Boehnke bills move toward votes in House

OLYMPIA… With less than two weeks to go before lawmakers adjourn for the year, four bills proposed by Sen. Matt Boehnke remain on track to become law.

Three of the bills line up with Boehnke’s agenda for the 2024 legislative session: make Washington safer and more affordable, and build a better future for the state’s children.

Senate Bill 6079 would make juvenile-detention records available to managed-health care organizations and behavioral-health administrative services organizations for care-coordination activities. The bipartisan bill was endorsed by the House Committee on Human Services, Youth and Early Learning on Tuesday, ahead of the deadline for policy bills to move forward. The bill has been referred to the House Rules Committee for review.

The second of Boehnke’s bills to win committee approval in the House of Representatives this week is Senate Bill 5891, intended to maintain order within school buses by designating trespassing on a school bus as a criminal offense.

“There was a time when no one would have seen a need for this bill, but the times change, for better or worse,” Boehnke said. “One thing that hasn’t changed is how every day, school bus drivers take on the responsibility of transporting our future generations. This bill can help with that, and it needs to become law.”

The bipartisan bill, SB 5891 was passed by the Senate on February 9. A revised version cleared the House Committee on Community Safety, Justice and Reentry on Tuesday and has been referred to the House Rules Committee for review.

AUDIO: Boehnke school bus trespass bill continues to move forward in state Legislature | LISTEN HERE

A third bill, SB 6296. supports the retail workforce by creating a retail industry workgroup to identify and recommend four colleges to pilot micro- and short-term credentials for the retail workforce. It was passed out of the House Committee on Postsecondary Education and Workforce on Wednesday and referred to the House Rules Committee.

“Senate Bill 6296 is a testament to Washington’s commitment to creating a sustainable and dynamic workforce. By fostering career pathways, we’re supporting individual growth and fortifying the backbone of our state’s economy,” Boehnke said.

A fourth bill, SB 6068, expands the ability of courts to work with the DOC to collect and report more data about foster kids’ adoption and reunification rates A report will be due to the legislature by July 1, 2025. The bill was passed to the House and passed out of the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary on Wednesday. A House Committee on Appropriations public hearing is scheduled for February 23, followed by an executive session on February 26.

“The unanimous support for SB 6068 in the Senate underscores our bipartisan commitment to improving the lives of dependent children in Washington. This bill equips us with the necessary tools to assess our dependency system’s effectiveness and make adjustments that prioritize the relational permanency and overall well-being of every child in our care,” Boehnke said.