With the close of the 2023 Washington State Legislative session, YWCA Clark County wanted to share with you an update on the final budgets and bills that impact our mission and values.
State Budget: Adjourning the regular session on April 23rd, lawmakers successfully passed a $70 billion-dollar operating budget (ESSB 5187) for the 2023-2025 biennium. New spending totals $4.7 billion, but no new taxes or fees were included in the final budget bill. Rather, a variety of fund transfers from various reserve and dedicated accounts were used to fund the administrative and social services of the state.
Earlier in the session, you may remember our calls to action asking you to contact your area legislators to request $132 million in joint funding for domestic violence and crime victim services. Well, it worked! Grassroots advocacy from YWCA supporters — like you — ensured that DV survivors and the nonprofits who serve them will receive:
- An additional $8 million per year of funding for DV emergency shelter contracts through 2025.
- $41.3 million in one-time funding for crime victim services to stave off federal funding cuts; and
- $750,000 in one-time funding for DV shelters.
The final capital budget (ESSB 5200) appropriates $9 billion in spending for the 2023-2025 biennium and was passed unanimously in both chambers. The final transportation budget (ESHB 1125) invests $13.4 billion into increasing the transportation workforce and completing large infrastructure projects.
Signed into law by Governor Inslee last month, Washington became the 10th state in the nation to ban assault weapons with the passage of HB 1240. The bill is a package of proposals aimed at reducing gun violence by immediately banning the importation, distribution, sale, or offer for sale of any assault-style weapon in the state.
Another bill, HB 1143, requires background checks with a 10-day waiting period for the sale or transfer of any firearm. Previously, the 10-day hold only applied to semiautomatic assault rifles. Also signed into law was SB 5078, which adds more liability for gun manufacturers and dealers under public nuisance laws — a relatively new legal approach that has been adopted in five states.
The biggest news related to YWCA’s legislative priorities was the passage of HB 1715, a bill that touts “comprehensive protections” for victims of domestic violence. The bill passed with 42 Yeas to 7 Nays in the Senate and 91 Yeas to 7 Nays in the House after numerous reforms were adopted to bill’s language around domestic violence response.
The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that it “does not have any concerns with the final version of the bill.”
2023 Bill Scorecard.xlsx APPLICATIONS(2)