This year’s state legislative session was a huge success! United Way’s advocacy work really paid off in the 2018 Washington Legislature. We are thrilled to share the following 2018 public policy victories, beginning with Breakfast After the Bell.
It was a strenuous five-year journey of working with legislators, crafting bill language, building coalitions, obtaining national grant funding, piloting school breakfast programs and advocating for child nutrition. Finally, on March 7, 2018 Breakfast After the Bell was signed into law.
This bill will make a tremendous impact on approximately 30,000 more students who are eligible for school breakfast, but not currently receiving it. Now, 400 schools across Washington will be required (and funded) to make breakfast more accessible. We’re elated to have spearheaded a policy change that ensures students have access to healthy, nutritious food during the school day – just like lunch!
We are also happy to report some big wins in criminal justice reform. Both Legal Financial Obligations reforms and The Fair Chance Act, were signed into law. These bills help people with convictions to achieve financial stability, decreasing recidivism and breaking an intergenerational cycle of poverty.
Significant steps were taken to alleviate King County’s homelessness crisis this session. Changes were made to the Document Recording Fee, and the legislature banned Source of Income Discrimination. These changes expand and make permanent funding for services that get people housed. They also eliminate barriers to using public housing subsidies in the private market.
Finally, we’re proud to report that the state budget expands home visiting. This funding increase enables home visiting services to be provide to 275 new families, readying young children for school and parents for being educational role models.
Thank you for your support and advocacy on these critical issues. Together, we are building a community where families are people have homes, students graduate, and families are financially stable.
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