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The 2022 Legislative Session started January 10 and ended on March 10. Below are updates on bills Poverty Action is advocating for this session.
Watch recorded hearings and floor debates online at www.TVW.org
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) time limit extensions – HB 2048
What It DoesHB 2048 would increase racial equity in access to TANF, and allow more families to access help when they need it by broadening time limit exemptions and allowing access beyond 60 months for children whose caregivers are undocumented.
Bill StatusUnfortunately this bill was not pulled for a hearing on the House Floor and did not make the cutoff date to continue on. The bill will not pass this year and will have to be introduced again next year. However, state lawmakers voted for funding to keep the current pandemic broad hardship exemptions in place through June 2023, which includes children whose caregivers are undocumented!
Creating the Evergreen Basic Income Trust – HB 2009
What It DoesThis bill creates a 3-year pilot Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) program for Washingtonians earning at or below 50% Area Median Income to allow participants greater dignity and choice in caring for themselves and their families.
Bill StatusThis bill did not have a hearing in the Housing, Human Services & Veterans Committee due to time constraints. It will not pass this session and will have to be introduced again next year. The Housing, Human Services, and Veterans Committee hosted a work session on February 18 at 10 AM to learn more about Guaranteed Basic Income. Watch here starting at 14:10.
What It DoesThis bill would create a trust fund for children in low-income families to have access to financial support when they turn 18.
- HB 1861 was not pulled for a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee by the cutoff date
- SB 5752 was not pulled for a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee by the cutoff date
Adjustments to the Working Families Tax Credit – HB 1888
What It DoesThis bill would allot funding for outreach and increased language accessibility for the Working Families Tax Credit set to begin in 2023.
Bill StatusThis bill was passed into law by the House and Senate!
Establishing the profession of dental therapy statewide – HB 1885
What It DoesThis bill improves access to care and provides clear training requirements for dental therapists based on recommendations from the Dental Therapy Task Force.
Bill StatusThis bill was not pulled for a hearing in the Health Care and Wellness Committee. It will not pass this session and will have to be introduced again next year. State lawmakers are considering hosting a work session this year to learn more about the Dental Therapy Task Force's findings.
Barriers to Re-Entry#
Reducing Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) – HB 1412
What It DoesThis bill would allow judges more discretion to waive or reduce certain mandatory LFOs when a person is unable to pay and puts a time limit on collections of some LFOs.
Bill StatusThe Senate Ways and Means Committee voted for an amendment to weaken the bill. The bill was passed into law with the amendment to weaken by the House and Senate. It goes into effect January 2023.
Repeal temporary ban on using credit history to calculate insurance rates – SB 5623
What It DoesSB 5623 was introduced to repeal the temporary ban on insurance companies using credit scores to calculate insurance rates. The ban was put in place by Insurance Commissioner Kreidler to increase equity. When insurance companies use credit scores to calculate rates, low-income Washingtonians with safe driving records pay more for auto insurance than affluent residents who have poorer driving records. Poverty Action opposes SB 5623.
Bill StatusThis bill was not pulled for a vote in the Business, Financial Services and Trade Committee by the cutoff date so it will not pass this session!
Improving Access to Charity Care – HB 1616