Prepared by Marie Sullivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, February 17 was the final day for bills in policy committees to “stay alive” and under consideration during the 2023 legislative session. Of course, there are always a few exceptions, but for the most part, the deadline signals the end of the line, at least for this year. Keep in mind that any bill introduced in 2023 but not enacted is eligible for consideration in the 2024 legislative session.
The following is a list of bills that failed to make policy cutoff. Any bill with a companion bill in the opposite chamber that is still in a fiscal committee, or has advanced to the Rules Committee or floor, won’t be listed here to avoid confusion. All of these bills can be accessed here for more information.
- HB 1071 would have placed a school resource officer in every school.
- HB 1178/SB 5446 would have repealed the statute that preempted local governments from adopting laws relating to firearms and removed the provisions that limited local regulation of firearms.
- HB 1194 would have established a joint Clean and Renewable Energy Workforce training center and Secure Power from American Resources Center to provide clean and renewable energy workforce training, education, and informational exhibits.
- HB 1195 would have prohibited the open carry of certain weapons in public parks and public hospitals.
- HB 1347 would have expanded the community-based health assessment.
- HB 1353 would have modified school bond elections to simple majority. The constitutional amendment, HJR 4203 would have asked voters at the November 2023 general election to adopt a simple majority for bonds vote.
- HB 1354 would have made changes to parents volunteering in schools after a criminal conviction.
- HB 1549 would have added a few courses to the AP list of eligible courses that count under a graduation pathway.
- HB 1675 would have established a school safety dashboard, including reporting substance and alcohol-related incidents, violent incidents involving students, student suspensions and expulsions, and other student behaviors that adversely impact the health or safety of students or educational staff.
- HB 1819 would have required school districts to provide 100 minutes per week of music instruction to each student in grades 1-5, and would have directed districts to adopt a policy and procedure to implement the requirement for the 2024-25 school year.
- SB 5024 would have established a parent’s bill of rights.
- SB 5064 would have lifted the special education enrollment bill to 14.5%. The bill has been replaced by SSB 5311.
- SB 5219 would have enacted the Counseling Compact in Washington State. The bill would have increased education requirements for licensed mental health counselors.
- SB 5343 would have provided a 10% point bump under the School Construction Assistance Program for school construction projects that used an approved common school design.
- SB 5346 would have encouraged the use of student art in school construction.
- SB 5422 would have provided access to behavioral health services to children using licensed clinicians co-located within the school.
- SB 5444 would have prohibited firearms in “sensitive locations,” including: libraries; at a zoo or aquarium; any city, town, county or other municipality neighborhood, community, or regional park facility at which children and youth would be likely to be present and at which appropriated signage has been posted saying that weapons are not permitted on the park facility’s premises; a transit station or transit facility; or the premises of a state or local public building not a residence.
- SB 5505 would have expanded the school year by five days, to 185 days.
- SB 5522 would have created a $1,200 book and material stipend for Washington College Grant recipients who are eligible for the maximum Washington College Grant award.
- SB 5575 would have established a Capital Broadband Investment Acceleration program within the State Broadband Office as a competitive grant program (match to federal broadband infrastructure funds) and appropriated $200 million from the state building construction account.
- SB 5585 would have allowed licensed and certified behavioral health agencies to designate certain individuals as mental health professionals.
- SB 5656 would have established the school security and preparedness infrastructure grant program. HB 1064 would establish a similar program; it is in the House Capital Budget Committee.
- SB 5680 would have directed OSPI to contract with a third party to develop a seismic risk assessment that includes seismic safety surveys of public facilities that are subject to high seismic risk as a consequence of high earthquake hazard and soils that amplify that hazard. It would have had specific focus on public school facilities located west of the crest of the Cascade mountains that were not surveyed in either phase 1 of the School Seismic Safety Project completed in June 2019, or phase 2 of the project completed in June 2021. A similar bill, HB 1747, is still alive in the House.
- SB 5712 would have created the Washington College Promise Program to pay for community college, would have increased the Washington College Grant to 150% of the state median income, and would have included a Bridge grant stipend.
