Creating systemic change through legislative advocacy.

2022 Legislative Wins

HB 1412 – Concerning Legal Financial Obligations

HB 1412, Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs), sponsored by Representative Simmons and signed by Governor Inslee on March 31, 2022. HB 1412, which takes effect on January 1, 2023, makes important progress to reduce the devastating impact that LFOs have on communities living in poverty and communities of color. A few of the changes made to our LFO system:

  • Allows the court to not impose or waive restitution and accrued interest owed to any insurer or state agency, except restitution owed to Labor and Industries under the crime victim compensation program, if the person does not have the current or likely future ability to pay.
  • Allows a court to not impose interest on restitution after considering the defendant’s financial circumstances.
  • Allows individuals owing restitution to request a waiver or reduction of restitution interest accrued while they were incarcerated.
  • Allows people currently incarcerated to motion the court for relief.

HB 1818 – Promoting Successful Reentry

HB 1818, promoting successful reentry, sponsored by Representative Simmons and signed by Governor Inslee on March 11, 2022. HB 1818, which takes effect on June 9, 2022, expanded the housing voucher program for those exiting incarceration from three months to six months and made them available to anyone at risk of releasing into homelessness. It also got rid of ALL supervision fees for those under community supervision as part of their sentence.

2022 Legislative Priorities

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.

Latest Legislative Updates

  • 2022 Legislative Summary
    We are very proud of the hard work put in this session that will bring relief to some of those who most need it. We wanted to thank all of you for your support, and offer a brief review of the session. 
  • 2020 Legislative Priorities
    View or download our One-Pagers for more information about our legislative priorities for 2020. Civil Survival 2020 Priorities Reentry Advocacy Project Clean Slate Washington