It's that time of year again - kiddos are returning to school, the days are getting (ever so slightly) longer, and Washington State's lawmakers are back in Olympia for the annual state legislative session. Between now and April, lawmakers will be making key decisions about child care, early learning, paid family and medical leave, the Working Families Tax Credit, and more. They'll also write the state budget for the next two years - the decisions made over the next few months will have lasting impacts on our kids, families, and communities. That is why it is critical that lawmakers are hearing from you!
This year, MomsRising's call to action for lawmakers is clear: strengthen Washington's care infrastructure! After years of advocacy, mobilizing, and organizing from mothers and caregivers, our state has one of the most robust care infrastructures in the nation, but it’s not perfect. We need to make sure as many families, caregivers, and mothers can access the benefits our state provides AND we need to ensure the financial longevity of our state’s care infrastructure.
Here's what we're fighting for in 2023:
Early Learning and Child Care: Expand investments in child care and early learning to fully meet the promises of the Fair Start for Kids Act. Honor and value the work of early childhood educators and caregivers with state-funded compensation, including benefits, for providers across the childcare community.
Family Economic Security: Ensure the newly launched Working Families Tax Credit is accessible to all qualifying families with administrative changes and strengthen the economic security of families across the state with an expanded WFTC and a new Guaranteed Basic Income pilot.
Paid Family and Medical Leave: Strengthen Washington's paid leave program with new resources for community outreach, multilingual application processes, program research, and new rate-setting practices to ensure the future of the program.
Unemployment Insurance for Caregivers: Fix the caregiver penalty in unemployment insurance to keep working parents and caregivers afloat and in the workforce.
Tax Justice: Pass a first-of-its-kind wealth tax on Washington's wealthiest families to generate new resources that can fund community needs like early learning, K-12, health care affordability, and more.
We'll be writing you frequently these next few months - urging you to join us in taking action and supporting key legislation. Together we can make make our mark on the 2023 legislative session! Onward!