2020 Legislative Session Summary

Mar 26, 2020 by

2020 Legislative Session Summary

The Washington State Legislature’s Support of Healthy Communities

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2020 WA Leg Session Wrap COVER

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BILLS

Our priority bill, Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids (SB 6455) made great progress this session but unfortunately was not ultimately brought to the House floor for a vote. Starting pretty early in session, we encountered real interest in adding 100% fruit juice and flavored milk. We took the opportunity throughout session to educate legislators why 100% fruit juice and flavored milk were not included on the list of healthy beverages in the bill – specifically highlighting the high sugar content of these beverages. We and our partners decided at the outset that we wanted to stay strong on our original healthy beverage list and we messaged that consistently throughout the legislative process. We made real strides in educating many legislators on these important (and nuanced) issues and that can only lead to stronger sugary beverage policy work in the future.

Special thanks to our prime sponsors, Rep. Monica Stonier and Sen. Marko Liias and to key partners groups, most notably the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics (WA Chapter) and Arcora.

 

Other Enacted Key Bills:

  • HB 2660 (Rep. Marcus Riccelli): increases use of the Community Eligibility Provision to provide meals at no cost to all students. As a result of this bill, 7,200 more students at high need schools will be able to access nutritious school meals without worrying about how they will afford it. Operating budget included $57,000.
  • HB 6091 (Sen. Judy Warnick): formalizes the Food Policy Forum, which is a public/private partnership that has been meeting for a few years to build bipartisan policy recommendations to improve the health of our food system. Budget provided funding to Dept of Agriculture and the Conservation Commission for staffing.

BUDGET

  • Department of Health
    • SNAP Healthy Food Incentives
      Food and health advocates were successful in helping to secure an additional $1.3 million for the Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program. This year’s investment is critical since the state didn’t receive funds in the last round of federal grantmaking. This investment will sustain the program through the current biennium for 35,000 SNAP shoppers without interruption.
    • WIC Fruits and Vegetable
      $111,000 in funding provided to distribute a fruit and vegetable benefit of no less than $28 per summer farmers’ market season in the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition program. Bill language found in HB 6309.
  • Department of Transportation — Active Transportation Funding
    (Safe Routes to School; Bike and Pedestrian; and Complete Streets projects)
    For much of session it was unclear what the Legislature would choose to do about the impact of I-976 on the transportation budget. The final transportation budget utilized one-time transfers, adjustments, and the usage of underspent dollars due to deferred or cancelled projects to balance the budget. The budget did not make the extensive cuts that were anticipated heading into session, and still believed by many to be coming in the long-term.

 

Other key budget items are found in the table below:

Budget Item Description
Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Council:
$150,000 to Traffic Safety Commission
Funds to support implementation of this Council.
No Child Left Inside:
$500,000 to State Parks and Recreation Commission
One-time funds are provided for additional grants for youth-focused outdoor education and recreation programs.
Standards Alignment Support:
$3.079 million to Department of Children, Youth & Families
Various support to family home providers for multiple supports.
Youth Extracurricular Activities:
$696,000 to Department of Children, Youth & Families
Funding is provided for 1,425 youth in an out-of-home placement to participate in extracurricular actives such as art, sports, summer camp and clubs to ensure these youth have the same opportunities for recreational experiences as their peers.
Hot Breakfast:
$900,000 to Department of Corrections
Funding provided to reinstate traditional hot breakfast at three facilities
Health Education Standards:
$75,000 to OSPI 
One-time funding is provided for OSPI to develop a list of curriculum and supplemental curriculum supports that align with the K-12 health education standards in order to support teaching emotional, mental, and behavioral health in schools.
WA State Equity Office (E2SHB 1783):
$1.289 million to Governor’s Office
Funding provided to create this new office to promote access to opportunities and resources that reduced disparities and improve outcomes.
Insulin (E2SHB 2662):

Attorney General’s Office: $35,000

Office of Insurance Commissioner (OIC): $45,000

Health Care Authority: $259,000

Health Benefit Exchange: $172,000

Funding provided for a workgroup to reduce the cost of insulin and caps total out of pocket costs for a 30-day supply.

To update standards, review filings, complete actuarial rate review as part of rulemaking.

For the support the Total Cost of Insulin Work Group and to complete the report.

For the support the Total Cost of Insulin Work Group and to complete the report.

Diabetes Management:
 $75,000 to Health Care Authority
Funding is provided for the agency to conduct a request for information for a provider of a diabetes disease management program.
Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee
$75,000 to the Recreation & Conservation Office
One-time funding is provided for an outdoor recreation advisory group in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources, State Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The advisory group must develop a plan to promote outdoor recreation in Washington, review previous outdoor recreation plans, and create a legislative strategy. A report to the Legislature is due by November 30, 2020.
 

 

Thanks to all of you for your good ideas, your support and advocacy. We cannot achieve these victories without your active engagement!

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