Frequently Asked Questions

Which groups are covered by 2SSB 5793?
The legislation and the guidelines offered in this document refer to any Class One workgroup in the state of Washington.

What are class one workgroups?Any part-time board, commission, council, committee, or other similar group which is established by the executive, legislative, or judicial branch to participate in state government and which functions primarily in an advisory, coordinating, or planning capacity shall be identified as a Class 1 group. Throughout this document the word “workgroup” is generally used to refer to any qualifying group.

See Definitions section.

Who is covered under 2SSB 5793?Anyone volunteering their time and expertise to a "class one group” who is either a) low-income or b) has lived experience that participates in the workgroup can be eligible to receive compensation, provided they are not already being paid for their time on the workgroup and they are participating in an eligible activity. See sections Definitions and Eligible Activities.

What counts as “low income”?
"Low income" means an individual whose income is not more than 400% of the federal poverty level. See Definitions section.

What are the limits to compensation?
There is a $200 cap on compensation per member, per day, for their work. If a workgroup member is paid $200 for one day of work and in addition to that compensation they also require reimbursement for gas, hotel, etc., they may also receive that necessary reimbursement in addition to the compensation. There is no limit for daily amounts of reimbursement.

What counts as “lived experience”?
Lived experience is direct personal experience in the subject matter being addressed by the workgroup. For example, a workgroup on the topic of homelessness might determine someone has lived experience if that person has experienced homelessness. More specifically, an agency might seek perspectives from those communities who disproportionately experience homelessness. Academic, professional, or second-hand knowledge of the subject matter, while valuable, may not considered “lived experience.” We also recognize that the relevance of “lived experience” can change significantly over time. When possible, workgroups should prioritize including members whose lived experience is as recent and as relevant to the subject matter as possible.

See Definitions section.

Is compensation mandatory?
Agencies are authorized, but not required, to offer stipends and reimbursements to eligible members of class one groups consistent with RCW 43.03.220 and these guidelines. If agencies offer stipends and reimbursements, they should offer it to all eligible members of that workgroup. Members may elect to not receive the stipend.

How many times can an agency compensate the same individual?
There is no limit to the number of times one person may receive compensation. Agencies should develop extensive community networks so as not to partner with the same individuals repeatedly, thus ensuring they are getting broad representation across Washington.

When does travel status begin?
Travel typically begins when the workgroup member initiates their trip to the meeting location (ie: getting in a car or entering public transit).  Rules around travel compensation are further outlined by the Office of Financial Management. More information can be found here: https://ofm.wa.gov/accounting/administrative-accounting-resources/travel

What work qualifies for compensation?
Attending meetings or performing any other duties assigned by the chairperson or leader of the workgroup can be eligible for compensation. See activities for eligible compensation section.

What is a state warrant and is it related to an arrest warrant?
A state warrant is simply another way of saying a check. In other words, it is a way of compensating people with a paper check similar to what one would receive at a regular job. Checks can be taken to a bank in order to deposit the money into an account, or receive cash in exchange. The term “state warrant” is not the same as a warrant for arrest and is not related in any way to the criminal justice system.

Do workgroup members have to verify their own individual income, their family’s income, or both?
Workgroup members receiving compensation based on their low-income status may be asked to verify that their household’s total income qualifies as low income (for details on this algorithm, see compensation mechanisms section of this document). See definitions and income verification sections.

When should agencies consider seeking advice from OOE, OFM or their assigned AAG?

  • If a class one workgroup member will earn $600 or more in compensation in a year.
  • If there are questions about whether a particular group meets class one status, or a particular activity is eligible for the stipend or reimbursement.
  • If there are questions about how to define “lived experience” for a particular group.
  • If there are questions or concerns relating to public records compliance.
  • If reimbursements are needed for technology or services for community member participation.
  • When seeking to contract with an organization to facilitate the distribution of stipends for community participation in workgroups for the first time