State Legislative Advocacy

We advocate for positive changes that improve Washington State’s response to domestic violence. We do this through tracking bills, lobbying in Olympia, and informing and mobilizing our membership to take action on important policy and budget issues.

Stay up to date on our priorities and events by signing up for our action alerts!


2018 Legislative Session

The 2018 session of the Washington State Legislature is under way!

WSCADV’s 2018 Legislative Agenda is an overview of the legislative proposals we identify and prioritize at the outset of each session.

Throughout the session, this page will be continually updated with information on:

Each bill is briefly summarized, and a link is provided to the Legislature’s website where in-depth information including the full bill text, detailed summaries, bill status, amended versions of the legislation, and information about hearings may be found. “HB” indicates bills originating in the House of Representatives, “SB” indicates bills originating in the Senate. “HB / SB” indicates identical bills introduced simultaneously in both chambers. Strikethrough text indicates that a bill has ‘died’ (i.e. failed to progress past the relevant cutoff deadline) and will not become law this legislative session.

Legislation WSCADV supports

U-Visa Certification Uniformity (Enhancing victim participation in the criminal legal system)HB 1022 This is a WSCADV top priority bill.

This bill requires law enforcement and prosecution agencies to provide victims who have been helpful in an investigation or prosecution of crimes described in the federal Violence Against Women Act (i.e. domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, child abuse, trafficking, kidnapping) the certification form they need to help them qualify them for a U-visa, within 90 days of request.

Reauthorizing and Improving Homeless Funding Fees (Concerning access to homeless housing and assistance)HB 1570 This is a WSCADV top priority bill.

This bill secures and increases the amount of document recording fees used to fund homeless and housing assistance for survivors and others across the state. It would also improve access to the funds for non-profit housing organizations and those served by them, as well better aligning data-collection and reporting requirements with federal law.

Prohibiting source of income discrimination in rental housing (Concerning the preservation of housing options for tenants)HB 2578SB 5407 This is a WSCADV top priority bill.

This bill prohibits landlords from discriminating (including refusing to lease or rent or expelling a tenant) against tenants and applicants because of a tenant’s source of income (such as housing vouchers or public assistance).

Protecting survivors from employment discrimination: HB 2661 This is a WSCADV top priority bill.

This bill makes it illegal for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking to be fired, denied employment, or otherwise discriminated against on the job because of the abuse they have experienced; and, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for survivors.

Legal Financial Obligation (LFO) ReformHB 1783

This bill makes a number of reforms to LFOs (Legal Financial Obligations) imposed through criminal courts, including: eliminating the accrual of interest; re-prioritizing victim restitution; prohibiting the imposition of LFOs against indigent defendants.

TANF / WorkFirst asset limitsHB 1831

This bill revises the asset limits used by DSHS to determine eligibility for certain public benefits, including TANF / WorkFirst.

Midwifery and doula services for incarcerated women: HB 2016

Requires jails and the Department of Corrections to make reasonable accommodations for the provision of midwifery and doula services to inmates who are pregnant or have recently given birth.

Concealed pistol license (CPL) return protocolHB 2519

This bill requires law enforcement agencies to treat concealed pistol licences (CPLs) in a similar manner as firearms themselves while executing surrender and return protocols.

Expanded access to temporary ex parte domestic violence protection orders (Concerning ex parte temporary orders outside of normal court hours)HB 2542

This bill allows law enforcement officers to assist survivors in filing for ex parte temporary DVPOs via telephone, at times when the court is closed.

Increasing immigrant access to legal services (Concerning civil legal aid)HB 2308 / SB 6041

This bill allows the use of OCLA (WA Office of Civil Legal Aid) funding to provide representation for certain otherwise-ineligible immigrants, including survivors eligible to apply for U & T visas, as well as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients.

Housing impact fee exemptions: HB 2538 / SB 6294

This bill allows for exemptions from impact fees for new construction of emergency homeless shelters, including DV shelters.

Regulating Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs): HB 2893 / SB 6408

This bill implements recommendations of the Legislative Task Force on Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs), of which WSCADV was a member, including: making permanent the Public Records Act exemptions for victim footage and personal information set to sunset under current law, and applying the law to all jurisdictions with cameras.

Increasing access to emergency assistance for victims by providing immunity from prosecution for prostitution offenses in some circumstancesHB 2361

This bill provides immunity from prosecution for Prostitution for persons seeking emergency assistance in certain circumstances.

