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State of Play at First Policy Cutoff

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Marysville EA members celebrate their levy win

Coming up this week – take action now!

  • First policy cutoff is tonight, requiring that bills be voted out of committees in their house of origin and be headed to either scheduling for floor action or to a fiscal committee (such as, House Appropriations or Senate Ways & Means).  WEA members were extremely effective in stopping the bad bills and moving the good ones this session – read more below!
  • We’re in a critical moment for the bill that would ensure public employers share basic employee contact information with unions (SHB 1200 & SB 5273). We need to take action now – send an email to your Representatives and Senators here now.
  • Education Support Professionals (ESPs) need wage increases but we must convince lawmakers of the importance of investing in ESP wages and now!  Can you meet – virtually or in person – with legislators to stress how important it is to increase ESP pay?  Let us know!
  • A bill adding financial transparency to public four-year colleges (SSB 5512) has a hearing on Monday in Senate Ways & Means and WEA will be there testifying pro. Sign in pro.
  • The bill expanding media literacy and digital citizenship in schools (SSB 5626) has a hearing in Senate Ways and Means Saturday.  Sign in pro.
  • Election day was Tuesday and many districts around the state are on track to pass school levies.  Congratulations to Marysville, Selah, Highland, Vancouver, Kennewick, Richland, Finley, Paterson, and more!

If you’re interested in testifying on bills, please contact WEA Political Organizer Hillary Hunt.

WEA members who testified this week

Julianna Dauble (Renton EA) on the wealth tax; Ryan Grant (Medical Lake EA) on access to library and info technology programs; Sue Nightengale (Bellevue AHE) against a computer science program mandate

If you provided verbal or written testimony before the legislature, we’d like to do a shout-out about you! Please contact WEA Political Organizer Hillary Hunt.

Tracking our priorities: state of play at the first policy cutoff

Tonight marks the last chance for bills to pass in their policy committees in the chamber of origin, and WEA members together helped move some important legislation while stopping some bad ideas.

Student supports

  • Increased funding for Special Education (HB 1436 and SB 5311) are all in fiscal committees, making it past the first cutoff.  SSB 5311, while not everything we hoped for, is the best bill in the running right now.  We’ll continue efforts to improve this bill.
  • Free school meals for all K-12 students (HB 1238 & SSB 5339) both passed out of policy committees and are now in House Appropriations and Senate Ways & Means, respectively.
  • HB 1504 & SB 5257 requiring 30 minutes of recess for elementary students both made it past cutoff.  The Senate bill is available for floor action as soon as Monday.

Inclusive curricula

  • The bill to expand multi-lingual and tribal language education (HB 1228) passed in the House Committee on Education and is now in appropriations.
  • The student-led effort to pass diverse, equitable, and inclusive curricula (SB 5441) passed in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education and is now in Ways & Means.
  • The educator-led bill on promoting inclusive learning standards and instructional materials (SB 5462) also passed in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education and awaits scheduling for floor action.
  • The bill ensuring universal screening for highly capable students (SB 5072) passed in the Senate on Tuesday and is now in the House, referred to the Education Committee.

Education workforce

  • The bill to support teacher residencies and early career supports (SHB 1565) passed in the House Committee on Education and is now in Appropriations.

Higher education

  • Pay equity for part-time faculty (SSB 5557) was amended to require SBCTC to develop a plan to achieve 85% pay equity for part-time faculty by the 2026-27 academic year.  It also appropriates $5.55 million over the biennium to increase part-time faculty wages to the 60th percentile of full-time faculty. It was voted out of Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development today and made the cutoff to head to Ways & Means.
  • The bill increasing tenure-track faculty (HB 1142) is in House Appropriations.

Retiree priorities

  • Plan 1 benefit increases (HB 1057 & SB 5350) have had hearings in both chambers and are in a fiscal committee, so they made the cutoff.   SB 5350 is scheduled to be voted out of Senate Ways and Means on Monday.
  • Increasing access to PEBB retiree benefits for plan 2 members (HB 1008) passed the House and is now in Senate Ways & Means.

Pay & benefits

  • The bill on PK-12 educator COLAs (HB 1732) was heard in House Appropriations on Thursday and is now scheduled for exec session on Monday.
  • A bill to exempt benefit enrollment information from public disclosure (SB 5421) passed in the Senate and is headed to the House.
  • A bill that allows substitutes to combine hours across SEBB employers for SEBB eligibility (HB 1246) has been heard and currently remains is in House Appropriations.

Worker & union rights 

  • The bill protecting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking from information disclosure (HB 1533) passed in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations and awaits scheduling for floor action.
  • Protecting communication between employees and unions (SHB 1187) passed in the House Committee on Civil Rights & the Judiciary and awaits scheduling for floor action.
  • A bill requiring employers to provide employee information to unions (HB 1200) passed in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards and is awaiting floor scheduling.

Get the news as it happens…  Follow WEA Advocacy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus subscribe to the Advocacy blog.  Subscribe to text message action alerts by texting “Advocacy” to 833-258-6815.

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