2022 Washington State Legislative Session Review
During this session the Washington State Women's Commission prioritized advocacy for legislation that (1) supported women and families as the state continues to navigate pandemic recovery; (2) protected reproductive rights for all pregnant individuals; and (3) improved the state's response to domestic violence, particularly Indigenous women and girls, and removed barriers for survivors to access safety and independence.
Below highlights the successful passage of the bills the Women's Commission supported in the 2022 Legislative Session:
- Streamline Civil Protection Orders (HB 1901 / SB 5845): A trailer bill from E2SHB 1320. Seeks to streamline and improve accessibility of the protection order system; provide training in trauma-informed practices and continuity of judicial officers at hearings; and would add a comprehensive definition of coercive control to the definition of domestic violence for civil protection orders. Passed in both chambers and signed into law. Effective 7/1/2022.
- Creating an Alert System for Missing Indigenous Persons (HB 1725): Seeks to direct resources towards resolving cases of missing Indigenous persons. Requires the Washington State Patrol to establish a Missing Indigenous Women and Persons alert system and database with information on the missing as part of its Endangered Missing Person Advisory plan. Passed in both chambers and signed into law. Effective 6/9/2022.
- Protecting Access to Abortion Care (HB 1851 / SB 5766): Updates the Reproductive Privacy Act to use gender inclusive language; expands the list of professions who can provide abortion care; adds protections for pregnancy outcomes and aids a pregnant individual in exercising their right to reproductive freedom. Passed in both chambers and signed into law. Effective 6/9/2022.
- Temporary TANF Extensions (HB 1755): State and federal laws limit the time an adult can receive TANF benefits to a total of sixty months in their lifetime. Time limit extensions allow additional months of TANF when recipients meet certain criteria. This bill adds time limit extensions during times of high unemployment. Passed both chambers and signed into law. Effective 6/9/2022.
- Expanding Landlord Mitigation Program (HB 1593): Survivors may incur damages in their rental or need to break lease due to domestic violence. This bill expands the Landlord Mitigation Program to allow landlords to claim for damages when the tenant has terminated their tenancy because of domestic violence, sexual assault, unlawful harassment, or stalking. This improves survivor safety by reducing barriers and repercussions for leaving abusive relationships. Passed both chambers and signed into law. Effective 6/9/2022.
- Victim Statements During Domestic Violence Convictions (SB 5612): Currently, victims of crime are able to provide a statement at sentencing hearings for felony convictions. This bill expands the ability for domestic violence survivors to provide a statement for convictions involving domestic violence. Passed both chambers and signed into law. Effective 6/9/2022.
For a comprehensive list of legislation that the Women's Commission watched and supported, including those that did not pass, please visit the Women's Commission 2022 Bill Tracker.
To view the 2022 Legislative Session Priorities as a PDF: