HB 2518 creates the WA intergenerational poverty reform commission, defines its purpose, duties and membership; directs the Dept. of Social and Health Services to establish and maintain a system to track intergenerational poverty; creates the intergenerational poverty advisory committee to assist the commission; directs the commission to provide a report to the Governor, legislature, and WorkFirst legislative executive task force, and describes what needs to be included in the report. The commission will create an ongoing 5 and 10 year plan, updated annually, that contains measureable goals and benchmarks, recommend policy, procedure and program changes to address the needs of children affected by intergenerational poverty, ensure that changes are supported by data, and provide a forum for public comment and participation.
Summary of changes in substitute:
The substitute bill defines poverty to include persons at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Additionally, it requires the Department to gather information on the impact of poverty on other areas of child and family well-being. The substitute bill requires the Commission to collaborate with the Department and the Advisory Committee in creating the required annual report, with the first report due October 15, 2017.
The substitute bill requires that the membership of the Advisory Committee include diverse, statewide representation from public, nonprofit, and for-profit entities and that the membership must reflect regional, racial, and cultural diversity to adequately represent the needs of all children and families in the state. It adds the chair of the Advisory Committee as a co-chair of the Commission. It also expands the Advisory Committee membership to allow for 15 members and requires the Advisory Committee choose its chair from among its membership.
As amended by the House of Representatives, the substitute bill's subsection that defines poverty was removed from the bill.
As amended by the Senate Human Services Committee the system established to track intergenerational poverty must include information regarding alcohol or chemical dependency, mental health, marriage, and community involvement. The data must be broken down by the additional categories: Religious affiliation, familial status at time of birth, and presence and involvement of extended family. The term "gender" is struck. Additionally, a sunset clause was added to this Act. In 2020, JLARC will conduct a sunset review and the Act terminates on June 30, 2021. The Act is repealed on June 30, 2022.