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Here’s an update from Our Children Our Future on Legislative Bills and Issues as of Jan 25, 2019

It’s been a busy week at the Capitol!  Many of the OCOF Platform issues are moving through the Legislature (see full updates below) and need YOU to take action! Click on the links to find out more info on each issue, follow the bill on the legislature’s website, or contact the issue team lead.

January 29 is our next OCOF Tuesday at the Capitol. SNAP is the main focus of this day, but you can advocate for any issue. You can register here.

We’ll meet at the OCOF office at 1636 Kanawha Blvd East at 8:30 to share the latest info, then head to the Capitol. The day will be spent meeting with legislators on SNAP advocacy, clean drinking water, fair pay, clean elections, education, and other platform issues. You can focus on the issue that you’re most passionate about or meet with your own elected officials.

New to this? No worries! Organizers and experienced lobbyists will be with you every step of the way. All you need to do is be there to show your power.

Thanks to generous donors, we are able to cover some costs for folks with limited means. Just request assistance when you register.

Take Action Now!

*** Senate Bill 252 clarifies the duties of the Office of Minority Affairs and comprehensively outlines how coordination of the eight pillars of : (1) family development, (2) community development, (3) workforce development, (4) economic development, (5) education reform (6) housing development, (7) criminal and juvenile justice reform and (8) health and social services, and provide the environment to address improvement in marginalized communities and populations! Gabrielle Chapman

Call Senator Boso now at (304) 357-7973 to put it on the Senate Government and Organization Committee agenda for the Committee’s consideration.

*** HB 2010 : Key legislative and DHHR leaders are working to sell off the management of services for our state’s foster care and child welfare kids and families to an out-of-state corporation. This would put a middleman between our foster children and youth and other vulnerable kids and their families and the care they need to stay healthy, stay safe, and live a better life. The choice of whether a child, youth, or family receives health, behavioral health, and socially necessary services would be put not in the hands of their doctors and providers, but in those of a managed care organization (MCO) whose profit may depend on approving or denying those services. We can make the right changes for vulnerable kids and families by requiring DHHR to work with stakeholders and communities to take care of our own.
Take action on HB 2010 here.

Other Platform Issues

*** Women’s Health EquityHB 2500 – This bill removes the tax on period products & was sent to the House Finance Committee. Alisa Clements alisa.clements@ppsat.org

*** WV Summer Feeding for All – HB ??? – It’s been introduced, but doesn’t have a number yet. Jenny Anderson janderson@ourfuturewv.org

*** Clean ElectionsHB 2169 – This bill will make it easier for third parties to get candidates on the ballot. It’s currently in House Judiciary Committee.  Julie Archer julie@wvcah.org

*** Restore SNAP Benefits for People in Re-Entry and RecoveryHB 2459 – This great bill is FLYING! It has passed the House, and is moving into Senate Judiciary.  Lida Shepherd lshepherd@afsc.org

*** Debt-Free Higher Education – SB 1– This bill is really moving, and while it has many good qualities, it also has some other issues we’d like to see change. It has passed the Senate, and is on its way to House Judiciary.

*** Katherine Johnson Fair Pay ActHB 2308 – is sitting in the House Committee on Industry and Labor.  Rebekah Aranda aranda05@yahoo.com

*** Protect Our Drinking Water – Rule, rather than a bill – was amended this week in Senate Energy Industry and Mining to include stronger protections for our drinking water. This is great, and it now head to Senate Judiciary. Carey Jo Grace careyjo@ourfuturewv.org

Other Great Stuff We’re Watching

*** Expungement – SB 152  – We’ve worked on expungement before, and fully support it now. The Senate bill has passed and it now in House Judiciary.  Lida Shepherd lshepherd@afsc.org

And Bills of Great Concern

*** Omnibus Education Bill: This was released (in three different conflicting versions) Jan 25, and is in Senate Education now. It attempts to tie teacher pay raises to a range  of policies from retaliatory provisions about work stoppages to increased classroom sizes. More will come clear as this one emerges from the shadows, but we should probably buckle in for a wild ride on this.

Contact Kristen O’Sullivan kristen@ourfuturewv.org if you have any questions!