Published on May 20, 2019

Key public safety and cannabis issues addressed this session

Contact: Sharon Swanson, Shannon McClelland

The 2019 Legislature addressed several city-related public safety policy issues during the 2019 session, including the use of deadly force by law enforcement, additional funding for the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA), and establishing requirements for the removal of firearms during a domestic violence incident.

During the past few sessions, the Legislature has considered amending the law that provides protection for a law enforcement officer’s use of deadly force. An initiative to the Legislature last session, Initiative 940 (I-940), proposed changes to the deadly force law. I-940 also proposed new training requirements and created a duty for law enforcement officers to provide first aid. After significant negotiations with proponents of the Initiative, the Legislature amended then passed I-940—violating the state constitution. I-940 went to the ballot last November without those amendments, and voters approved it. In the opening days of the 2019 Legislative session, legislators passed HB 1064 to amend the new deadly force law as passed by the voters. The bill passed both chambers unanimously and took effect on February 4, 2019.

One of AWC’s priorities was increased funding for BLEA, the training that all new law enforcement officers in the state must complete. The operating budget appropriated funding for a total of nineteen BLEA classes annually, and also included seven Corrections Officer Academy classes in the first budget year, and six classes in the second.

Domestic violence and firearms were passionately debated this session. HB 1225 passed the Legislature and addressed firearms removal during a domestic violence call. The bill creates a uniform standard for police officers to remove firearms when responding to a domestic violence call. A firearm seized under these circumstances may not be returned sooner than five business days.

Also this session, the Legislature appropriated $10.4 million dollars to address a backlog of nearly 10,000 untested rape kits. Currently, the state crime lab receives 250 new kits every month, but only has capacity to test 213. The appropriation is aimed at hiring additional staff and resolving this backlog over the next two years.

On the cannabis front, arguably the most significant legislation adopted occurred with the passage of SB 5605. Seven years after Washington voters legalized marijuana possession, the Legislature approved SB 5605 to allow persons with prior convictions of misdemeanor marijuana possession to apply to the sentencing court for a vacation of their conviction record. The applicant must have been at least 21 years old at the time of the offense. The court must vacate the applicant’s conviction record. Once the court vacates a record of conviction, the person is released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction, and that conviction is not included in the person's criminal history for purposes of determining a sentence in any subsequent conviction. Thus, for all purposes, including employment applications and housing applications, a person whose conviction has been vacated may state that they have never been convicted of that crime.

City priorities – Outcomes

PRO – Funded 19 Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) classes per year, as requested. In addition, funded seven Corrections Officer Academy classes in the first year of the biennium and six in the second year.

CON – Failed to pass a proposal to reduce the maximum BLEA wait time from six months to two months (HB 1253/SB 5944).

Public safety & criminal justice bills

Bill #



HB 1055

No-contact order/arrest

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1149

Sexual assault protection order

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1166

Sexual assault

Law; effective April 23, 2019 (many different effective dates)

HB 1225

Domestic violence calls and removal of firearms

Delivered to Governor. Effective July 28, 2019

HB 1252

Business entities/crime

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1350

Temporary protection order

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1382

Emergency aid/prostitution

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1517

Changes to domestic violence statutes

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1713

Missing and murdered Native American women

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1732

Hate crimes

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1764

Found property

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1767

Law enforcement grant program for diversion alternatives

Delivered to Governor. Effective July 28, 2019

HB 1786

Protection, no-contact, and restraining orders

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1919

Animal abuse

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 5017

Uniform unsworn declarations

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5027

Extreme risk protection orders

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5083

Indian tribe record admissibility

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5272

911 max tax rate

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5284

Requires property sellers to install smoke alarm devices

Delivered to Governor. Many effective dates.

SB 5461

Child sexual abuse investigations

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5514

First responder notification for school threats

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5649

Sexual assault/ SOLs

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5652

Impounded vehicle belongings

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5670

Fire district powers

Law; effective July 28, 2019

SB 5714

Evidence reliability re: witnesses and informants

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1086

Public defense funding

Did not pass

HB 1152

Motorcycle profiling

Did not pass

HB 1169

Fire jurisdiction reimbursement

Did not pass

HB 1458

Municipal police districts

Did not pass

HB 1504

Impaired driving

Did not pass

HB 1872

Child sex exploitation/subpoenas

Did not pass

HB 1929

Animal fighting paraphernalia

Did not pass

HB 2129

Cyber harassment and stalking

Did not pass

SB 5098

Public defense funding

Did not pass

SB 5141

School resource officers

Did not pass

SB 5286

Impaired driving

Did not pass

SB 5529

License plate recognition systems

Did not pass

SB 5575

Traffic LFO consolidation

Did not pass

SB 5944

BLEA training timeline

Did not pass

Cannabis bills

Bill #



HB 1792

Marijuana retailer penalties

Delivered to Governor. Effective July 28, 2019

SB 5605

Vacating marijuana misdemeanors

Law; effective July 28, 2019

HB 1003

Cannabis business siting

Did not pass

HB 1131

Cannabis recreational home grow

Did not pass

HB 1358

Cannabis retail delivery

Did not pass

HB 1466

Cannabis billboards

Did not pass

HB 1500

Marijuana misdemeanors

Did not pass

HB 1626

Liquor & Cannabis Board enforcement authority

Did not pass

SB 5155

Cannabis retail delivery

Did not pass

SB 5599

Municipal cannabis retail

Did not pass

  • Session recap
  • Cannabis
  • Public safety & criminal justice
  • Advocacy


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  • Cities testify in support of AWC’s economic development priority bill

