The GSBA Blog

2022 Legislative Update: Nearly Halfway There!

by Matt Landers, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations
| Feb 14, 2022
Tuesday (tomorrow) is the last day for bills in Olympia to pass out of their chamber of origin (the House or the Senate). After that, they have until March 4 to pass the opposite chamber. Some bills have already passed both chambers and have been signed by the Governor. While GSBA has a number of endorsed bills continuing to wind through the legislative process, there are also a few that are now officially dead.

What has already been signed?
Certain high-priority legislation has already been signed into law by Governor Inslee. This includes the delay to the Washington Cares Act and final redistricting maps.

What is still moving?
For bills related to the LBGTQ+ community, GSBA continues to support the progress of HB 1956 (exempting sensitive records from public disclosure) and HN 1961 (waiving fees for name changes for low-income Washingtonians).  

The Equitable Access to Credit Act (HB 1015) passed the House a few weeks ago, and we hope to see it enacted to help provide grants to CDFIs for investing in entrepreneurs from historically underserved communities. Updates to the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (SB 5649) are also on track, clarifying several conditions of the leave allowed.

Several important bills around public safety and policing are advancing. Notably this includes a ban on high-capacity magazines (SB 5078) passing a Legislative chamber for the first time. HB 1735, which clarifies last year's law on use of force by police, is moving quickly with support from the WA Coalition for Police Accountability, the ACLU, police organizations, and the WA Council for Behavioral Health. Additionally, attempts to ban weapons at municipal meetings (HB 1630), minimizing the use of solitary confinement (HB 1756), and creating new rules around police hiring (HB 5089) are moving forward.

Other bills that GSBA has endorsed that are making progress include HB 1782 to legalize multiunit homes near major transit stops, SB 5597 to update the WA Voting Rights Act, HB 1659 to create bridge grants for Washington College Grant students, and SB 5553 relating to STEM metrics in early learning.

What is dead?
Two of our biggest disappointments this year are the failure of HB 1730 (infertility treatment coverage) and SB 5551 (Medicaid coverage for HIV drugs) to advance out of their respective committees. These were both priorities for many LGBTQ+ organizations and advocates, and we will continue to push for these important changes next year.

Bills to create independent investigations of police (HB 1507), prohibiting weapons at elections offices (HB 1618), and a ban on assault weapons (SB 5217) are all unfortunately not advancing this year. 

What's next?
For all the bills that are still active, your legislators need to hear from you! You can find your three Legislators here and easily contact them to share your opinion.