legislation.
Policy Bills Waiting to be Signed into Law
The following priority bills have passed the legislature and are on the governor’s desk for signature:
Contact Governor Inslee and let him know you support the following bills and ask that he sign them into law.
SB 5096 Capital gains excise tax. This bill was passed out of the legislature on Sunday, April 25, 2021. This is a huge win for Washington State. This is be the most equitable change in approximately 90 years. It will affect approximately 1% of Washington’s wealthiest taxpayers but raise more than $400 million annually to invest in childcare, early learning, public schools, and higher education. This bill imposes a 7 percent tax on capital gains from long term assets beginning January 1, 2022. “Washington capital gains” are defined as an individual’s adjusted capital gains allocated to Washington state less a standard deduction of $250,000 for all filers, whether filing as an individual or jointly. The standard deduction is to be adjusted annually.
Long-term assets include intangible or tangible personal property:
- For intangible personal property, the capital gains tax will apply if the taxpayer was domiciled in Washington at the time of sale or exchange.
- For tangible personal property, the capital gains tax will apply if the property was located in Washington at the time of the sale or exchange. The sale of tangible personal property will also be subject to the state’s capital gains tax if:
- the property was located in Washington at any time during the current or immediately preceding taxable year;
- the taxpayer was a Washington resident at the time of the sale or exchange; and the sale was not subject to income or excise tax on the adjusted capital gain by another taxing jurisdiction.
The following assets are exempt from the capital gains tax:
- Real estate;
- Retirement Savings Accounts;
- Livestock if more than 50% of taxpayer’s gross income is from farming or ranching;
- Commercial fishing privileges;
- Goodwill from sale of auto dealership;
- Qualified family-owned business under $10 million (some adjustments)
- Excise tax paid to another jurisdiction.
The first $500,000,000 collected each fiscal year (adjusted annually) will be deposited in the education legacy trust account which is to be used only to support the public schools, expanding access to higher education, early learning and childcare programs and other education improvement efforts. Any additional monies collected each fiscal year is dedicated to the common school construction account.
Civil and Equal Rights
HB 1072 – Civil legal aid funds for undocumented immigrants. This bill removes a restriction on the Office of Civil Legal Aid (“OCLA”) funding that prohibits distributing funds to legal aid providers who use those funds to serve undocumented immigrants.
SB 5051 – Police accountability – state oversite. This improves the certification, background check, and decertification of law enforcement officers. The bill accomplishes this by
- Modifying the priorities and composition of the Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC)
- Expanding the background requirements for persons applying as peace officers or corrections officers
- Expanding the conduct for which peace officer or corrections officers may be revoked
- Requiring employing agencies to report all separation and disciplinary matters regarding certified officers to the CJTC.
- Removing confidentiality of complaints, investigations and disciplinary actions for certified officers and requires information to be maintained on a publicly searchable database.
SB 5066 – Concerning a peace officer’s duty to intervene. This bill requires a peace officer to intervene when the officer observes wrongdoing by a fellow officer and requires that the wrongdoing be reported to the officer’s supervisor.
SB 5135 – Unlawfully summoning a police officer. This bill creates a private cause of action which allows a pers to sue in a civil action for damages against any person who knowingly causes a law enforcement officer to arrive at a location with the intent to: Infringe on the other person’s constitutional rights, Discriminate against the other person, Cause the person to feel harassed, humiliated or embarrassed, Cause the person to be expelled from a place in which the person is lawfully located, or Damage the person’s reputation or standing in the community, or financial, economic, consumer, or business prospects or interests.
Economic Equity and Support for Low Income Individuals and Families
SB 5214 – Economic assistance programs. This bill amends the current law that limits the amount of time an adult can receive economic assistance from the state. It states that the current 60-month limit may be extended if, in addition to the current exceptions, the recipient is participating satisfactorily in the program, is temporarily prevented from working or looking for a job, and/or is in need of mental health or substance use disorder treatment.
HB 1297 – Working families tax exemption (WFTE). The WFTE is updated and simplified. This bill also expands the tax exemption to include those with individual taxpayer identification numbers or an individual who has a spouse or dependent without a social security number who would otherwise be eligible. Remittance calculations are restructured. The department of revenue is to design and implement a public information campaign to inform potentially eligible persons of the WFTE.
