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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

WA Bill Supports Trans Youth as Attacks Across US Increase

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Monday, April 17, 2023   

As legislation across the country targets transgender people, Washington state lawmakers are moving in the opposite direction.

The Legislature recently passed Senate Bill 5599, which is designed to help transgender youth from becoming homeless. It also supports people in need of abortion care.

State Sen. Marko Liias - D-Everett - sponsored the bill.

"Our trans youth who are seeking gender affirming care or any youth that's seeking reproductive health services, that it's not safe for them to be at home," said Liias, "can stay in a licensed shelter or in a host home for a longer period of time with supervision by our Department of Children, Youth and Families to make sure that they're safe."

Under the current law, young people can only stay in a shelter for three days without parental permission.

Twenty-eight percent of LGBTQ youth report experiencing homelessness or housing instability at some point in their lives, according to a 2021 Trevor Project survey.

The legislation also provides support for transgender youth who come from out of state.

Liias said Washington state is making itself a welcoming place as other states move to pass harmful legislation, such as banning gender-affirming care for young people.

"Especially at the national level where the headlines just can be so hopeless," said Liias, "there are places in this country that care about our trans community and are doing what we can to be supportive and ensure that they can be as successful as possible."

The legislation passed through the House last week. Washington's legislative session is scheduled to adjourn over the weekend.




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