2023 Legislative Agenda & Successes

Each year as we shape our Legislative Agenda, we seek to advocate for systems and policies that advance social justice and racial equity. We are delighted to present some incredible wins this legislative session in two formats:

A two-page summary of successes we are celebrating that you can review and download to share in your community.

A more comprehensive synthesis of the session by our Policy Engagement Director, Kristin Ang.

Download the abbreviated FAN 2023 Legislative Agenda
Download the annotated version of the FAN 2023 Legislative Agenda

Promote Economic Justice

  • Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) Fixes (HB 1477 Rep. Thai) extends eligibility to Married Filing Separately tax filers, which helps survivors of domestic violence; increases the time limit to file claims to 3 years; and creates a legislative reporting requirement.
  • Repeal Statewide Advisory Votes (SB 5082 Sen. Kuderer) ends non-binding advisory votes on the ballot and adds fiscal information to voters’ pamphlets.

Protect and Expand the Social Safety Net

  • Free School Meals for More Students (HB 1238 Rep. Ricelli) expands the subsidized meal program in schools to about 90,000 more students, to provide meals as part of the right to education. This helps create a pathway to ending child hunger and eases the financial burden on families.
  • Hunger Free College Campus (HB 1559 Rep. Entenman) ensures that all students receiving food stamps have a Basic Food, Employment, and Training program (BFET) navigator to help them gain access to food, employment, and training services.
  • Concerning Hunger Relief (HB 1784 Rep. Gregerson) provides funding to food banks, supports senior meals, and invests in the fruit and vegetables incentive program, replacing federal pandemic food benefits that have ended.
  • Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) Improvements (HB 1447 Rep. Peterson) strengthens the ability of TANF to meet foundational needs of children and families through various fixes.
  • Aging, Blind, & Disabled (ABD) Program Fix (HB 1260 Rep. Alvarado) ends the requirement that extremely low-income disabled people pay back ABD benefits after qualifying for federal assistance, for which they are required to apply.

Reform the Criminal Justice System

  • Repealing the Death Penalty and Other Unconstitutional Statutes in State Law (SB 5087 Sen. Pedersen) removes language from the Revised Code of Washington that has been identified by the State Supreme Court or Superior Courts as defects and omissions in the laws.

Increase Gun Responsibility and Protect Public Safety

  • Establishing Firearms-Related Safety Measures to Increase Public Safety (HB 1240 Rep. Peterson) prohibits the sale, manufacture, transport, and import of assault weapons in Washington.
  • Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act (SB 5078 Sen. Pedersen) requires the firearms industry to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls.
  • Requiring a Permit to Purchase Firearms (HB 1143 Rep. Berry) requires a comprehensive background check, safety training, and a waiting period to purchase a firearm in Washington.
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & People (MMIWP) Cold Case Unit (HB 1177 Rep. Lekanoff) creates a cold case investigations unit within the Office of the Attorney General.

Provide Affordable Housing

  • Increasing Funding for the Tenancy Preservation Program and the Landlord Mitigation Fund (Budget) provides $5 million for eviction prevention and funding for tenants’ right to counsel.
  • Increase Funding for Organizations Providing Affordable Housing and Homelessness Services (Budget) provides an ongoing homeless services increase of 6.5% to $45 million to address crisis.
  • Housing and Essential Needs Rental Assistance Program (Budget) provides a permanent ongoing increase of $26.5 million for this program.
  • In the Capital Budget: $400 million for the Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve permanently affordable homes, $40 million for land acquisition to quickly acquire land for affordable housing to be built, $14.5 million for shelter and housing for homeless youth and young adults, $6 million for
    preservation and investments in manufactured housing communities, and $60 million for infrastructure needed when building new affordable homes.

Address Climate Change and Environmental Justice

  • Addressing Climate Change and Resiliency (HB 1181 Rep. Duerr) improves the state’s climate response by updating its comprehensive planning framework.
  • Extreme Heat Utility Shutoff Moratorium (HB 1329 Rep. Mena) prohibits utility providers from discontinuing electric and drinking water services to residential customers during extreme heat.
  • Improving Climate Resilience (HB 1170 Rep. Street) ensures that frontline communities are prioritized and decarbonization goals are met when building upon recent years’ clean energy and climate commitment legislation.
  • Ensuring Restoration of Salmon and Protection of Orcas (Budget) provides funding to move toward removal of lower Snake River dams, including $5 million in the Transportation Budget for analysis of alternative transportation needs, and in the Operating Budget, $2 million for an action plan to transition energy services and $500,000 for an irrigation availability plan for agricultural production.

Protect Healthcare Access

  • Safe Health Care Staffing (SB 5236 Sen. Robinson) establishes minimum staffing standards to improve worker safety and patient care.
  • Shield Law (HB 1469 Rep. Hansen) protects reproductive care patients and providers from out-of state legal action.

Support Immigrant Rights

  • Healthcare Equity for Immigrants Campaign (HEIC) Fund (Budget) includes $110M to continue funding for the Exchange’s Cascade Care Savings program available to undocumented immigrants under 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL); $49.5M for a new Medicaid-like program for undocumented immigrants under 138% FPL; $7.7M to increase the limited number of low-income immigrants eligible for long-term care support; and $3.7M to support outreach, customer assistance, and administration for the new programs.