2019 Legislative Priorities

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While the 2019 Legislature will have multiple priorities and great demands on the state budget, Children’s Campaign Fund (CCF) asks members of the Washington state legislature to work together to ensure that the health and well-being of children is our state’s top priority.

Health Care (physical, mental, dental, vision)

  • Provide funding for at least one mental health professional in every school/250 students
  • Increase access to substance use and mental health treatment, including suicide prevention
  • Expand dental therapy to bring urgently needed oral health care to children and families statewide

Child Safety & Nutrition

  • Eliminate lunch co-pay for low-income children at all grade levels
  • Improve compliance with National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reporting
  • Pass the Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act

Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) Support

  • Ensure successful implementation, including funding, of new department
  • Decrease caseworker turnover rates by addressing caseload

Birth to Five

  • Increase payments for Working Connections Child Care and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) providers
  • Improve access to high-quality preschool for all families
  • Sustain and expand access to home visiting
  • Build and maintain a racially and ethnically diverse workforce of preschool teachers

Early Intervention & Special Education

  • Ensure that funding for early intervention services is reaching eligible infants and toddlers
  • Increase funding for special education while ensuring measures are in place to work for better outcomes with existing funds

Juvenile Justice

  • Keep minors tried as adults in Juvenile Rehabilitation facilities until 25, including funding
  • Invest in diversion options
  • Pass Safe Harbor laws for commercially sexually exploited children

Foster Care (including Homeless Youth)

  • Implement the optional prevention services provisions of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First Act), including funding
  • Evaluate the state’s kinship navigator program to ensure its access to ongoing federal reimbursement under the Family First Act, and also ensure that the program continue to serve families outside the child welfare system to help prevent children’s entry into care
  • Eliminate barriers to housing for families in the child welfare system
  • Expand supported housing options for older youth
  • Increase group home provider rates
  • Support funding for Anchor Community Initiative
  • Increase placement options including flexibility around foster care licensingstandards, licensing more relatives as foster parents, and increased use of the Relative-Guardianship Assistance Program (R-GAP)
  • Expand community and court-based services for families in crisis
  • Create wrap-around supports for homeless and foster youth attending college