2019 Legislation

  • SB 5332 Vital statistics (Pedersen): Our 1950s era (or earlier) vital records statutes continue to require parentage information from mothers and fathers, even though not all families look that way today. This bill modernizes the state vital records system. This bill matches the vital records language with the Uniform Parentage Act and updates the entire Vital Records chapter. Under the bill, Department of Health (DOH) creates both certified copies of vital records and informational copies that support vital records research while honoring the regular requests received by DOH to limit access to the cause and manner of death. Access to certified copes of birth and death records will be limited to qualified applicants. Lastly, the bill increases the fee for certified copies of vital records and the amount of the fee transferred to the State Death Investigations Account. Passed Senate 33-15 and House 79-16 and signed by Governor.
  • SB 5342 Gender licenses/voter registration (Randall): Creates a non-binary gender category in applications for certain programs. Referred to State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee, but no public hearing was held. Bill failed to pass Committee.
  • SB 5356 LGBTQ Commission (Wilson, C.): Creates the Washington State LGBTQ Commission. Designates June of each year as LGBTQ month with the 4th week in June designated as a time to celebrate the contributions LGBTQ people have made to the state. Passed Senate 30-16 and House 67-28 and signed by Governor.
  • SB 5395 Sex education (Wilson, C.): Requires every public school to provide comprehensive sexual health education by September 1, 2021 by selecting either a comprehensive sexual health curriculum Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) or a curriculum using OSPI-approved tools. The comprehensive sexual health education must be evidence-informed, medically and scientifically accurate, age-appropriate, and inclusive for all students. Allows a parent’s or legal guardian’s to have her or his child excused from the instruction. Senate passed 28-21, and a public hearing was held in the House Committee on Education. Bill failed to pass House Committee.
  • SB 5602 Reproductive Health Access For All Act (Randall): Directs the Health Care Authority to administer a family planning program for individuals over nineteen years of age who would be eligible for the Take Charge Program if not for immigration status. Prohibits discrimination in the provision of certain reproductive health care services on the basis of gender identity or expression. Requires health plans and student health plans to provide coverage for certain reproductive treatments and services. Passed Senate 29-20 and House 58-40 and signed by Governor.
  • SB 5689 Bullying prevention (Liias): Requires school districts to adopt or amend a transgender student policy and procedure, and for Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to develop mandatory training for primary contacts for the transgender student policy and the anti-harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy. Provides that a teacher’s evaluation may not be negatively impacted if a teacher chooses to use curriculum or materials that address sexual orientation including gender express or identity if the materials are age appropriate and connected to the content area. Passed Senate 30-19 and House 60-36 and signed by Governor.
  • SB 5745/HB 1774 Extreme risk protection orders – hate crimes (Liias/Jinkins): Directs the court to consider relevant evidence regarding a threatened hate crime in determining whether to issue an extreme ERPO. Replaces language referring to dangerous mental health issues with language addressing behaviors that present an imminent threat of harm to self or others. Senate bill referred to and passed Law & Justice Committee, but failed to pass Rules Committee. House bill referred to Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee, but no public hearing held and bill failed to pass committee.
  • SB 5850 Bias-based criminal offenses (Salomon): Renames the crime of malicious harassment to the commission of a hate crime, removing confusion around the malicious harassment statute and clarifies that these are hate crimes. Adds gender identity and gender expression to the statute. Allows a trier of fact to infer an act was due to the victim’s association with a protected class if certain actions are taken. Requires the attorney general to convene a Hate Crime Advisory Working Group. Senate bill referred to and passed Committee on Law & Justice, but failed to pass Committee on Rules.
  • SB 5900, HB 1650  LGBTQ veterans coordinator (Randall/Kilduff): Creates the position of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer coordinator within the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs. LGBTQ veterans face many obstacles—many received an other than honorable discharge under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell because of who they love or because of their identities. This bill has the potential to change those discharges, recognizing their service, and allowing those veterans and their families to access benefits. Senate bill was referred to and passed Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections, while House bill was referred to and passed Committee on Housing, Community Development & Veterans. Both bills then referred to and failed to pass fiscal committees.
  • HB 1447 Mental health parity (Jinkins): Defines “mental health services,” for health benefit plans issued or renewed before January 1, 2020, as medically necessary outpatient and inpatient services provided to treat mental disorders covered by the diagnostic categories listed in the most current version of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, published by the American psychiatric association. Referred to Health Care & Wellness, but no public hearing was held and bill failed to pass committee.
  • HB 1551 HIV modernization (Jinkins): Thirty years ago, these laws were enacted when there was not yet a robust body of scientific understanding about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In contrast, many Washingtonians are now living long, healthy lives with HIV. The bill repeals statutes related to counseling for HIV testing, the Office of AIDS, and requirements that agencies establish rules requiring acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) training for certain professions and employees. Updates language and changes references in the control and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases chapter from AIDS or HIV to sexually transmitted disease or blood-borne pathogen. Allows a minor of 14 years of age or older to give consent to treatment to avoid HIV infection without a parent or guardian’s consent. Consolidates and expands rulemaking authority for the State Board of Health relating to control of sexually transmitted diseases. Modifies crimes related to transmission of HIV and repeals prohibitions on an individual who has a sexually transmitted disease, other than HIV, from having sexual intercourse if the partner is unaware of the disease. Referred to and passed Health Care & Wellness, but failed to pass Committee on Rules.
  • HB 1687 Identity defense (Stanford): Prohibits a criminal defendant from using certain defenses based on the discovery of, knowledge about, or potential disclosure of the victim’s actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, including under circumstances in which the victim made an unwanted nonforcible romantic or sexual advance towards the defendant, or if the defendant and victim dated or had a romantic or sexual relationship. Referred to and passed Public Safety, but failed to pass Committee on Rules.
  • HB 1732 Bias-based criminal offenses (Valdez): Based on 2017 data, hate crimes are up by 42% in Washington, making us rank third in the nation for hate crimes. The bill changes the name of the criminal offense of “Malicious Harassment” to “Hate Crime Offense”. Expressly includes “gender identity or expression” as a protected category under the Hate Crime Offense statute, rather than including this category by cross-reference. Adds circumstances to the list of acts that allow the trier of fact in a criminal prosecution for a Hate Crime Offense to infer that a threat was intended. Increases the maximum punitive damages available in a civil action brought by a victim of a Hate Crime Offense from $10,000 to $100,000. Creates a multidisciplinary hate crime advisory working group within the Office of the Attorney General.  Passed House 73-21 and Senate 35-11 and signed by Governor.

