Our platform for the 2021 legislative session has been a total success. The budget provisos that we worked on this year made it into the budget and the two priority bills passed and were already signed by the governor!
This means the following:
- There will be an income replacement program for Washington’s undocumented workers who lost their jobs or lost their income due to the pandemic. There will be an implementation process and afterwards we will be sharing more about the program and how your members will be able to access it. This proposal includes funds for a work group to create a proposal to create a permanent program for undocumented workers who suffer loss of income in similar cases.
- $35 million was appropriated to provide healthcare services to people with little or no health coverage, regardless of immigration status. This will be provided through grants to providers, and
- A long-term plan is also included – funds will be used so that the Health Benefit Exchange can explore opportunities to facilitate the enrollment of people excluded from Medicaid or federal programs, such as undocumented persons, to a state health program for the year 2024. One option for the Exchange is to develop an application for a federal waiver. Other exceptions were included.
Detention and deportation
- HB1090, Banning Private Prisons, has been passed by the legislature and signed by the governor! The contract for the Northwest Detention Center expires in 2025 and cannot be renewed.
- HB1072, Eliminate Restrictions on the Use of Civil Legal Aid Funds, has been passed by the legislature and signed by the governor! This change will remove the restriction on the use of civil legal aid funds that does not allow the funds to be used to help undocumented persons.
We do not expect any pushback on the two budget provisos, but the healthcare equity coalition will send a letter to the governor to ask that he sign our healthcare proviso without any changes.