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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.
Since the publication of Washington State's Work Ethic Camp: Proposal for an Evaluation (Institute, October 1993), Washington State opened the Work Ethic Camp for adult offenders, and passed legislation to develop a Basic Training Camp for juvenile offenders. This paper discusses both of these developments, and provides an update of the national research findings on this topic.
Proposals to limit the length of time a family could receive welfare (Aid to Families With Dependent Children--AFDC) have been made at both the federal and state levels. Limits of two and five years are most common. Although a time limit was not adopted in Washington State in 1995, the legislature passed E2SHB 2798 during the 1994 legislative session. When it goes into effect, this legislation will reduce a family's monthly AFDC check by 10 percent after the fourth year.
Employment has been the major pathway off welfare (Aid to Families With Dependent Children -
AFDC) in Washington State. Employment has also been emphasized in recent welfare reform
proposals at the national level. Because most women on welfare earn low hourly wages when they
work, it is difficult for them to leave and stay off welfare.
This paper examines the reasons why women on welfare increased their hourly wages, above their starting wage, while they were employed during the Family Income Study period. Starting wages depended upon womens educational level, previous work experience, age, and local labor markets.