Washington State Ballot Initiative Restricting Restroom Access Would Put $4.5 Billion in Federal Funding At Risk

Washington State Ballot Initiative Restricting Restroom Access Would Put $4.5 Billion in Federal Funding At Risk

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Washington Won't Discriminate
Washington Won’t Discriminate

Law impacts 10,500 transgender youth and 15,900 transgender adults in the state

A ballot initiative in Washington, Initiative Measure 1515, would require public schools to restrict access to restrooms and other shared facilities based on biological sex, and may require similar restrictions in all state and local government buildings. The initiative would put at risk up to $1 billion annually in federal funding to schools, and may put at risk an additional $3.5 billion annually in funding to state and local government entities, according to a new analysis conducted by the Williams Institute.

The study analyzes the potential fiscal impact on Washington as a result of conflicts between Initiative 1515 and seven federal laws: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Executive Order 13672, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Affordable Care Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Housing Act of 1949. Funding provided through the laws supports schools, workforce development programs, law enforcement, health care programs, housing assistance, and programs for survivors of violence.

“The non-discrimination requirements in these federal laws protect transgender people from discrimination, including by allowing them to use restrooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity,” said Amira Hasenbush, Jim Kepner Law and Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute.  “Federal agencies that enforce these laws are authorized to suspend or terminate funds if recipients violate the non-discrimination requirements.”

In addition, Washington will incur the costs of administrative enforcement actions and litigation arising from the law.

The potential fiscal impact of the law includes:

  • Loss of federal educational funding of up to $1 billion annually to K-12 schools, and up to $3.3 billion annually to public colleges and universities as a result of Title IX violations;
  • Loss of federal contracts to state and local government entities of an estimated $80 million to $130 million annually as a result of Executive Order 13672 violations;
  • Loss of federal funding to support workforce development programs of up to $65 million annually;
  • Loss of federal grants authorized by the Violence Against Women Act of an estimated $2.5 million or more annually;
  • Loss of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a result of Affordable Care Act violations;
  • Loss of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a result of violations of the Housing Act of 1949;
  • Costs incurred as a result of litigation and federal administrative enforcement under Title IX, Executive Order 13672, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Affordable Care Act, Title VII, and the Housing Act.

Read the full report here.

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