Rep. Hans Zeiger introduced legislation in Washington that would apply the concept of social impact bonds to state human services projects and programs.
House Bill 2337 would create a 14-member Washington Social Investment Committee, made up of legislators, financial and philanthropic experts as well as social scientists. No later than December 1, 2014, the steering committee would develop an implementation plan for at least one pilot program that uses social impact bonds or other public-private financing mechanisms to finance and deliver prevention-focused social or health care services. The bill received its first hearing yesterday before the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee.
“The old bureaucratic models of solving problems have too often fallen short; we need to embrace creativity and innovation as we seek to address some of the most difficult issues before us,” Rep. Zeiger said in a press release. “It is time we engage the private sector in solving some of our biggest public problems. Potentially, investors could receive a return based on the success of the program in solving a problem and reducing costs to the state.”