- SB 5745 would have made it illegal for a person, in the commission or furtherance of a felony, to discharge a stolen firearm or to menace or threaten another person with a stolen firearm.
- SJM 8007 would have asked the President and members of Congress to pay up to 40% of each state’s “excess cost” of educating students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, passed in 1975).
Bills that met the deadline
Special Education Funding
As reported last week, the Senate and House have similar approaches but different schedules for increasing funding for special education services.
SSB 5311 would lift the enrollment cap to 15% and increase the multipliers for pre-K, students spending 80% or more time in general education classes, and for students spending less than 80% of their time in a general education classroom. The bill has been heard in Senate Ways & Means but hasn’t been scheduled for a vote.
Proposed substitute HB 1436 would gradually lift the enrollment cap by .5% until it is lifted completely in the 2027-28 school year. The House proposed substitute would slowly increase the multipliers for all K-12 students; it does not increase the multiplier for children ages 3-5. The substitute bill had a public hearing in the budget committee and is scheduled for a vote in House Appropriations on Monday, February 20.
The Senate is also the high-water mark for fixing underfunding of pupil transportation.
SSB 5174 would modify the student transportation allocation formula and provide 100% reimbursement to school districts for transportation expenditures attributed to students in distinct passenger categories (i.e., special education, McKinney-Vento, and foster youth). The Senate bill also would include transportation “to and from” skill centers and work-based or career-connect learning opportunities that occur during the school day and for which a student receives academic credit.
The transportation allocation formula used by OSPI must be adjusted to include two factors—basic and special education passenger counts, defined by OSPI, and total sum of miles driven. Two of the factors used in the prior formula, average distance to school and number of locations served, are removed. The transportation allocation amounts generated under the formula must be adjusted by the following multipliers for qualifying school districts, as determined by OSPI: a multiplier that addresses the unique transportation challenges faced by high population density urban school districts; and a multiplier that addresses the unique transportation challenges faced by rural, geographically large districts that have a relatively low number of schools in proportion to the geographic size of the school district.
Under the new formula, school districts receive the STARS formula result, rather than the lesser of the STARS formula result of the district’s allowable transportation expenditures from the prior year. In addition, the bill includes a “hold harmless” provision, under which no district may receive an allocation less than its total student transportation allocation as calculated during the 2021-22 school year, as adjusted for inflation.
By June 1, 2026, OSPI must provide an analysis of school district transportation costs and allocations following the 2024-25 school year to the education and fiscal committees of the Legislature. The analysis must include the mileage, ridership, and costs for each district, disaggregated by each distinct passenger category and all other transported students. The intention is for the Legislature to use the data to inform future discussions on revising the overall student transportation allocation model to a more transparent and predictable funding model.
SHB 1248, as passed the House Appropriations Committee on February 13 was scaled back substantially from its original and initial proposed substitute. Rather than funding distinct passenger categories, the bill would create a “transportation safety net award” program and direct OSPI to allocate additional funding to school districts with excess special passenger costs for special education, homeless, and foster students, as defined in the operating budget.
Both transportation bills would require school district contractors of student transportation services to provide their employees with health benefits and pension contributions equivalent to those of school district classified employees. Subject to amounts appropriated, OSPI would provide a one-time supplemental transportation allocation of up to $200 per reported contractor employee per month to school districts that experience an increase in costs because of the new contractor benefit requirements.
Addressing Gun Violence & Suicide
While many bills designed to reduce gun violence and reduce the risk of suicide failed to meet the policy deadline, some bills are still under consideration. These include:
- SHB 1143 would make changes to the purchase or transfer of a firearm, including updates for firearms transfer and background check processes. The bill was heard February 8 in House Appropriations but has not moved out of committee.
- HB 1230 is eligible for floor action. The bill would require school districts to post a link to the state Department of Health website that provides information for safe storage of guns and medications.
- SHB 1240 is Governor- and Attorney General-request legislation to ban assault weapons, with certain exceptions, and would make violation of the law a gross misdemeanor actionable under the Consumer Protection Act. The bill is in House Rules.
- SHB 1562 would make changes to the crime of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, including by adding additional crimes that prohibit a person from possessing a firearm. The bill passed out of the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee February 17 and was sent to Rules.
