Civil Survival organizes system-impacted people, provides legal representation, and advocates for policy reform to restore opportunity to communities harmed by the criminal legal system. In 2022, we are supporting these priority bills.

The Washington State Capitol building with a blue sky and wispy clouds.

HB 1412 – Concerning Legal Financial Obligations Sponsored by Rep. Simmons

People with criminal convictions deserve a fair chance at rebuilding their lives in their community and achieving economic stability. Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs)—the fines, fees, costs, and restitution imposed on people with criminal convictions create significant barriers to successful reentry for individuals who lack the ability to pay. HB 1412 would provide relief in the following ways:

  • The court may, at any time, including at sentencing, waive restitution (and accrued interest, if applicable) where the entity is an insurer or state agency, if the person lacks current or likely future ability to pay.
  • Judicial discretion to waive previously imposed victim penalty assessments by filing a motion showing a manifest hardship (indigence).
  • People who are incarcerated can seek relief from non-restitution and restitution interest costs.
  • Expands indigency standard definition to include people who are homeless or mentally ill; have income above 125% of the federal poverty guidelines and have recurring living expenses that would render the defendant without financial ability to pay, or has other compelling circumstances that exist that demonstrate an inability to pay.
  • Gives the court discretion to waive restitution interest at sentencing after taking into account of financial circumstances of the defendant considering input from the victim.

HB 1818 – Promoting Successful Reentry Sponsored by Rep. Simmons

People exiting incarceration deserve access to housing as part of a successful reentry plan to help set them up for success. HB 1818 would:

  • Expand the current housing voucher program from 3 months to 6 months.
  • Would make all people exiting incarceration eligible for the vouchers to prevent housing instability or exiting into homelessness.
  • Would eliminate all supervision fees, including intake fees and fees for applications requesting transfer of supervision out of state.

HB 1827 – Community Reinvestment Act Sponsored by Rep. Morgan

Creates a community reinvestment program that would invest $125 million into communities wronged by the War on Drugs, with a strong focus on creating economic opportunities and helping those who are struggling to recover from involvement in the criminal justice system. HB 1827 would:

  • Provide $25 million in civil and criminal legal assistance to provide post-conviction relief and case assistance, including the expungement of criminal records and vacation of criminal convictions.
  • Provide $12.5 million for reentry services to facilitate successful transitions for persons formerly incarcerated in an adult correctional facility or juvenile residential facility in Washington.
  • Funds will be prioritized for community-based organizations led by impacted people.

HB 2017 – Housing Justice Act Sponsored by Rep. Davis

People with criminal convictions deserve access to a safe and healthy home. Today landlords are allowed to deny rental applications based on past convictions or arrest records. HB 2017 would:

  • Prohibit a landlord or any third-party website from having an advertisement or policy that automatically excludes a person with an arrest record or conviction record from rental housing.
  • Only allow a landlord to use a criminal history if someone is on a registry AND the landlord has a substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason to deny tenancy.
  • Prohibit a landlord or third party from denying tenancy or taking adverse action against anyone with an arrest or conviction of an offense that occurred under the age of 25.
  • Any violation of this bill is protected by the Consumer Protection Act and those who are discriminated against could seek relief through the Attorney General’s office.

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