February 26th – 2013 Regular Legislative Session Day 44

We’re hearing 18 bills in the Appropriations Committee today. The first 6 bills are:

Substitute House Bill 1177 updates the criteria used by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to identify persistently lowest-achieving schools, to conform to revised federal rules and guidance; directs that the criteria be applied equally to both Title I and non-Title I schools; requires that the OSPI use a Washington Achievement Index to identify schools, if it is federally approved; permits state as well as federal funds to be used for school improvement in a Required Action District, and removes requirements that these districts use one of four federal intervention models; directs the OSPI to design a system of support, assistance, and intervention that is subject to review by the State Board of Education, applies equally to Title I and non-Title I schools, and is implemented in the 2014-15 school year.

Substitute House Bill 1302 expands eligibility criteria which allow youth to request extended foster care services; provides that a court must maintain a dependency proceeding for a foster youth who turns 18, meets the eligibility requirements, and wishes to receive extended foster care services; provides that youth over 18 leaving the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, and youth whose dependency proceedings were dismissed at age 18, may seek extended foster care services through a Voluntary Placement Agreement; and applies the provisions of the act prospectively.

Substitute House Bill 1313 requires employers with more than four full-time equivalent employees to provide paid leave to employees for: (1) specified medical reasons relating to the employee’s or a family member’s health; (2) reasons permitted under existing law requiring unpaid leave for purposes related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; or (3) closure of the employee’s place of business or child’s school or place of care due to specified public health emergencies.

House Bill 1333 requires the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to adjust rates for providers of community residential services for persons with developmental disabilities by an inflation factor during the first month of each fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2013; requires the DSHS to increase the benchmark rate for community residential service providers by 2 percent on July 1, 2013, and an additional 2 percent on July 1, 2014; requires the DSHS to review the indirect client support/administrative rate for all community residential providers, and on July 1, 2013, raise any provider falling below the standard indirect client support/administrative rate to the standard.

Substitute House Bill 1341 creates a civil cause of action allowing persons wrongly convicted of one or more felonies and incarcerated as a result to bring a civil suit against the state for compensation.

Substitute House Bill 1522 directs the Department of Social and Health Services (Department) to develop a strategy for the improvement of the adult behavioral health system; requires the Department to issue a request for proposals for enhanced services facilities; requires regional support networks to develop an individualized discharge plan for a patient and arrange for his or her transition to the community within 21 days of the determination that he or she no longer needs inpatient, active psychiatric treatment.

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