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The 1994 Washington Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2319, a wide-ranging Act whose purposes are to achieve measurable, cost-effective, reductions in criminal violence and other ?at-risk? behaviors of youth. The Act adopted a number of policies designed to reduce: (1) violent criminal acts; (2) teen substance abuse; (3) teen pregnancy; (4) teen suicide; (5) dropping out of school; (6) child abuse or neglect; (7) domestic violence; and (8) state-funded out-of-home placements. The Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to evaluate whether these policies achieve a measurable reduction in youth violence in Washington. This report highlights the “big picture” trends in six of the eight at-risk behaviors identified by the Legislature. Data in this report are current through 1994.
In 1995, the Washington Legislature revised the state special education funding formula and developed a safety net process to assist school districts with three areas of specific financial need. The Legislature also directed the Institute, in cooperation with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Office of Financial Management (OFM), and the fiscal committees of Washington’s Legislature, to evaluate the allocation of safety net funds under Washington’s special education funding formula. A summary of the first round of safety net applications and future directions to improve the process are presented in this paper.
In the 1995 legislative session, E2SSB 5439 (the "Becca Bill") was passed by the Washington State Legislature and signed into law. Its purpose is to give parents, police, schools, and courts the ability to intervene earlier in the lives of at-risk youth. Sections 66-74 of the new law address truancy. The new law requires the school district to file a truancy petition directly with the juvenile court if a juvenile has five unexcused absences in a month or ten in a school year. The Becca Bill directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to review and evaluate: the need to develop a statewide definition of excused and unexcused absences; the need to prohibit school districts from suspending and expelling students as disciplinary measures in response to unexcused absences; and the process of filing truancy petitions. This report describes how the law has been interpreted and implemented in school districts and juvenile courts from September through November 1995.
This study identifies baseline data necessary for the legislature to: 1) understand the scope of current programs with significant public funding for infants and toddlers with disabilities, and 2) examine the commitment that the state made in accepting federal requirements for early intervention programs under Part H of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Act) as of October 1994.
The 1995 Washington Legislature directed the Institute, in consultation with the Office of Financial Management and State Energy Office, to review options regarding distribution of state energy-related functions located in the Energy Office and develop an implementation plan for the closure of the Washington State Energy Office. This proviso also directed the Institute to (1) explore the feasibility of using non-profit organizations to provide energy-related services; (2) explore options for distributing these services to other state entities; and (3) consider the time schedule and statutory changes necessary for this distribution.
The Community Protection Act was implemented in Washington State in March 1990. One of the provisions of the Act, known as the community notification law, authorizes local law enforcement agencies to disseminate information to the public regarding convicted sex offenders who reside in the community. Washington State's community notification law was the first of its kind in the nation. Several other states have now enacted similar laws. This report provides the first examination of how the community notification law has been implemented in Washington State, who has been affected by it, and its impact on recidivism among sex offenders who were subjects of the law.
This review brings together in one report the important findings of the Institute's Family Income Study, a longitudinal study of Washington households that received public assistance or were at risk of receiving assistance. The report summarizes the dozens of reports, newsletters, issue briefs and conference summaries that are the research results of five annual interviews with sample households from 1988-92.
This paper analyzes and evaluates the use of environmental tax policy across the country in two categories: recycling and water quality. The intention is to provide background information on environmental tax programs that can be used as a guide for the design and implementation of environmental tax programs in Washington State. With information from programs in other states, legislators and agencies can learn from both the positive and negative elements of programs tested elsewhere.
Washington State's Community Protection Act includes a provision allowing public officials to warn communities about potentially dangerous sex offenders when they are released from incarceration. The statute does not specify how dangerousness is to be assessed, nor does it establish methods for notification. Local jurisdictions, therefore, have implemented the law in a variety of ways. This paper describes how local jurisdictions determine, with assistance from the state, which sex offenders are dangerous, and how they notify the public. A sample of jurisdictions were contacted to ascertain their decision-making procedures and costs.
The 1994 Washington Legislature passed E2SHB 2319, a wide-ranging Act whose primary purpose is to reduce the rate of violence-particularly youth violence-and other at-risk behaviors in the state. To accomplish these reductions, the legislature adopted three policy approaches: public health, community health and safety networks, and increased criminal penalties. The legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to evaluate the effectiveness of these policies in reducing the rates of violence and the other at-risk behaviors. This report describes the Institute's evaluation plan.