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Welcome to Washington’s 2021 Legislative Session!

This is the first week of Washington’s 2021 Legislative Session. The Legislature is scheduled to meet for 105 days with a focus on writing a two-year budget and make any necessary adjustments to the current budget to reconcile the unprecedented need for essential services in food, housing, and health care. The costs of our comprehensive response to the public health and economic crises caused by this pandemic means that our budget must balance a nearly $3 billion revenue shortfall. It’s an incredibly tough fiscal environment but when we speak up together, we can build a healthier, more equitable Washington.

Already there are hearings and actions to take in support of our legislative agenda this week:

  • Both the Senate and House budget committees will hold hearings on the Governor’s funding requests. The Governor’s proposal is the strongest budget we’ve seen for funding smart policies that help get food to people in need, including boosting the purchasing power of SNAP, increasing resources for food banks to meet unprecedented need, and supporting schools to buy Washington grown ingredients for school meals.
  • This Friday, the Senate Early Education and K-12 Committee will hear SB 5128, a bill that will stabilize school transportation funding so that we may preserve bus services and staffing to deliver meals, homework, and supplies to our kids.
  • This Thursday, Senate Ways and Means will hear SB 5096, the Governor’s proposal for a capital gains tax that takes a step towards cleaning up our tax code.
  • Later this week, Rep. My-Linh Thai will introduce a bill to provide Recovery Rebates through the Working Families Tax Credit which will provide much needed cash support to cover basic needs for food, rent, and other essentials.

Because of the ongoing public health crisis from COVID-19, the legislative session will be convened remotely this year. There will be no in-person meetings with legislators and the public will not be able to attend hearings or other proceedings in person. Instead, the public has new tools and opportunities to participate in the legislative process without having to travel to Olympia. Please see our mini toolkit in our Take Action section for more information about these tools so you can join our advocacy efforts.

Join us for Hunger Action Week: Feb. 8-12

We’re finalizing details for a week of trainings on advocacy and talking points on our anti-hunger priorities so you’ll be prepared to meet with your legislators with others from your district in online meetings that we’ll schedule for you on Feb. 12. Register here and register today!

What You Can Do