Partners for Our Children

The legislature intends to create a legislative-executive WorkFirst poverty reduction oversight task force and an intergenerational poverty advisory committee in order to lay the groundwork in Washington for advancing intergenerational prosperity and reducing poverty. The task force shall include diverse, statewide representation and its membership shall reflect regional, racial, and cultural diversity to adequately represent the needs of all children and families in the state and will work towards:

 (1) Reducing the overall percentage of people living below two hundred percent of the federal poverty level.  The task force must work toward this goal in a manner that seeks to eliminate disparities including, but not limited to, disparities by race, ethnicity, sex, gender, zip code, immigration status, age, household type, and disability status;

(2) Preventing and addressing adverse childhood experiences and the trauma of children who are living in poverty through the provision of effective services.

(3) Directs the department of social and health services to develop a five-year plan and a ten-year plan to address intergenerational poverty. Authorizes the department of social and health services to establish and maintain a system to track intergenerational poverty. Beginning December 1, 2019, and each December 1st thereafter and in collaboration with the advisory committee, provide an annual report to the governor and the appropriate committees of the legislature on the progress being made towards the goals identified 26 in this section.

The task force will also:

Review existing statutes, administrative codes, and budget appropriations for their impact on advancing the goal of fifty percent poverty reduction by 2025.  Collaborate with the advisory committee to develop strategies to reduce poverty and prevent adverse childhood experiences, and monitor the impact of these strategies.  Seek input on best practices from service providers, community-based organizations, legislators, state agencies, stakeholders, the business community, and subject matter experts; Collaborate with partner agencies and the advisory committee to share and analyze data and information regarding intergenerational poverty in the state, with a primary focus on data and information regarding children who are at risk of continuing the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency unless outside intervention is made.

Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill: The Governor must appoint only one member from each agency represented on the Task Force and each agency serving in an advisory capacity to the Task Force. A null and void clause is added and the bill is null and void unless funded in the budget.

The bill was amended prior to passage on the House floor.  The amendment reinstated a representative of the Office of Financial Management and removed the representative of the Department of Corrections as members of the task force.

Note: An amendment was adopted on the Senate floor during the debate on the Senate budget that establishes an intergenerational poverty advisory committee, incorporating language from HB 1482. And, $60,000 was included in the House budget for the Intergenerational Poverty Task Force per HB 1482.