Policy Committee Update Q2-2020
The Policy Committee which began at Healthy Living Collaborative continues as part of SWACH’s continued work to convene and advocate for systems that improve healthy living for all members of our communities.
Members of the Policy Committee and SWACH staff were in Olympia in February, meeting with state-level elected officials and advocating for support for bills (SWACH/ HLC 2020 Policy Agenda). Priorities in the 2020 Legislative Session focused on bills that would:
- Improve behavioral health services and the needed reimbursements from Medicaid to properly compensate service providers
- Increase equitable access to quality child care
- Improve wages for early childhood educators
- Address housing issues around affordable housing and move-in fees
- Fund the continuing exploration of school-based health centers
Since our visit to Olympia in February, the Policy Committee has continued to advance the needs of underserved populations by:
- Building relationships and improving communication between police and students
- Working with the Council for the Homeless to raise awareness and improve access for affordable housing
- Championing school-based health centers to improve access to health care
- Working with K-12 systems, ESD-112, and childcare consortium to address the childcare crisis in SW Washington
- Continuing to meet with elected officials during off season
Even as members have tracked progress on the 2020 State Policy Legislative Agenda, the Policy Committee has begun identifying the 2021 focus for legislative advocacy in the coming year.
SWACH will be holding an upcoming Policy Committee meeting on August 19, 2020. These sessions provide an excellent opportunity to get involved. Community members and area agency staff are invited to get involved in this shared work.