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Legislative Update: Week 11

What has the Northwest Harvest Advocacy team been up to in Olympia this week?  

A few quick updates:

  • On Friday, March 24, the Washington State Supreme Court issued their opinion, affirming the constitutionality of the capital gains tax. This decision approves $500 million per year in new funding for child care and education through a capital gains tax on ultra-millionaires and billionaires. Read more at the Invest in Washington Now press release. You can also learn more by watching this video explaining the capital gains tax in greater detail.
  • The Senate budget was introduced on Thursday, March 23. You can find a breakdown of proposed projects on the Senate 2023-25 Biennium and 2023 Supplemental Capital Budget Proposals website. The House budget will be introduced and have a public hearing on Monday, March 27. You can submit written testimony in support of our legislative priorities, specifying your support for our primary agenda bills and encouraging House members to appropriately fund them.
  • HB 1784 (emergency hunger relief bill) was unanimously voted out of the Senate Ways & Means committee this week. We expect a Senate floor vote sometime next week.
  • HB 1559 (basic needs act/college hunger) had a public hearing in the Senate Ways & Means committee this week. “In short, this is a bill whose time has come,” says Bryce McKibben (Hope Center for College, Community and Justice) during testimony. “Half of students in Washington are experiencing some form of basic needs insecurity […] It’s a student success bill, it’s a workforce bill, and an economic mobility bill all in one,” said McKibben. He urged lawmakers to pass and fund this important legislation. You can watch testimony on TVW.
  • HB 1238 (school meals bill) is scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Tuesday, March 28 at 4:00pm. Please sign in PRO by Tuesday, March 28 at 3:00pm.
  • Support agenda bills HB 1260 and HB 1447 were both heard in the Senate Ways & Means committee on Thursday, March 23. 

In the News this Week:

  • City Inside/Out: Feeding communities as food prices soar and SNAP benefits shrink, Seattle Channel, March 22. Over half a million Washingtonians face a hunger cliff as federal pandemic food benefits come to an end. With rising food prices and shrinking donations, area food banks are also struggling to keep their shelves stocked. We hear from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Christina Wong, and other leaders about the urgent work to fight food insecurity and alleviate poverty in our state.

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