  • Nonprofit homeownership development companion bill will be heard

  • Senate version of wrongful death bill advances

  • Bill regulates use of automated license plate recognition systems

  • Bill authorizes creation of a municipal police district

  • Bill allows local governments to receive a cannabis retail license

  • Call before you dig bill

  • 2018 Lodging tax expenditure data reporting site now open

  • I-940 “fix” bill passes Legislature

  • Simplification of B&O tax apportionment

  • More than 1,400 bills have been introduced so far in 2019

  • Three bills address barriers to building condos

  • Governor’s request energy efficiency bill up for a hearing

  • Smoke alarm bill may create unfunded mandate

  • Orca task force recommendation bill on HPA and bulkheads

  • Self-help housing bill has House companion

  • REET bill introduced in the House

  • The House adds more bills expanding property tax exemption for affordable housing

  • Bills addressing affordable housing development by religious organizations

  • AWC priority bill encouraging investments in affordable & supportive housing

  • Bill streamlines annexations of unincorporated islands

  • “Best available science” for critical area planning bill is heard

  • Bill proposes changes to mobile home park home siting

  • Cannabis home grow and delivery bills to be heard

  • Food truck bill gets a hearing

  • I-940 “fix” bill passes the House

  • Bill authorizes regulation of the open carrying of firearms in public meetings

  • Senate version of wrongful death bill advances

  • Two pension bills scheduled for public hearings

  • Legislators introduce Governor’s behavioral health bills

  • Rural development and opportunity zone act scheduled for hearing

  • Committee will hold hearing on broadband expansion bill

  • AWC economic development priority bill set for public hearing

  • AWC seeking city feedback on facial recognition privacy bill

  • Treasurer’s proposal to provide enhanced investment services

  • Bills address voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties

  • Prohibition on local governments’ toll authority

  • Military surplus vehicle bill to be heard

  • Creation of parks benefit districts provides new revenue options

  • Hearings on sidewalk delivery devices

  • Bill allows certain cities to directly impose lodging tax

  • Work underway to address “unintended consequences” of prevailing wage changes

  • 2019 Legislative Session starts off with a fast pace

  • Bill creates a private right of action for motorcycle profiling

  • Chemical Action Plans bill scheduled for Thursday

  • Foreclosure protection efforts continue this session

  • Several bills address the proliferation of plastics

  • Proposed changes to the Voting Rights Act

  • Several bills expand property tax exemption for affordable housing

  • Self-help housing sales tax and REET exemption bill up for a hearing

  • Bill proposes to extend city authority to use REET for housing and homelessness

  • Wrongful death bills are back this year

  • Bill proposes to raise the burden of proof in forfeiture hearings

  • Bill proposing community service for litterers gets a hearing

  • Senate version of public defense funding bill will be heard

  • A flurry of Growth Management Act bills in the Senate

  • Bill to reduce wait time for basic law enforcement training gets a hearing

  • Public works small works roster bill to be heard

  • FMSIB annual report

  • Transportation cameras bill allows use in prosecution of crimes

  • Senate Remote Testimony Pilot Program expanded to public

  • Bill restricting cannabis business siting is scheduled for a committee vote

  • Cannabis home grows bill gets a hearing

  • I-940 “fix” bills are on the fast track

  • Senate work session on draft transportation package

  • Washington infrastructure receives a “C” grade

  • Adult family home bill gets a public hearing

  • New legislation requires prepaid postage for all elections

  • NLC comments on Opportunity Zones tax breaks

  • Hearing held on Sunshine Committee recommendations bill

  • Injured worker benefit payment bill set for hearing

  • Firefighter safety bill scheduled for hearing

  • Bill would allow state to invest pension assets of first-class cities

  • Secretary of State certifies I-976, car tab initiative, to Legislature

  • Bill creates a pilot for cities to hire homeless

  • Sign on to support funding for homelessness prevention

  • 2019 Legislative Session is here!

  • Settlement approved in Trueblood case

  • Study bill to create a disaster planning work group

  • Hearing scheduled for public defense services funding bill

  • Governor announces initiative to pardon marijuana misdemeanors

  • Initiative 940 "fix" bills scheduled for a hearing

  • Bill restricting cannabis business siting gets a hearing

  • Transparency of local taxing districts

  • DRS releases annual financial report on state pension systems

  • DRS announces 2019 retirement planning seminars for public employees

  • JLARC releases public records data brief

  • AWC will file amicus supporting city rights-of-way

  • I-976 aims to reduce motor vehicle fees & limit Transportations Benefit Districts

  • Local governments are eligible for Automated Driving System demonstration grants

  • Premiums have begun – Cities have unanswered PFML implementation questions

  • A mixed review of the Governor’s proposed budget

  • Governor releases 2019 budget proposals

  • Orca Task Force’s recommendations highlighted in Governor’s budget

  • State Auditor’s Office updates

  • Governor announces proposal on clean energy and reducing greenhouse gases

  • Sixteen rural cities receive 2018 CDBG awards

  • Labor & Industries proposing updated rules that could double overtime exemption threshold

  • Prefiled bill proposes additional restrictions to cannabis business siting

  • New year, new leave law: PFML premium collection begins in 2019!

  • Governor announces plan to significantly increase community-based behavioral health treatment system

  • WFOA announces 2019 class schedule

  • Prevailing Wage Agency system updates

  • City transportation needs discussed at recent Joint Transportation Committee

  • Commerce releases new buildable lands report guidelines

  • Round two of Behavioral Health Facilities grant program opens

  • The mid-term elections and Washington cities

  • WSDOT survey for users of Interstate 5 in Thurston County

  • AWC response to FCC franchise rule making

  • Eyman submits initiative to reduce car tabs

  • Archives offers free public records trainings

  • Public Records Task Force hears from local government leaders

  • