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Legislative session is moving quickly

Washington’s 2017 legislative session is off to a fast start! The Legislature convened on January 9 and we’re quickly arriving upon key deadlines for getting bills through various committees and chambers.

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Washington’s 2017 legislative session is off to a fast start! The Legislature convened on January 9 and we’re quickly arriving upon key deadlines for getting bills through various committees and chambers.

HB 1235 – Physical Education-

Our collaboration with the statewide Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition to assess the physical education offered in Washington schools is off to a great start! Currently it is unclear which districts are fulfilling the state standard of offering 100 minutes of physical education per week, the quality of what is being offered, or if there are barriers to fulfilling the standard. House Bill 1235 would ensure that districts report what they are offering so if there is room for improvement we can work together to ensure that our kids get the physical education they deserve. Research shows that active kids learn better, decreasing absenteeism and behavior problems. As of this writing House Bill 1235 was voted out of the House Education Committee with a “do pass” recommendation. It’s been sent to the House floor for a vote of the full chamber. If you haven’t already, take a moment to email your House members and encourage them to vote YES!

 

HB 1054/SB 5025 – Tobacco to 21-

We’re continuing to advocate to raise the legal purchase age for tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21 years of age. You’ve probably heard from us that research shows 95% of adult smokers begin before turning 21. By raising the legal age to 21 we can keep tobacco out of the hands of youth; both those who can no longer buy and those 15-17 who typically get their illegal tobacco from 18-20 year-olds. This effort has had movement in both chambers and continues to draw bipartisan support. We will undoubtedly look to you, our advocates, to help to push this over the finish line this year; keep your eyes open for action alerts offering opportunities to contact your legislators.

This year more than ever we are collaborating with partners across the health and prevention communities – supporting bills ranging from funding for the Emergency Cardiac and Stroke System, to continuing insurance coverage for preventive health services, to funding for a grant program that helps schools acquire physical education equipment, scratch-cooking kitchen equipment, school garden supplies and more.

Thank you for all you do to help move heart-healthy policies forward! Cheers to Washington’s good health! 

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