This year’s legislative session is moving right along! A couple of bills that we’re pleased have made it through round one include: SB 5486 (Parents for Parents), HB 1735 (Extended Foster Care), HB 1436 (Homeless Youth Act), HB 1875 (WorkFirst Work Activity) and HB 1999 (Foster Youth Education Outcomes). Of course, their fate in the opposite house is unknown, but for the moment they are alive and continuing to move through the process. Find more bills of interest on our Bill Tracker.

And then there’s the budget – it is still anticipated that the House will release its budget mid- to late March (probably more realistically, late March). This is when we will know more about the budget proviso related to dependency court improvements, as well as items such as funding for Performance-Based Contracting, Family Assessment Response, Home Visiting programs and much more. Stay tuned!

In terms of process, attention has been on floor action this week, with the House and Senate often spending long hours discussing and passing bills. The cut-off for bills to be out of their house of origin is March 11th, and while they have passed a lot of bills already, many are still on the calendar awaiting floor action – not to mention those that are still in the Rules committees! 

Committee meetings will resume on March 12th, and bills need to be out of the policy committees in the opposite house by April 1st. While the finish line is still a long way away, getting bills out of their original house is a major and significant step in the process.

Questions or feedback on our policy updates? Don’t hesitate to email us at info@partnersforourchildren.org. Also, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates on our work during the legislative session and throughout the year.

Have a good weekend!

Laurie Lippold

Public Policy Director