Tuesday, April 28 2015

Legislative Updates - April 28, 2015

Building Changes works closely with advocacy partners to champion support for vital programs that work to make homelessness rare, brief and one time. Go to our State Policy & Advocacy page to learn more about our 2015 Legislative Priorities and related updates.

Homeless Youth Act

Homeless Youth Act signinGovernor and First Lady Inslee with Jim Theofelis and youth from The Mockingbird Society celebrating the signing of the Homeless Youth Act

Governor Jay Inslee signed the Homeless Youth Act (Senate Bill 5404) into law on April 24th. The Homeless Youth Act:

  • Establishes the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Programs
  • Sets a goal that young people will not be discharged from state systems (such as foster care or juvenile justice) to homelessness
  • Transfers youth housing programs from the Children's Administration to the Department of Commerce
  • Makes a technical change to include youth in the Washington Youth & Families Fund (WYFF)

We thank the Governor, First Lady Trudi Inslee, and bill sponsors Representative Ruth Kagi and Senator Steve O'Ban for their leadership and work on this important legislation—a big step toward making homelessness rare, brief and one time for youth and young adults in our state.

Advocate Voices Needed

Michael Brown video clipVIDEO CLIP: Michael Brown, Building Changes Board President, talks about the importance of the Washington Youth & Families Fund partnership and his hopes for youth and families.

Building Changes continues to advocate for important legislation that benefits homeless kids and families, including a $3 million allocation for the Washington Youth & Families Fund. Your voices are needed now more than ever to make sure WYFF and other housing and homelessness programs remain in the budget, as a special 30-day legislative session begins on April 29th. Since state lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a budget for the next two years, budget negotiations will move behind closed doors over the coming weeks.