BILL REQ. #:  Z-0662.3 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2014 Regular Session

By Senators Becker, Pedersen, and Kohl-Welles; by request of Governor Inslee

Read first time 01/23/14.   Referred to Committee on Health Care .

     AN ACT Relating to coordinating and expanding efforts with private and public partnerships to help ensure Washington's healthiest next generation; and adding a new chapter to Title 70 RCW.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that:
     (1) For the first time in our country's history, children and youth across the country are predicted to have shorter lives than their parents. In order to ensure the next generation is the healthiest ever we need to ensure children and youth have a healthy weight, enjoy active lives, eat well, live in safe and stable homes, and have less contact with environmental toxins. Every child deserves to grow up healthy and enjoy the beauty and benefits of Washington state. The most effective and efficient way to ensure a healthy Washingtonian is to start as early in life as possible. Healthy children are more likely to become healthy adults.
     (2) Helping children become more healthy is a multistate agency and multisector issue. Much work is underway among state agencies, in health care, early learning, schools, and among many other sectors and organizations across the state, but more needs to be done and the work is not as coordinated as it should be. The legislature therefore intends to establish a governor's council to be accountable, measure and complete a comprehensive coordinated project with private and public organizations that have work underway, and to guide and inform activities and offer small grants to expand effective programs or innovative incentives like rewards for kids in school for meeting physical fitness and healthy eating goals and choices for our children that have demonstrated to work to help children be more active and healthy.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   (1) The governor's council for the healthiest next generation is established to identify policy-related action plans and funding recommendations based on data, best practices, and expert opinion that protect children's health and support community-level changes.
     (2) The council shall include the following members:
     (a) The governor, or designee, shall serve as chair of the council;
     (b) The chairs of legislative health and education committees;
     (c) Agency heads of department of health, office of the superintendent of public instruction, department of early learning, health care authority, department of agriculture, department of transportation, and the department of social and health services; and
     (d) Local and state community and business leaders appointed by the governor.
     (3) The council may create advisory committees on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of obtaining input and supporting working relationships with nutrition and physical activity experts and practitioners, parent and student associations, school and child care administrators and faculty, business and established stakeholder organizations for the purpose of informing their research, policy, and funding recommendations. The council shall maintain a contact list of ad hoc advisory committees to provide notices to stakeholders regarding the purposes of ad hoc advisory committees, timelines for planned work, means for participation, and a statement of desired outcomes.
     (4) The governor's council shall oversee the work of the strategic work group that includes the existing efforts from and representation by the department of health, the office of the superintendent of public instruction, and the department of early learning. Members must also include representation from local public health and others with expertise in nutrition and physical activity. The strategic work group shall provide expertise and collaborate across the following high-impact focus areas to prevent childhood obesity:
     (a) Breastfeeding-friendly environments;
     (b) Healthy early learning environments; and
     (c) Healthy school environments.
     (5) The strategic work group shall take the following immediate actions to improve children's health:
     (a) Support comprehensive breastfeeding policies;
     (b) Use existing toolkits for early learning professionals, including child care providers and early childhood education and assistance contractors, which provide recommended strategies to ensure all children are active, eating healthy food, and access to drinking water, to be made available on department of early learning's web site;
     (c) Create a mentoring program to support child care providers in early learning facilities and school staff to implement the toolkits and recommended strategies in this chapter;
     (d) Use research and best practices, to enhance the performance standards for the early childhood education and assistance program described in chapter 43.215 RCW to include best practice standards on healthy eating and physical activity; nutrition education activities in written curriculum plans; and incorporating healthy eating, physical activity, and screen time education into parent education suggested topics;
     (e) Revise statewide guidelines for quality health and fitness education in schools;
     (f) Consider childhood obesity prevention research and best practices when revising rules concerning children's health outcomes; and
     (g) Identify and support other cross-collaboration opportunities between state agencies and other private and public organizations.
     (6) The governor shall discontinue the council upon a determination of reduced need or resources.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   The strategic work group established in section 2 of this act shall submit their recommendations to ensure better children's health in a report to the governor, the governor's council, and the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 31, 2014, which includes the following:
     (1) Summary of impacts of childhood obesity on short and long-term health outcomes, health care and other costs, academic achievement in early learning, and school settings;
     (2) Opportunities for partnerships and multisector collaboration;
     (3) Identification, description, and gap analysis of state and local government and community-based programs using expertise from the governor's council to prevent childhood obesity, including cross-agency efforts such as:
     (a) Environmental factors;
     (b) Safe streets;
     (c) Access to drinking water; and
     (d) Consideration of all different families and populations;
     (4) Assessment of feasibility, benefits, and challenges of strategies in each of the high-impact focus areas identified in section 2 of this act;
     (5) Identification of additional policy and funding recommendations including a range of actionable items for consideration by the legislature, including innovative programs to increase physical fitness in schools, healthy food choices, and tobacco and substance use cessation and prevention;
     (6) Additional action steps and outcomes to reduce childhood obesity, including a focus on reducing health disparities in specific population groups; and
     (7) Costs and resources required to implement the strategies identified by the strategic work group.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   The council and the strategic work group established in section 2 of this act shall collaborate to identify shared goals and benchmarks such as:
     (1) Increase the percentage of infants who continue to breastfeed for at least six months. Increase percentage of children ages two through four with a healthy weight; and
     (2) Increase the percentage of tenth graders with a healthy weight.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5   Sections 1 through 4 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 70 RCW.

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