2018 Legislation

  • SB 5722 (Liias) / HB 2753 (Macri) – Restricts the practice of conversion therapy by licensed health care providers. Status: Passed Senate 32-16 on Jan. 19, and passed House of Representatives 66-32 on Feb. 28. Signed into law.
  • SB 5766 (Liias) – Requires development of a model transgender student policy, and for school districts to adopt policies and procedures that incorporate the model, as well as other changes to prevent harassment, intimidation, bullying, and discrimination in public schools. Status: Passed Senate 44-5 on Jan. 25, and did not pass House of Representatives.
  • SB 6037 (Pedersen) – Changes requirements surrounding surrogacy under the Uniform Parentage Act. Status: Passed Senate 27-21 on Feb. 7, and passed House of Representatives 50-47 on Feb. 27. Signed into law.
  • HB 2398 (Kilduff) – Expands existing prohibitions for excluding a person from jury service to conform with the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). Status: Passed House of Representatives 98-0 on Feb. 8, and passed Senate 49-0 on Feb. 27. Signed into law.
  • HB 2459 (Reeves) – Current statute requires certain elected positions of major political party committees to be either male or female. Status: Passed by House State Government and Elections & Information Technology Committee, but did not pass House of Representatives.
  • HB 2514 (Kilduff) – Makes it more efficient and less expensive to remove discriminatory covenants. Status: Passed by House of Representatives 97-0 on Feb. 8, and passed Senate 48-1 on Feb. 27. Signed into law.

OTHER BILLS OF INTEREST

  • SB 6142 (Liias) / HB 1221 (Rodne) – Authorizes commissioners of courts of limited jurisdiction to solemnize marriages. Status: House bill passed House of Representatives 87-9 on Jan. 18, and did not pass Senate. Senate bill passed 42-2 on Feb. 12, and did not pass House of Representatives.
  • SB 5598 (Pedersen) / HB 2117 (Gregersen) – Establishes new standards and procedures for a relative to petition for court-ordered visitation with a child. Status: Senate bill passed 44-5 on Jan. 25, and passed House of Representatives 56-42 on Mar. 2. Signed into law.
  • SB 6274 (Ranker) / HB 2867 (Doglio) – Creates “Passport to Careers” to help foster in foster care and youth experiencing homelessness access and complete college and apprenticeships. Status: Senate bill passed 35-12 on Feb. 12, and passed House of Representatives 55-43 on Feb. 28. Signed into law.
  • SB 6219 (Hobbs) / HB 2409 (Cody) – Reproductive Parity Act requires health plans to cover all types of contraception without cost sharing, and requires all health plans to cover abortion if they also cover maternity care. Status: Senate passed 26-22 on Jan. 31, and passed House of Representatives 50-48 on Feb. 28. Signed into law.