Child support pass-through: HB 2371 / SB 6503

This bill requires the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to pass through a portion of child support collections for families receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Washington Fair Chance Act: HB 1298 / SB 6110

This bill prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant’s criminal record at initial stages of interview process.

Allowing court fees for LLLTs: SB 5213

This bill allows limited licence legal technicians (LLLTs) to recover fees from from respondents in domestic violence protection order matters. Current law allows attorneys to recover fees in this manner, but not LLLTs.

Harassment firearms possession: SB 6298

This bill would add domestic violence harassment to the list of crimes prohibiting persons from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

 

Legislation WSCADV opposes

(Look for updates soon)

 

Legislation WSCADV is monitoring

Erin’s Law (Regarding a curriculum for the prevention of sexual abuse of students): HB 1539

This bill establishes the a legislative task force and directs it to adopt a model curriculum to prevent child sexual abuse.

Cyber harassment: HB 2254

This bill changes the name of the crime of “Cyberstalking” to “Cyber Harassment” narrows the elements of the offense to avoid potential Constitutional concerns. This bill also expands the crime of Stalking to prohibit electronic surveillance.

Marriage age: HB 2376

This bill raises the minimum age of marriage to 17, removing provisions in current law that allow marriage under the age of 17 in certain circumstances.

Modifying 3rd degree rape: HB 2465

Current law requires that in order for the crime of Rape in the third degree to have occurred, lack of consent needs to be ‘clearly expressed by the victim’s words or conduct.’ This bill changes the consent requirement so that a person commits Rape in the third degree when, under circumstances not constituting Rape in the first or second degrees, such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person: where the victim did not consent to sexual intercourse with the perpetrator; or where there is threat of substantial unlawful harm to the property rights of the victim.

Increased penalties related to mandatory reporting: HB 2509

This bill, as originally drafted, created a new mandatory civil fine for negligent failure to report and created new criminal liability for ‘obstruction’ of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect. As amended on the House floor, this bill: lowers the penalty for failure to report under current law from gross misdemeanor to simple misdemeanor, but preserves the gross misdemeanor penalty for the new obstruction of reporting crime; and, makes the new civil fine for negligent failure to report discretionary.

Creating the WA Women’s Commission: HB 2759

Establish’s the Washington State Women’s Commission.

Sexual harassment personal information disclosure: HB 2778

This bill amends the Public Records Act to exempt the disclosure of personal information of state employees who have made a sexual harassment claim; it creates a civil cause of action if such personal information is obtained and used to harass, stalk, threaten, or intimidate that employee.

Healthy relationship promotion: HB 2820

This bill creates a stakeholder task force regarding abuse, harassment, and healthy relationships in the workplace.

Trauma-informed child care: HB 2861

This bill requires the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) to convene an advisory group of named stakeholders to develop a ten-year strategy to expand trauma-informed childcare for early learning providers.

Certificates of discharge and vacating of criminal records: HB 2890

This bill expands the ability for persons to vacate certain criminal convictions. Current law states that a person subject to a protection or no-contact order must wait an additional five years after the expiration of the order in order to be eligible for any misdemeanor to be vacated. This bill would allow for a record to be vacated following the expiration of an order, so long as the person did not violate an order within the past five years.

Forbidding sexual harassment NDAs: SB 6068

This bill declares that any provision of a nondisclosure policy or agreement that limits, prevents, or punishes disclosure related to sexual harassment or assault by a party to a civil action relating to sexual harassment or assault is contrary to public policy and unenforceable.

DV offender electronic monitoring: SB 6292

This bill changes existing state law definitions of electronic offender monitoring (such as GPS monitoring) to allow for technology with victim notification capability, and requires the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to contract with provider of electronic monitoring that can provide victim notification and, if funds are allocated, create a fund to pay for such monitoring if the offender is unable to.

Workplace sexual harassment model policy development: SB 6471

Requires the WA Human Rights Commission (HRC) to convene a work group to develop model policies and best practices for employers and employees to keep workplaces safe from sexual harassment.

Juvenile diversion expansion: SB 6550

This bill expands the ability of prosecutors to divert any juvenile in lieu of criminal prosecution, unless the juvenile desires prosecution or the referral for prosecution is coming from a diversion unit. Under current law, juveniles charged with certain crimes may not be diverted, this bill would change that. This bill would also give statutory authority for prosecutors to order restorative justice and additional community-based diversion for juveniles.


2017 Legislative Session

Our 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up Webinar is archived online if you missed it live.

Our 2017 Legislative Session Summary document is available.

 


 

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