Update for Week 3 of the Legislative Session

Breakfast After the Bell Bills:  HB 2536 and SB 6444  

 

Hearings will be held next week on the House and Senate Breakfast After the Bell bills.

House Education Committee, JLOB Hearing Room A

Monday, Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m.

If you’re in Olympia, please stop by and sign in PRO for HB 2536

Senate Early Learning & K-12 Committee, JAC Hearing Room 1

Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 1:30 p.m.

If you’re in Olympia, please stop by and sign in PRO for HB 2536

 

ACTIONS:           

    •  If you have compelling stories or quotes about the importance of school meals, childhood hunger in your community, etc., please send them to Lauren McGowan at UWKC, LMcGowan@wukc.org.
    • Contact your House and Senate members, particularly if they are on the House or Senate Education Committee, and indicate your support for the bills.

 

Emergency Food Assistance Program

The legislator sign on letters for EFAP funding in the House and Senate are done and there’s been great support from lawmakers: almost 35 representatives and 15 senators. The community organization letter is open until Feb. 7 so make sure your organization and your local partners have signed on to support EFAP funding. This letter will be delivered to lawmakers after Hunger Action Day to keep up the momentum.

State Food Assistance

A legislator sign-on letter is being circulated in the House and the community sign-on letter is open until Feb. 7.  Please email Linda Stone if you’d like to add your organization to the letter.  Linda@childrensalliance.org.

The Children’s Alliance Have a Heart for Kids Day is Monday, Feb. 3.  Great fun!  Register here

Farmers Market Nutrition Programs

Food and Farming Day in Olympia is Feb. 11.  Continue to contact members to urge them to provide an added $500,000 in the Supplemental Budget for FMNP.

Federal Update:  Farm Bill Passes the House

The Farm Bill conference committee bill was finally unveiled on Monday night.  The House voted 251 to 166 to approve the bill which includes an $8.6 billion cut to SNAP.

All the members of the Washington House Delegation voted YES, except for Rep. McDermott and Rep. Smith.  Both cited the SNAP cuts in the bill as their reason for voting NO. We’re working on a thank you event for these members but in the meanwhile, please send thank yous!!

The current rumor is that the Senate will take up the bill on next Tuesday.  It is expected to pass and the President is expected to sign it.  Senator Murray issued a statement this week indicating her support though expressing concern about the SNAP cut.  Sarah Bolton and Miles Petrie, key agriculture staff, have expressed a willingness to talk through the Senator’s decision at a future AHNC meeting.

Other parts of the bill affecting hungry families:

  • $200 m in added funds for pilots of SNAP employment and training strategies
  • $2000 m in added funds for TEFAP
  • Funding of a matching bucks program for use of SNAP benefits in Farmers Markets
  • Bad House language restricting SNAP outreach – prohibits “promotion” of the program; prohibits TV, billboard and radio advertising; restricts the way states pay for outreach services.
  • Healthy Food Financing Initiative

Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to connect with Washington’s Congressional Delegation about the impacts of proposals to cut SNAP.  National advocates ended up split about the bill – FRAC continued to urge members of Congress to vote NO; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and other organizations supported passage of the bill.