Legislative Agenda

Legislative Agenda

Policy Priorities > Legislative Agenda

The path to a thriving state economy begins by ensuring we have a just and inclusive society in which everyone can participate and reach their full potential.

Our 2019 legislative agenda outlines our priorities for building prosperity and advancing equity. Our top priorities are:

  • Modernizing and expanding the Working Families Tax Credit to boost the incomes of approximately one million hardworking Washington families.
    • Legislative session update: Leaders in the House and Senate put forth proposals to modernize and expand the credit. Although the proposals ultimately stalled, the policy garnered strong public support that is only going to keep growing ahead of the 2020 session.
  • Supporting families in meeting basic needs by reinvesting in WorkFirst/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program.
    • Legislative session update: The legislature took a modest, but important step to roll back some damaging recession-era cuts to WorkFirst/TANF, and it made a $14.5 million investment in HEN.
  • Putting postsecondary education within reach by starting a statewide Child Savings Account program that helps kids save for college.
    • Legislative session update: This proposal had two hearings in Olympia and had bipartisan support from legislators. Although it didn’t make it past the fiscal cutoff, the national call for asset-building policies like this one propels us to keep building coalitions in support of this policy.  
  • Investing in affordable, high-quality early learning by supporting the workforce, addressing infrastructure needs, and expanding access to Working Connections Child Care and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP).
    • Legislative session update: Lawmakers laid the groundwork for making child care more affordable and available by passing the Child Care Access Now Act and expanding the number of children getting access to ECEAP.
  • Closing the tax break on capital gains to balance the tax code and ensure the wealthiest pay their share.
    • Legislative session update: Democrats in the House and Senate introduced proposals to tax high-end capital gains but they didn’t pass this year. While that was disappointing, public support for this proposal remains strong, and so does ours.

Making progress toward a better Washington

The Budget & Policy Center and our partners helped advance many legislative priorities in the 2018 budget and the 2017 budget! And check out some additional highlights of our 2017 policy successes.