HB 1108 – Assistance for homeowners navigating the foreclosure process. This bill puts in place a temporary stopgap remedy requiring banks and credit unions that own or service a mortgage for a residential property to offer foreclosure mediation services even though they may have done less than 250 foreclosures in 2020. Also, the fees are increased from $300 to $325 per nonjudicial foreclosure trustee sale. The expiration date of the remediation requirement is December 31, 2022.
HB 1332 – Property tax deferral. This bill requires county treasurers to grant a deferral on delinquent property tax payments for certain businesses via establishment of a payment plan. Penalties and interest will not be applied to taxes under a deferral payment plan.
HB 1335 – Notification of recorded documents with unlawful discriminatory restrictions. This bill requires the University of WA and Eastern WA University to review existing deeds and covenants for unlawful racial or other discriminatory restrictions to property owners and county auditors. It also adds to the seller disclosure statements a notice that any covenant or deed restrictions based on race or other protected classes are unlawful and provides methods by which such restrictions can be struck. It also provides a process for striking and removing such unlawful provisions from the record and chain of title after a property owner files an action in superior court.
SB 5025 – Consumer Protection Act. This bill involves legislation requested by the Washington State Attorney General and provides an update to the civil penalties allowed in the Consumer Protection Act. Maximum civil penalties for violation of the CPA are increased as follows:
- violation of any injunction issued under the CPA—$215,000
- any contract, trust, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce or monopolization or attempt to monopolize any part of trade or commerce—$260,000 for an individual or $1,300,000 for a corporation; and
- unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in trade or commerce – $13,350 for each violation.
The bill also includes an enhanced penalty of $10,000 to apply to unlawful acts or practices targeting specific individuals or communities based on demographic characteristics, including age; race; national origin; citizenship or immigration status; sex; sexual orientation; presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; religion; veteran status; or status as a member of the armed forces.
SB 5226 – Debt based license suspension. This bill eliminates license suspension for failure to pay a traffic infraction for a moving violation. It does though authorize license suspension when a person fails to comply with a payment plan and fails to appear when requested by the court to appear and show evidence of ability to pay. The Department of Licensing is authorized to reinstate driver’s licenses suspended for reasons that are no longer grounds for suspense. And it required the DOL to take reasonable steps to publicize information regarding the availability of relief to reinstate a suspended license and create an online application process for people to apply for reinstatement.
SB 5408 – Homestead exemption. This bill raises the homestead exemption from $125,000 to the median value per county of a single-family home. With the Covid pandemic more and more women especially single mothers and the elderly and those in marginalized communities are facing homelessness when they can no longer afford paying their bills and are forced into bankruptcy or defaulting on a mortgage and/or asking for mortgage deferments on what in most cases is the only asset they may own. WA State’s current homestead exemption is one of the lowest in the US and as a result even with the current homestead exemption of $125,000 families are still forced out of their home and cannot find other housing options thus increasing the level of homelessness.
HB 1139 – Lead in drinking water. This bill requires public and private elementary and secondary schools with buildings built, or with all plumbing replaced, before 2016, to have drinking water outlets tested for lead contamination to: communicate test results and other information; and take specified actions if test results reveal lead concentrations that exceed 5 parts per billion. The Department of Health is designated as the principal agency responsible for lead testing in these schools.
SB 5237 – Affordable childcare and early childhood development programs. This bill establishes the Fair Start for Kids Act and expand access to affordable childcare and early childhood development programs by
- Expanding eligibility and decreasing copayments in the Working Connections Child Care Program and expanding eligibility in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program.
- Providing increased rates, training, grants, and services for childcare and early learning providers.
- Establishing a new account for childcare and early learning purposes and includes a non-exhaustive list of allowable fund uses.
- Increasing supports for families of children from birth to age 3, as well as their providers.
HB 1295 – Education for youth from institutional education facilities. This bill establishes new and modified duties for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), and the State Board of Education related to the provision of public education to youth in, or released from, secure facilities, including duties related to education access and delivery, student supports, data collection and reporting, and facility policies. It directs the OSPI and the DCYF to jointly develop recommendations by November 1, 2022, for the establishment, implementation, and funding of a reformed institutional education system and establishes numerous provisions related to the recommendations of the OSPI and the DCYF, including the identification of 13 issues that must be addressed, the creation of an advisory group, and the selection of a third-party entity to facilitate the development of the recommendations and staff the advisory group.
HB 1336 – Broadband access. This bill authorizes public utility districts, port districts, second-class cities, towns, and counties to provide retail telecommunications services. It also allows a county, city, or town planning under the Growth Management Act (GMA) to receive financial assistance for a public works project that increases access to broadband even if it has not adopted a comprehensive plan, including a capital facilities plan element, and development regulations as required by the GMA.
HB 1365 – Technology equipment for students and instructional staff. This bill directs the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and administer a technology grant program to accomplish three goals: universal 1:1 student to learning device ration, expand technical support and training for school and district staff, and develop district-based and school-based capacity to assist students and their families in accessing and using technology to support student learning.
HB 1476 – Enrollment stabilization. This bill revises enrichment levy formulas in the 2022 calendar year, requiring 2019-20 school year enrollments to be used in place of 2020-21 if 2019-20 enrollment is greater and a school district is open for in-person instruction at the beginning of 2021-22 school year.
SB 5128 – Student transportation. This bill expands the use of student transportation allocation monies if a school district, charter school, or state-tribal compact schools is providing full remote or partial remote instruction due to a local, state, or national emergency that causes disruption to full in-person instruction. The funds can then be expended for the following service:
- delivery of educational services necessary to provide students with the opportunity to equitably access educational services during the period of remote instruction, including the transportation of materials, hardware, and other supports that assist students in accessing remote instruction, Internet connectivity, or the curriculum;
- delivery of meals to students; and
- providing for the transportation of students to and from learning centers or other agencies where educational and support services are being provided during remote instruction, including providing payment to allow students to use public transit to access such services.
HB 5321 – College bound scholarship. This bill eliminates the requirement that a student sign a pledge to be eligible for the College Bound Scholarship (CBS). It creates a statutory contractual right for students who fulfill the CBS requirements. The Office of Financial Assistance must take reasonable steps to ensure that students acknowledge enrollment in the program and must develop a process for auto-enrolling and notifying all eligible students of the scholarship and its requirements. Eligible students must enroll within 1 year of high school graduation and the award must be used within a five-year period and must not exceed four full-time years’ worth of scholarship awards.
Reproductive Rights and Health Care
HB 1009 – Student health plans. This bill requires student health plans to cover maternity care and related services. This includes abortion coverage. It ensures that student health plans are not exempt from state laws and rules requiring abortion coverage and are held to the same standard as other market health plans.
HB 1031 – Issuing certificates of birth resulting in stillbirth. This bill creates a process allowing any person who gives birth to a stillborn fetus to request and receive a certification of birth resulting in stillbirth from the applicable state or local registrar.
SB 5097 – Expanding paid family leave definition for family member. This bill expands the state’s paid family and medical leave (PFML) by expanding the definition of family member to include any individual who regularly resides in the employee’s home or where the relationship creates and expectation that the employee care for the person.
HB 1152 – Comprehensive public health districts. This bill creates measures to support comprehensive public health districts. It does this by creating a statewide Public Health Advisory Board and modifying the composition of local boards of health to include unelected members from the following three categories:
- public health practitioners, employees of health care facilities, and health care providers
- consumers of public health
- other community stake holders who experience health inequities in the county, business community or the environmental health regulated community.
If a federally recognized Native American tribe holds reservation, trust lands or has usual and accustomed areas within the county or has a 501 (c)(3) organization that serves American Indian/Alaska Native people the health board must include a representative selected by the American Indian Health Commission.
HB 1225 – School based health clinics. This bill creates a school-based health center program office within the department of health to award grants and coordinate with other agencies and entities to provide support, training, and technical assistance to school-based health centers. School-based health centers advance equity by providing health care access and support at schools.
HB 1273 – Menstrual hygiene products in school bathrooms. This bill, starting in the 2022-2023 school year, would require schools and post-secondary institutions to make available, at no cost, menstrual hygiene products in all gender neutral and bathrooms designated for females. If a school does not have a gender neutral bathroom, then the products must be available in at least one bathroom accessible to male students or in a school health room accessible to all students. This applies to schools and institutions serving students in grades 6 through 12 and institutions of higher education. It also requires that menstrual hygiene products also be available in a school health room or other location designated by the principal for grades 3 through 5.
SB 5052 – Health equity zones. This bill, SB 5052 requires the Department of Health to use health outcome data to identify potential health equity zones and coordinate with community organizations in those zones to identify projects to address the zone’s most urgent needs related to health disparities. It also allows communities to self-identify as health equity zones and develop projects. The Department is then required to report annually on the projects implemented in each zone.
SB 5140 – Protecting pregnancy and miscarriage-related patient care. This bill prohibits health care entities from stopping health care providers from providing health care services related to miscarriage management and treatment for ectopic pregnancies. The health care authority may not discharge, demote, suspend, discipline or otherwise discriminate against a health care provider for providing services in this manner. An aggrieved individual may take civil action against the health care entity.
SB 5229 – Health equity continuing education for health care professionals. This bill requires a licensed health care professional to complete health equity continuing education training at least once every four years and requires health equity courses to teach skills that enable a health care professional to care effectively for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities, varying in race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, religion, age, ability, and socioeconomic status.
SB 5399 – Universal health care. A universal health care commission is established for the purposes of developing a plan to create a health care system in Washington that provides coverage and access through a universal financing system including, but not limited to, a single-payer financing system, for all Washingtonians. By November 1, 2022, the commission must provide a baseline report to the legislature and governor which includes a list of key elements as outlined in the bill. Following the baseline report, the Commission must work to identify opportunities to implement reforms to the current health care system and structural changes to prepare the state for a unified health care financing system and report annually. The Commission is not authorized to implement a universal health care system through a unified financing system until further action is taken by the legislature and governor. However, the Health Care Authority is to begin any federal application process within 60 days of a federal application availability.
SB 5313 – Trans healthcare insurance discrimination. This bill reduces discrimination by health carriers for enrollees seeking gender affirming treatment. Specifically, it amends the current state law to make it an unfair practice for health plans issued or renewed on January 1, 2022, to deny, exclude, reduce or terminate benefits when a participant seeks provider prescribed gender affirming treatment. Also, if the health carrier does not have an adequate network of providers with experience with gender affirming treatment, the health carrier must ensure the delivery of timely and geographically accessible medically necessary gender affirming treatment at no greater expense than if the health carrier had an in-network, geographically accessible provider available.
HB 1320 – Civil protection orders. This bill consolidates the six types of civil protection orders into a single chapter of the RCW. The six types of civil protection orders are (a) Domestic violence protection orders; (b) vulnerable adult protection orders; (c) antiharassment protection orders; (d) sexual assault protection orders; (e) stalking protection orders; and (f) extreme risk protection orders. It also amends provisions addressing the recognition of Canadian domestic violence protection orders. In addition, it revises laws governing the surrender and prohibition of weapons, revocation of concealed pistol licenses, unlawful possession of firearms and domestic violence no-contact orders. School district responsibilities are outlined for students who are subject to protection orders. also creates a pathway to consolidate jurisdictional divisions to a more consistent approach with protection orders. The consolidation will come from recommendations from the Washington State Women’s Commission in consultation with the administrative office, the Gender and Justice Commission, and representatives of the courts, and is due 12/1/2021.
SB 5038 – Prohibiting open carry of weapons at public demonstrations and the state capitol. This bill prohibits the open carry of a firearm or other weapon at or near public demonstrations, the west state capitol ground, the capitol grounds buildings and any other location of a public legislative hearing or hearing or meeting during the hearing or meeting. An exception is provided for federal, state, and local law enforcement officers when carrying a firearm in conformance with their employing agency’s policy.
SB 5183 – Victims of nonfatal strangulation. This bill directs the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) to develop practices for local communities to increase access to forensic nurse examiner services in nonfatal strangulation assaults, and to publish those best practices to its website by January 1, 2022. It also directs OCVA to develop strategies to make forensic nurse examiner training available throughout the state without causing unreasonable travel or expenses for nurses and report those strategies to the Governor and Legislature by October 1, 2022. The Crime Victims Compensation Program is authorized to pay for forensic examination of domestic violence victims of nonfatal strangulation and prohibits charging the victim for the examination.
Policy Bills that Have Been Signed Into Law
The following priority bills have passed the legislature and have been signed into law.
Celebrate and contact both Governor Inslee and your legislators to thank them for passage of the following bills.
Civil and Equal Rights
HB 1042 – Child custody. This bill allows Washington courts to refrain from applying Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act standards in international custody matters if a parent or child are at demonstrable risk of being subject to laws of a foreign country that carries a death sentence for apostasy, or a sincerely held religious belief or practice, or homosexuality. This bill was signed into law on 4/14/21 and goes into effect immediately.
HB 1078 – Voter eligibility. This bill changes the voting rights law to automatically restore a felon’s voting rights as long as the defendant is not in total confinement with the department of corrections. It states that a person serving a term of community custody is not considered to be in total confinement of the department of corrections and does not include confinement imposed as a sanction for a community custody violation. A person who has had their voting rights restored must reregister to vote before voting. This bill was signed into law on April 7, 2021 and goes into effect on January 1, 2022.
Economic Equity and Support for Low Income Individuals and Families
HB 1070 – Housing for low-income households. This bill allows county and city governments to use revenue from the housing and related services local sales and use tax to acquire facilities and land for affordable housing, housing related services and behavioral health services. It also allows use of revenue from the state-shared lodging tax to include housing and facilities for homeless youth for counties with a population of less than 1.5 million. This bill was signed into law on April 14, 2021 and goes into effect immediately.
HB 1151 – Bolstering economic recovery. This bill establishes a consolidated emergency assistance program (CEAP) for families with children. Benefits can be provided to alleviate emergent conditions resulting from insufficient income. These benefits may be used to provide for: food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other necessary items. They may also be used for family reconciliation services, family preservation services, home-based services, short-term substitute care in a licensed agency, crisis nurseries, therapeutic childcare, or other necessary services. This bill was signed into law on March 31, 2021 with the section regarding the CEAP program going into effect immediately and the remainder on July 25, 2021.
HB 1525 – Garnishment protection. This bill establishes automatic protection from attachment, execution and garnishment for the following types of debt: Private student loans ($2500), consumer debt ($2000), and all other debt ($500). This bill further requires writs of garnishment to include instructions to financial institutions directing them to comply with automatic protections and release protected funds to the debtor. This bill was signed into law on April 14, 2021 with an effective date of July 25, 2021.
HB 1208 – Learning assistance program. This bill enables school districts to focus on identifying and addressing student academic deficits in basic skills resulting from, or exacerbated by, the COVID-19 pandemic by granting greater local control over, accountability for, and flexibility with program funds, and to authorize continued flexible use of program funds through the framework of the Washington integrated student supports protocol. This bill will allow schools to use the Learning Assistance Program funds according to critical needs in this national emergency and updates the language to allow districts to utilize the funds according to needs identified since it was first enacted. This bill was signed into law on April 21, 2021 and goes into effect immediately.
HB 1214 – School safety and security services. This bill creates a category of safety and security staff for kindergarten through grade 12 public schools. It provides requirements for safety and security staff agreements, data collection, and training, for educational service districts, school districts, and charter schools. This bill was signed into law on April 16, 2021 and it goes into effect on July 25, 2021.
HB 1356 – Inappropriate use of Native American names. This bill prohibits public schools from using Native American names, symbols, or images as school mascots, logos, or team names beginning January 1, 2022. Exceptions are established if certain requirements are met, including tribal consultation and authorization. It allows for phasing out uniforms or other materials if specified requirements are met. And it creates a temporary grant program, administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to provide grants to school districts to support schools that incur costs as a result of compliance with this act. This bill was signed into law on April 26, 2021.
SB 5249 – Mastery-based learning. This bill requires the Mastery-Based Learning Work Group to develop a Washington State profile of a high school graduate, in consultation with the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee and others. It places a representative from an approved teacher preparation program with experience in mastery-based learning on the work group, directs the State Board of Education (SBE) to develop rules relating to the profile of a graduate and requires the SBE to perform a survey on graduation pathways that includes high school students and recent graduates. Mastery-based Learning provides an alternative to the traditional education model path to graduation. This bill was signed into law on April 26, 2021 and it goes into effect on July 25, 2021.
Reproductive Rights and Health Care
HB 1073 – Expanding paid family leave for pandemic leave assistance. This bill expands access to paid family and medical leave (PFML) by providing pandemic leave assistance employee grants beginning August 1, 2021 for leave claims from 2021 through March 31, 2022. This expanded grant eligibility is provided for employees that:
- do not meet the PFML eligibility threshold through hours worked in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021;
- met the eligibility threshold through hours worked in 2019 and the first quarter of 2020; and
- were not separated from employment due to misconduct or a voluntary separation unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This bill was signed into law on April 21, 2021 and becomes effective immediately.