- SSB 5006 would create a new civil infraction for persons who have in their possession or have under their control a firearm after filing a voluntary waiver of firearm rights. The bill passed the Senate February 15 by a vote of 36-12. All Senate Democrats voted Yes; seven Republicans also voted Yes on the bill.
- SB 5078 was heard in Senate Ways & Means January 31 but hasn’t been scheduled for a vote. The bill would require firearm industry members to establish, implement and enforce reasonable controls regarding the manufacture, sale, distribution, import, use, and marketing of the firearm industry members’ firearm and firearm-related products, and would create a private “right of action” for individuals who have suffered harm as a result of a firearm industry member’s acts or omissions in violation of specified duties.
- SB 5232 would prohibit a firearms dealer from providing a firearm to a purchaser until the results of a background check indicate the person is eligible to possess firearms, and 10 days have elapsed since the dealer requested the background check. In addition, it would prohibit the dealer from selling the firearm to a person unless they have provided proof of completion of a certified firearms safety training program or proof of exemption. The bill passed the Senate Law & Justice Committee February 16 and has been referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
- SSB 5561 would extend the expiration date of the law enforcement community engagement grant program. It is scheduled for a public hearing in Senate Ways & Means on February 20.
Other bills of note
- HB 1044 would create a supplementary capital grant program for school districts with 1,000 or fewer students for building modernization or replacement. The bill is scheduled for executive action in the House Capital Budget Committee on February 20. A substitute is proposed by Chair Steve Tharinger which would, among other aspects, change the school district share to 50 percent of a district’s remaining debt capacity for capital purposes and cap the amount at an estimated property tax rate increment of $1.75 per $1,000 of assessed district value.
- SHB 1238 and SSB 5339 would make school meals part of the basic education allocation; both bills are in budget committees. The Senate version might be the vehicle, removing the concept from basic education and instead incentivizing expansion of the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) because the title can be changed.
- HB 1244 would increase the maximum per pupil limit for enrichment levy authority, establishing a 3.17% enhancement from calendar year 2024 to 2028, in addition to inflationary adjustments. In calendar year 2029, the maximum per pupil amount would be $3,000 plus inflation. The bill is in the House Rules Committee.
- SHB 1273 and SSB 5243 would make changes to the High School and Beyond Plans. The respective bills are in the budget committees; SSB 5243 is scheduled for executive action February 20.
- SHB 1308 bypassed the fiscal committee and is in House Rules. The bill is a State Board of Education request bill and would establish an additional graduation pathway option that allows students to complete a performance-based learning experience.
- SHB 1368 passed the House Environment & Energy Committee and would require school buses purchased by school districts to be zero-emission school buses beginning September 1, 2033, and would require 70 percent of school bus purchases to be zero emission beginning September 1, 2030. The bill also would establish a zero-emission school bus grant program administered by the Department of Ecology.
- SHB 1479 passed out of the House Education Committee. The bill would prohibit student isolation and isolation rooms, after certain deadlines, and would make changes to definitions and actions related to isolation and restraint of students. The bill has been sent to House Appropriations.
- SHB 1504 would require school districts to provide 30 minutes of recess to elementary students, beginning in the 2024-25 school year. The bill also would require WSSDA to develop a model policy and procedures to implement the law and encourage new policy changes. The bill was sent to the House Rules Committee. The Senate version, SSB 5257 was placed on the Senate floor calendar February 15. That means it is eligible for a vote by the Senate. Senator Brad Hawkins, R-12, is offering a floor amendment to make the bill voluntary.
- SHB 1550 would create a “Transition to Kindergarten” program, replacing the transitional kindergarten program used by many school districts to help four-year-olds get ready for kindergarten. The bill would set funding limits and requirements for operating the program. The bill has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee.
- SHB 1565 is in the House Appropriations Committee after passing the House Education Committee on a split vote. Among various changes, the bill would establish a teacher residency program; modify the Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) program; and require the development of an online platform for the recruitment and hiring of public school employees.
- SHB 1658 would authorize public high school students to earn elective credit for paid work experience. The bill was sent to the House Rules Committee.
