2021 Legislative Session Wrap Up
This was a positive legislative session in many ways, All the education bills we supported passed. A combination of federal and state funding supported education. An additional 0.5 counselors in high poverty schools, additional nurses for small schools, after school and summer school programs, outdoor education, and transportation and enrollment stabilization were all funded in the operating budget. The capital budget included $411 million to expand broadband internet access to rural and underserved areas.
Bills the League Supported That Passed
SB 5030 This bill would require school districts to develop and implement a written plan for a school counseling program by the 2022-23 school year. It would require school counselors to spend at least 80 percent of their time providing services to students rather than on meetings and administration. The bill is on Governor Inslee's desk.
SB 5044 This bill would add equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism to existing cultural competency training for school board directors, district staff, and school staff. The bill is on Governor Inslee's desk.
SB 5128 This bill would provide additional student transportation funding during a local, state, or national emergency. The bill is on Governor Inslee's desk.
HB 1139 This bill requires school buildings built or plumbing replaced before 2016, to do sampling and testing for lead contamination at drinking water outlets. The bill is on Governor Inslee's desk.
HB 1225 This bill would establish a school-based health center program office to award grants and provide support, training, and technical assistance to school-based health centers. The bill was signed by Governor Inslee on April 16.
HB 1273 This bill would require school districts and private schools by the 2022-23 school year to make menstrual hygiene products available at no cost in all gender-neutral bathrooms and bathrooms designated for female students in schools that serve students in any of grades six through 12. The bill is on Governor Inslee's desk.
HB 1336 This bill would authorize public utility districts, port districts, cities and towns, and counties to provide retail telecommunications services. The bill is on Governor Inslee's desk.
HB 1476 This bill originally required use of 2019-20 enrollments to calculate state appropriations if greater than 2020-21 and 2021-22 enrollments. The House removed those provisions, codified changes to levy formulas for the 2022 and 2023 calendar years and added intent language that the Legislature intends to provide enrollment stabilization funding in the operating budget. The Senate passed the bill, and it is on Governor Inslee's desk.
Bills the League Watched That Passed
SB 5383 This bill would authorize a public utility district to provide retail telecommunication services in an unserved area under certain conditions. This is similar to HB 1336, and they are to work together. The bill is on Governor Inslee's desk.
Bills the League Opposed That Missed the Cutoff
HB 1396 This bill would require all 2.5 social studies credits be taken in U.S. history and government. This would remove the semester credit of civics, where state and local government are taught.
SB 5374 This bill would require students to take the Heritage Foundation's Guide to the Constitution and the study of the history and negative effects of communism.
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