Check the Status of 2021 Legislative Bills We Tracked

(last updated: September 21, 2021)

Since January, the Justice System Committee has been tracking justice-system related bills filed during the 2021 legislative session. All bills listed below have been signed into law.

Policing

  • HB 1001 – Authorizes the development of a 2-year grant program to encourage a broader diversity of candidates to seek careers in law enforcement. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • HB 1054  – Requires law enforcement agencies impose new training and policies for vehicular pursuits; bans using chokeholds and neck restraints; establishes guidelines for using tear gas; requires developing a model policy for using police dogs to apprehend or arrest people; bans acquiring or using certain specified military equipment; and prohibits concealing badge identification information. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • HB 1088 – Requires law enforcement agencies to report officer misconduct, affecting credibility or any act of an officer that may be exculpatory to a criminal defendant, to prosecuting authorities. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • HB 1089 – Requires the State Auditor to review completed deadly force investigations and allows the State Auditor to audit entire departments for compliance with standards. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • HB 1109Expands the statutory rights for sexual assault survivors and requires status updates on cases tied to previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits collected prior to July 2015. Effective date: 4/26/2021
  • HB 1267 – Establishes the Office of Independent Investigations to investigate deadly force incidents involving officers. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • HB 1310 – Requires the Attorney General to develop model use of force and de-escalation tactics that law enforcement agencies must adopt. Authorizes using tear gas only to alleviate risk of serious harm during a riot. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5051Establishes the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to create and administer standards and processes for certification, suspension, and decertification of officers. Removes confidentiality of complaints, investigations, and disciplinary actions; and requires it be maintained on a public database. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5055 – Standardizes and improves arbitrator selection procedures and prevents law enforcement personnel from entering into a contract that prohibits civilian review of officer disciplinary actions. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5066 Requires an officer to report another officer’s misconduct and immediately intervene when another officer is using excessive force. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5259 – Requires reporting, collecting, and publishing information about law enforcement use-of-force interactions with the communities they serve. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5263 – Repeals existing laws that create hurdles for police accountability and prevent families and victims from recovering monetary damages. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5476 – Temporarily recriminalizes simple drug offenses as misdemeanors (as a “fix” to the Supreme Court’s decision in the State v Blake case) and requires that a person be offered diversion to services at least twice before they can be prosecuted. Effective date: 7/25/2021

Incarceration and Re-Entry

  • HB 1044 – Expands opportunities for postsecondary education in prisons; requires an annual report on recidivism rates post release for those in these programs; and requires the Dept. of Corrections accommodate those with learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and cognitive impairments. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • HB 1078 – Automatically restores voting rights to felons after they’ve completed a total confinement sentence. Effective date 1/1/2022.
  • HB 1295 – Enhances educational institutions’ ability to extend academic credit for language and general education to youth in or released from secure facilities. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5119Requires the Dept. of Corrections to investigate any unexpected death during incarceration and publish a report within 120 days. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5304 – Expands the Medicaid suspension policy to include correctional institutions, state hospitals, and other treatment facilities. Requires full reinstatement of Medicaid benefits upon release from confinement. Effective date: 7/25/2021

Judicial System

  • HB 1140 – Provides juveniles access to an attorney before waiving constitutional rights. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5118 – Expands the Intrastate Detainer Act to include persons incarcerated in juvenile rehabilitation facilities and allows individuals to request to resolve untried warrants in district and municipal court. Effective date: 7/25/2021
  • SB 5226 – Removes the option to suspend a person’s driver’s license for a traffic infraction, for failing to respond within 15 days, or for failing to appear at a hearing. Provides an option to enter into a penalty payment plan if a person is unable to pay. Effective date: 1/1/2023

Public Safety

  • SB 5038 – Makes it a gross misdemeanor to open carry a firearm at or within 25 feet of a public demonstration, the west state capitol grounds, capital grounds buildings, and other legislative locations. Effective date: 5/12/2021