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State Legislative Advocacy

We advocate for positive changes that improve Washington State’s response to domestic violence and increase survivors’ options for safety and independence. 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!

Want to get involved in the Legislative Process? Learn more and take action here!

The Washington State Legislature adjourned on March 7, 2024.  Check out our latest policy resource to stay up to date on what we were up to this past session. Learn more about some of the proposals passed this session that will have an impact on survivors in our state: WSCADV Report on the 2024 State Legislative Session

2024 Legislative Session

Survivor households are facing increased levels of violence, fewer options, and cascading struggles that were only exacerbated by the pandemic. Domestic violence programs throughout the state are experiencing growing waitlists for services while they continue to face devastating funding cuts, more complex survivor needs, an affordable housing crisis, and staffing challenges.

Multiple domestic violence programs have seen more than a 50% increase in calls since the beginning of the pandemic, and requests for legal services and housing assistance have greatly increased. Continuation of domestic violence services and safety for survivors and their children are central to our policy advocacy.  

Session ran from January 8 to March 7, 2024. Our priorities this session included:

  • Safety, health, & wellbeing for survivors
  • Housing & economic security
  • Anti-violence education & violence prevention
  • Racial equity
  • Human dignity

Below are some of the bills WSCADV wanted to highlight for our Member Programs and survivors. Please note that we track over 100 bills during session, and this is not an exhaustive list of the bills WSCADV supported. If you have questions about our priority agenda, please email

Legislation WSCADV Supports

Failed to pass.

Following the proven success of guaranteed basic income (GBI) pilot programs in jurisdictions of Washington state, this bill would establish the 2-year Evergreen Basic Income Pilot Program to provide monthly, unrestricted cash payments to Washington residents whose income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and who belong to one or more vulnerable population group(s) as defined in the eligibility criteria, including persons exiting a relationship or living situation due to domestic violence. This would give survivors the cash they need to secure housing, transportation, or other things necessary to stay safe and stable.

Failed to pass.

The Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) was passed and funded by the state legislature in 2021. Eligible households can receive up to $1,200 per year starting February 2023. This is a great way to help survivors and families put food on the table and pay for emergencies or whatever else they need. This bill would expand the WFTC to include all adults 18 years or older, extending the current age range of 25-65 years. We believe that all people, regardless of age, should benefit from the WFTC.

Passed, effective January 1, 2025.

This bill acknowledges that the people most impacted by the proposed policy should be in the room helping to create that legislation. Survivors of domestic violence have had to fight for their voices to be heard. This bill honors that fight and codifies a pathway for survivor voices to have a seat at the table.

Passed, effective February 28, 2024.

This bill clarifies multiple aspects of the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) without modifying the credit amount or eligibility requirements. This bill makes applying for the WFTC slightly more flexible by expanding the sources the Department of Revenue can use to verify eligibility, including an applicant’s self-attestation. The WFTC has been a great resources for survivors and we support the continued efforts to ensure this is accessible and equitable for all.

Failed to pass.

Incarceration isolates people from their families, communities, and support systems. This bill would provide a pathway for people who are currently incarcerated with life or long sentences and have made considerable progress in their healing and rehabilitation work to reunite with their families through reduced sentences. This would be particularly impactful for criminalized survivors, who make up the vast majority of incarcerated women, transgender, and gender non-conforming people.

Failed to pass.

Survivors with limited English proficiency and survivors who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing rely on language interpreters to navigate the legal system. In many places across WA, there are not enough certified interpreters to meet survivors’ needs. Without an interpreter who speaks their language, survivors can be cut off from the legal resources they need to maintain their safety. This bill lowers this language barrier by expanding the pool of language interpreters who many be appointed by the court.

Failed to pass.

One of the biggest challenges getting survivors housed is the continued housing crisis in Washington state. Increasing rent prices and costly move-in fees are barriers to a survivor’s ability to access stable housing. This bill would prohibit landlords from increasing rent during the first 12 months of tenancy and no more than 5% within any 12-month period. In addition, landlords would be prohibited from charging different rental amounts for month-to-month leases versus longer-term leases. It also limits move-in fees to the equivalent of one month’s rent or less. All these provisions would make housing more accessible for survivors, who often have to navigate complex and difficult re-housing systems after escaping abuse.

Passed, effective March 26, 2024.

Harassment and violence against abortion providers has surged in recent years. This bill would protect providers by allowing them to remove their name from the prescription labels for abortion medications. Keeping providers safe will help protect equitable access to reproductive care, particularly in rural areas where fewer providers may be available. Additionally, this would lead to more survivors across the state having timely access to abortion medication.

Passed, effective November 1, 2024.

The high cost of child care is a significant financial barrier for many survivors. Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) is a program that helps families pay for child care while they work or go to school. This bill expands the WCCC’s impact by waiving work requirements for families participating in the Birth to Three Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) or Early Head Start. Additionally, this bill extends the expanded WCCC eligibility provisions for certain child care providers.

Failed to pass.

This bill would update the current parenting plan statute sections on limitations in parenting plans when there is a risk of harm to the child. Many survivors rely on this section of the statute to seek safety for themselves and their children when creating parenting plans with abusive ex-partners. Survivors often take actions to protect their children from abuse and this legislation provides updated language around actions taken by a “protective parent” that will be particularly impactful for survivors. Additionally, the statute provides new protections for criminalized survivors, expanded guidance for supervised visitation and parenting plans when sexual abuse has taken place.

Failed to pass.

This bill would protect access to quality and affordable health care when health entities, such as hospitals, hospital systems, and provider organizations, consolidate. Such mergers and acquisitions occur without community input and can drive up costs, decrease quality of care, and restrict access to reproductive care, gender-affirming care, and other health care services. This is especially critical for DV survivors and for anyone whose access to health care is already restricted, including members of marginalized communities and residents of rural areas.

Passed, effective July 1, 2024.

This bill provides trauma-informed responses for survivors engaging in the legal system and expands survivors’ rights, including giving survivors the option of attending court proceedings remotely or in-person. It clarifies and expands eligibility for survivors accessing the Crime Victims Compensation Program (CVCP). It also covers survivors’ medical costs and transportation costs for forensic exams, regardless of where the violence occurred (i.e. out of state). Finally, this bill also establishes the Statewide Forensic Nurse Examiner program to ensure forensic nurse examiners and sexual assault kits are readily available when needed.

Passed, effective January 1, 2025.

This bill provides important workplace protections for dancers working in the adult entertainment industry by enforcing safety guidelines such as on-site security during certain hours, clear contracts for dancers, and mandatory safety training for all club staff. It also promotes adult entertainers’ financial stability and independence by ensuring they are compensated fairly and not required to pay high rent fees to their employers.

Previous Legislative Sessions

To view summaries of previous sessions of the Washington State Legislature, please see the “Public Policy” section of our Resource Library.

Wondering how laws are made in Washington State? Watch our short video, Ms. RCW.