Public Policy

Creating lasting improvements in health equity means understanding legislation and policy. Our work on the health policy forefront has significantly advanced safe and drug-free schools, school health and fitness standards in schools, provided critical advisement to elected officials, and effectively mobilized Washington citizens in service of policies that support prevention.

Learn more about our work with the Prevention Alliance.

Stay informed on all thing health policy! Subscribe to our Health Policy Newsletter, bringing you weekly updates on the 2017 Legislative Session. 

Health Policy News: Transportation funding updates - April 20, 2015

Last week the House passed a 16 year transportation revenue packageThe grid below shows the House proposed levels for Safe Routes to School and Bike/Pedestrian funding. Advocates are thanking both House and Senate Transportation leaders, asking for support of these initial funding levels as well as an increase for Safe Routes to School projects. A shout out to our partners American Heart Association, Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition and Washington Bikes for their advocacy work this session on Safe Routes to School and Bike/Pedestrian funding. 

For more on the transportation funding package, and updates on e-cigs & vaping. Click to view the entire Health Policy News You Can Use, for the week of April 20th. 

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Health Policy News You Can Use_ Transportation funding updates.pdf

Health Policy News: Budget Update - April 13, 2015

We are entering the fourteenth week of the regular legislative session. Two weeks to go until "Sine Die." This Wednesday, April 15th at 5:00pm, is the next cutoff ‐ the last day to consider opposite house bills, except those with the highly coveted Necessary to Implement the Budget (NTIB) designation.    For 'What We're Watching' and more budget updates, click on the link to the full Health Policy News You Can Use. 

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Health Policy News You Can Use_ Budget Update.pdf

Health Policy News - April 6, 2015

Welcome to the thirteenth week of the legislative session! This Tuesday, April 7th will be the next cutoff to pass bills out of committee. Last Thursday, The House and Senate debated their proposed 2015-17 budgets on their respective chamber floors. The House passed its proposed $38.8 billion budget on Thursday afternoon 51-47, along party lines. The Senate held an overnight session Thursday night, working for more than 10 hours, adjourning at 4:15 a.m. Friday morning.

For What We're Watching this week and more, see the full Health Policy News You Can Use for the week of April 6.

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Health Policy News You Can Use April 6.pdf

Health Policy News - April 2, 2015

Welcome to this special mid-week Health Policy News. The Senate Republicans introduced their $38 million 2015-17 budget on Tuesday. The budget increases funding over the biennium by $4.1 billion from current spending. The proposed budget has no tax increases, but relies on the projected $3 billion in increased revenue due to economic growth, budget reductions, moving $325 million in expected retail marijuana tax revenue to the general fund and allowing several tax breaks to expire.  

For more information, click on the pdf link below. 

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Health Policy News You Can Use April 2.pdf

Health Policy News - March 30, 2015

Welcome to the twelfth week of the legislative session. It's another busy week in Olympia, and Wednesday, April 1st is the cutoff for bills out of policy committees in the opposite house at 5:00pm. The House operating budget for the 2015-17 biennium totaled nearly $39 billion. As expected, $1.5 billion in new revenue sources were proposed, including a new capital gains tax and changes to the business and occupation tax. House Appropriations Chairman Ross Hunter stated he believes the budget will fully fund the McCleary decision as mandated by the state Supreme Court. The budget will also provide more state hospital and community beds for the mentally ill. You can view the full House proposal here. For highlights of the House budget so far, see the full Health Policy News You Can Use.

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Health Policy News You Can Use March 30 2015.pdf

2015 Capital and Operating Budget Insights

On Friday, March the 27th at 11:30 a.m., the House released its nearly $39 billion general fund operating budget for the 2015-2017 biennium. You can view the proposal here. As anticipated, new revenue sources are in the budget for the amount of nearly $1.5 billion. Here is a breakdown of some of what we've been monitoring, with additions from the Senate capital and operations budgets as well as the transportation revenue package:

 House BudgetSenate Budget
Healthiest Next Generation (DOH only)              246,000 0
Grants Program/I-502               6,000,0000
Public Health Hotline/I-502                     410,0000
Education Campaigns/I-502                10,000,0002,450,000
Youth Tobacco & E-Cigarette Prevention                   1,400,0001,400,000
Healthy Kids - Healthy Schools Grants (Scratch Cooking-HB 1164; Hydration Stations)           2,000,0000
Breakfast after the Bell implementation grants           2,950,0000
Housing Trust Fund        80,000,00065,000,000
Safe Routes to Schools56,000,00011,500,000

For more comparison of the House and Senate Capital budgets, click here

Of note: 

Healthiest Next Generation - One-time funding is provided for 1 FTE at DOH to coordinate the work of the Healthiest Next Generation Initiative.

Grants Program/I-502 - Funding is provided for a grants program to prevent and reduce youth marijuana use, consistent with the provisions of Initiative 502. (Dedicated Marijuana Account-State)

Public Health Hotline/I-502 - Funding is provided for a marijuana use public health hotline, consistent with the provisions of Initiative 502. (Dedicated Marijuana Account-State)

Education Campaigns/I-502 - Funding is provided for media-based education campaigns for youth and adults that provide medically and scientifically accurate information about the health and safety risks of marijuana use, consistent with the provisions of Initiative 502. (Dedicated Marijuana Account-State)

Youth Tobacco & E-Cigarette Prev - One-time funding is provided for activities to help prevent tobacco use, e-cigarette use, and vaping. Prevention activities will target youth and populations with a high incidence of tobacco use. (Tobacco Prevention and Control Account-State)

Housing Trust - Funding provided for competitive loans and grants for affordable housing projects statewide that will produce, at a minimum, a total of 1,900 homes and 500 seasonal beds.


Case Study: Advancing No-Smoking Policies in Public Health

Case Study Focus: Washington State has been advancing no-smoking policies in Public Housing Authorities since 2009. This is in large part due to quality, collaborative partnerships involving the Washington State Department of Health, Foundation for Healthy Generations (Healthy Gen), the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of the National Association of Housing, and Redevelopment Officials (PNRC-NAHRO), the Association of Washington Housing Authorities (AWHA), Public Housing Authorities, and local health departments.  

Foundation for Healthy Generations (Healthy Gen) was funded by the Department of Health in 2011 to lead efforts with public housing authorities to create changes in systems that improve the health of residents, including the creation of no-smoking policies. As of 2014, 32 of the 38 Public Housing Authorities in the state have at least one or more properties covered by a no-smoking policy. This includes 34,174 of a total of 38,844 public housing units in Washington State. In 2009, only 4 public housing authorities, with a total of 834 units, had a no-smoking policy in place. The advancement of no-smoking policies currently impacts about 82,000 residents of public housing authorities throughout the state. Twenty-eight (28) of the 32 Public Housing Authorities with no-smoking policies cover 100 percent of their properties. At least 19 Public Housing Authority no-smoking policies are considered comprehensive.


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Health Policy News - March 23, 2015

Welcome to the eleventh week of the legislative session! Last week was a very busy week for health advocates, hearings were held on HB 1645 "Concerning youth substance use prevention associated with tobacco and drug delivery e-cigarettes and vapor products," and SHB 1295 "Concerning breakfast after the bell program." Safe Routes to School advocates came in force to Olympia for Transportation Advocacy Day.

For What We're Watching this week and more, check out this week's Health Policy News You Can Use!



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Health Policy News You Can Use March 23 2015.pdf

Health Policy News - March 15, 2015

Welcome to the tenth week of the legislative session. We have just passed the third cutoff ‐‐ bills had to be out of their house of origin by 5:00 pm last Wednesday, March 11th. The only bills exempt from this cutoff were those with the coveted designation of Necessary to Implement the Budget (NTIB). Focus will now be on working bills on the opposite side of the house it originated in. For those and more, see this week's Health Policy News You Can Use!

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Health Policy News You Can Use March 15, 2015.pdf

Health Policy News - March 9, 2015

It is the ninth week of the legislative session and we are now past the halfway point of the 105-day legislative session. In this newsletter we review the transportation package, take 57 seconds to learn about some of the issues regarding marijuana from Senator Joe Fain, and look ahead to the third cutoff on Wednesday, March 11th.

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Health Policy News You Can Use 3-9-15.pdf

Watch it here:

Marijuana "In 57 Seconds" with Senator Joe Fain
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