- HB 1747 would require OSPI to contract with a third party to develop a seismic risk assessment for public school facilities located west of the Cascades that were not surveyed in either Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the School Seismic Safety Project completed in June 2021. The bill is in the House Capital Budget Committee.
- SSB 5048 was heard in the Senate Ways & Means Committee February 18. The bill would eliminate College in the High School (CHS) fees and would direct high schools that provide a CHS course to include information in the course catalogue that there is no fee for students to enroll in the course.
- SB 5072 passed the Senate unanimously and has been referred to the House Education Committee. The bill would provide for universal screening of students for identification to the Highly Capable students program of basic education.
- SSB 5365 would prevent the use of vapor and tobacco products by minors – the bill has been sent to the Senate Rules Committee.
- SB 5408 would expand the 9th grade Success Grant program. The bill is in Senate Ways & Means.
- SB 5710 was heard in the Senate Ways & Means Committee February 18. The bill would set up a grant program within OSPI to provide ESDs with funding to offer students attending schools in rural areas access to a mental health professional using telemedicine.
Advocacy in Action
- WSPTA President Nancy Chamberlain testified in favor of SB 5712, a bill that would increase the Washington College Grant eligibility up to 150 percent of median family income, and would make the Bridge Grant Program under the Washington College Grant permanent. In addition, beginning with the 2025-26 academic year, it would establish the Washington College Promise Program, which would buy up to the cost of tuition and fees, plus a cost of attendance stipend, minus all other gift aid. In addition, students could receive up to $1,500 for books and related expenses. Listen to Nancy’s testimony here.
- WSPTA submitted written testimony in support of HB 1473, the “wealth tax.”
- In addition, WSPTA signed in Pro on many bills up for hearing last week.
The Week Ahead – Remote Testimony is available for ALL public hearings
Action turns to fiscal committees this week: In the Senate, Ways & Means; in the House, Appropriations, Capital Budget and Finance. Senate and House Transportation committees also continue to meet.
The next deadline is for bills to pass out of fiscal committees by Friday, February 24.
Schedule is subject to change:
Capital Budget (House) – HHR B and Virtual JLOB – 2/20 @ 8:00am
- HB 1044 – Exec Session – Providing capital financial assistance to small school districts with demonstrated funding challenges.
- HB 1050 – Exec Session – Expanding apprenticeship utilization requirements.
- HB 1777 – Public Hearing – Authorizing the use of performance-based contracting for energy services and equipment. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SHB 1789 – Public Hearing – Expanding revenue generation and economic opportunities from natural climate solutions and ecosystem services. (Remote Testimony Available).
Finance (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/20 @ 8:00am
- HB 1670 – Public Hearing – Raising the limit factor for property taxes. (Remote Testimony Available).
Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 2/20 @ 9:00am
- SSB 5093 – Exec Session – Improving climate resilience through updates to the state’s integrated climate response strategy. (Support/Low)
- SSB 5243 – Exec Session – Concerning high school and beyond planning. (Concerns/Medium)
- SSB 5561 – Public Hearing – Extending the expiration date of the law enforcement community engagement grant project. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Low)
- SSB 5562 – Public Hearing – Supporting Washington’s clean energy economy and transitioning to a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)
- SSB 5703 – Public Hearing – Modifying the Washington college grant and establishing bridge grants. (Remote Testimony Available).
Appropriations (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/20 @ 1:30pm
- HB 1109 – Exec Session – Providing funding for school districts for special education. (Support/Low)
- SHB 1316 – Public Hearing – Expanding access to dual credit programs. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)
- SHB 1392 – Public Hearing – Promoting the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic equipment. (Remote Testimony Available).
- HB 1436 – Exec Session – Funding special education. (Support/High)
Finance (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/21 @ 8:00am
- HB 1575 – Exec Session – Modifying the sales and use tax for cultural access programs by allowing the tax to be imposed by a councilmanic or commission authority and defining timelines and priorities for action.
- HB 1670 – Exec Session – Raising the limit factor for property taxes.
Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 2/21 @ 9:00am
- SSB 5248 – Public Hearing – Using COVID-19 relief funding on high quality tutoring and rigorous extended learning programs. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SSB 5305 – Public Hearing – Establishing the office of career connect Washington. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SSB 5555 – Public Hearing – Creating the profession of certified peer specialists. (Remote Testimony Available). (Monitoring)
- SB 5566 – Public Hearing – Establishing the student basic needs at public postsecondary institutions act. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SSB 5670 – Public Hearing – Permitting 10th grade students to participate in running start in online settings. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SSB 5702 – Public Hearing – Expanding the students experiencing homelessness and foster youth pilot program. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Low)
- SB 5711 – Public Hearing – Extending the terms of eligibility for the Washington college grant program. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)
Appropriations (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/21 @ 1:30pm
- HB 1176 – Exec Session – Developing opportunities for service and workforce programs to support climate-ready communities. (Support/Low)
- SHB 1216 – Public Hearing – Concerning clean energy siting. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Low)
- SHB 1479 – Public Hearing – Concerning restraint or isolation of students in public schools and educational programs. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Medium)
- SHB 1550 – Public Hearing – Assisting eligible children in need of additional preparation to be successful in kindergarten by establishing the transition to kindergarten program. (Remote Testimony Available). (Monitoring)
- SHB 1565 – Public Hearing – Supporting and strengthening the professional education workforce. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SHB 1724 – Public Hearing – Increasing the trained behavioral health workforce. (Remote Testimony Available).
Finance (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/22 @ 8:00am
- HB 1670 – Exec Session – Raising the limit factor for property taxes.
Appropriations (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/22 @ 1:30pm
- SHB 1238 – Public Hearing – Providing free school meals for all. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support)
- SHB 1242 – Public Hearing – Creating a behavioral health work group to study the root causes of rising behavioral health issues in Washington communities. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SHB 1305 – Public Hearing – Improving access to and provision of a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities. (Remote Testimony Available). (Support/Medium)
- HB 1693 – Exec Session – Expanding the students experiencing homelessness and foster youth pilot program.
- HB 1823 – Public Hearing – Modifying the Washington student loan program. (Remote Testimony Available). (Monitoring)
Ways & Means (Senate) – SHR 4 and Virtual JACB – 2/22 @ 1:30pm
- SSB 5057 – Public Hearing – Creating a work group to evaluate the costs of the state energy performance standard for covered commercial buildings. (Remote Testimony Available). (Monitoring)
- SB 5344 – Public Hearing – Establishing a public school revolving fund. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SB 5688 – Public Hearing – Providing carbon sequestration and ecosystem services in the management of public lands. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SJR 8203 – Public Hearing – Establishing a public school revolving fund. (Remote Testimony Available).
Appropriations (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/23 @ 9:00am
- SHB 1216 – Exec Session – Concerning clean energy siting. (Support/Low)
- SHB 1316 – Exec Session – Expanding access to dual credit programs. (Support)
- SHB 1392 – Exec Session – Promoting the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic equipment.
- SHB 1479 – Exec Session – Concerning restraint or isolation of students in public schools and educational programs. (Support/Medium)
- SHB 1550 – Exec Session – Assisting eligible children in need of additional preparation to be successful in kindergarten by establishing the transition to kindergarten program. (Monitoring)
- SHB 1559 – Public Hearing – Establishing the student basic needs at public postsecondary institutions act. (Remote Testimony Available).
- SHB 1565 – Exec Session – Supporting and strengthening the professional education workforce.
- SHB 1724 – Exec Session – Increasing the trained behavioral health workforce.
Appropriations (House) – HHR A and Virtual JLOB – 2/24 @ 9:00am
- SHB 1238 – Exec Session – Providing free school meals for all. (Support)
- SHB 1242 – Exec Session – Creating a behavioral health work group to study the root causes of rising behavioral health issues in Washington communities.
- SHB 1305 – Exec Session – Improving access to and provision of a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities. (Support/Medium)
- SHB 1559 – Exec Session – Establishing the student basic needs at public postsecondary institutions act.
- HB 1823 – Exec Session – Modifying the Washington student loan program. (Monitoring)