Leg Session 2014 Recap

Mar 31, 2014 by

Leg Session 2014 Recap
The Weight of Washington: Our 2014 Legislative RecapThe start of Spring marks the end of a short, but productive 2014 legislative session. And if there were a theme for our collective efforts to advance obesity prevention in the Washington State Legislature this year it would be ‘partnership.’This year we saw leadership and grassroots partners from a variety of settings stand up for healthier communities.Below we highlight the results of some of our top legislative priorities of 2014 and the people who fought particularly hard for healthy communities, and give you a healthy flavor for what’s to come.


govinsleeHealthiest Next Generation
Governor Inslee requested HB 2643/SB 6383, the first formal legislative request to invest in obesity prevention in our state legislature history.The crux of the bill is to identify policies and funding actions that would protect our children’s health. It also funds staffing for an interagency workgroup to examine these issues.The bill did not cross the finish line in the legislature but was  funded partially ($350K) through the operating budget. We will be closely monitoring its implementation.
bike to schoolTransportation
To the disappointment of many healthy communities and transportation advocates, there was no major transportation revenue package passed this year.On the plus side, COPC was the recent recipient of a grant from Voices for Healthy Kids to work on sustaining and expanding Safe Routes to Schools funding in the future.
kidsatmichaelt-225x300Healthy Schools
COPC received support, but ultimately no funding for a Capitol budget proposal that would put water bottle stations in WA schools. Rep. Monica Stonier was a great champion for the request; however a supplemental Capitol budget failed to pass on party lines. We continue to work with partners like the YMCA in the interim to install pilot stations and established a Statewide Healthy Beverage Workgroup to work off of initial support for this request.Rep. Marcus Riccelli also advocated for funds in the Capitol budget to update school kitchens to make cooking healthy, fresh meals possible.In spite of convincing research, the Breakfast After the Bell bill came up against some opposition in the legislature but will be reworked for next session.
flag_sealBreastfeeding-Friendly Washington
HB 2329 and SB 6298 creates a designation for hospitals and birthing centers that support and encourage breast-feeding – a practice linked to lower obesity rates later in life. The bill received strong support in the House and Senate and is expected to be revived next year.
‘Shout Outs’ to Healthy Communities Advocates Who Made Waves this Session!shoutoutGov. Jay Inslee pushed for direct legislative investment in obesity prevention with his Healthiest Next Generation bill.Rep. Marcus Riccelli (Spokane) fought for funding healthier school kitchens.Rep. Monica Stonier (Vancouver) supported our efforts to make water more accessible in WA schools.Southwest Healthy Living Collaborative was a standout local advocate for our statewide efforts.Erin Dziedzic, our lobbyist, proved invaluable to our relationship building and wave making this session.
What’s Next?  In June, COPC will hold its annual policy and systems priority-setting meeting for 2015. If your organization would like to provide feedback and join our efforts, we invite you to check out our membership application.

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