SB 5068 – Expanding Medicaid coverage during the postpartum period. This bill extends Medicaid coverage to new birth parents from 60 days post-birth to 365 days post-birth. This bill was signed into law on April 16, 2021 and it goes into effect on July 25, 2021.
SB 5228 – Health equity training in medical schools. This bill requires the state’s two medical schools, University of Washington and Washington State University, to add health equity training in the required courses. The bill also requires the medical schools to set a goal to be more representative of the demographics of the state of Washington and increase the number of underrepresented students guided by the state’s need for physicians from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. This bill was signed into law on April 16, 2021 and it goes into effect on July 25, 2021.
HB 1109 – Sexual assault victims. This bill expands the rights of sexual assault survivors to:
- Receive written notice of receive written notice of his or her right to benefits under the Crime Victim Compensation Program
- Receive a referral to a community sexual assault program and if the victim is a minor to a children’s advocacy center
- Consult with a sexual assault survivor advocate throughout the investigatory process and prosecution and court proceedings
- Receive timely notification from the law enforcement agency and prosecuting attorney as to the status of the case
- Access interpreter services where necessary to facilitate communication
- For minor survivors to provide remote testimony when appropriate and safeguard minor’s security in the courtroom.
It also requires the Attorney General’s Office in consultation with the WA Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to collect status updates on cases tied to previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits collected prior to July 24, 2015. The Criminal Justice Training Centers is to conduct an annual case review of sexual assault investigations and prosecutions for the purposes of improving training and case outcomes. This bill was signed into law on April 26, 2021 and becomes effective immediately.
HB 1315 – Workplace domestic violence task force. This bill creates a domestic violence and workplace resources task force within the Department of Commerce to identify the role of the workplace in helping to curb domestic violence. The preliminary report is due 12/1/2021, with final recommendations due 12/1/2022. This bill was signed into law on April 14, 2021 and it goes into effect on July 25, 2021.
The legislature passed a progressive budget which is more equitable and robust than any budget the state has seen in many years.
We applaud the work done by both the WA State House and Senate as well as all of the advocates including you who pushed our legislators to adopt budgets that make investments in individuals and families hardest hit by the pandemic and for beginning to address the upside down tax system in our state by instituting a capital gains tax.
Here are some of the highlighted progressive wins in the budget as noted by the WA State Budget and Policy Center:
- “Investments in cash assistance through WorkFirst/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Washington Immigrant Relief Fund:
Communities have long known how powerful direct, flexible cash support can be. The 15% increase in monthly cash grants will enable families experiencing deep poverty to better afford the basics. The budget also funds some changes to TANF time limit extensions to help prevent families from having their benefits eliminated as a result of punitive time limits built into the current law. And the $340 million investment to continue the Washington Immigrant Relief Fund will help more people be a part of the state’s recovery – regardless of immigration status.
- A more equitable tax code through a Recovery Rebate, or updated Working Families Tax Credit:
This targeted tax credit will help rebalance our tax code and further expand direct cash support to communities. The Working Families Tax Credit will provide a base cash rebate of $300 to $1,200 to 420,000 households across the state. Washington also joins five other states to include Individual Tax Identification (ITIN) filers, a group of taxpayers which includes some student visa holders, survivors of domestic violence, and undocumented immigrants. Including ITIN filers will help even more people across the state afford basics like food, medicine, or transportation.”
- The Capital gains tax will help address the needs of all of our students by dedicated funding for those in early learning/childcare programs, our public schools and our technical and four-year colleges and universities. This tax will also help rebalance our state’s racist and worst in the nation tax code by ensuring that the wealthiest in our state begin to pay their fair share.
- The budgets as passed invest in our state’s public health and vaccine distribution, rental assistance and foreclosure prevention, reopening schools, childcare, emergency food assistance and much more 
Hint: You can view bills by going to the following website and plug in the bill number for which you want to view the history and status:
Thank you so very much to the following people who contributed to 1st District’s 2021 Weekly Legislative Alerts this year:
- Cathy Baylor
- Hannah Febach
- Christina Henry
- Amber Koens
- Jackie McGourty
- Linda Tosti-Lane
- Lisa Weber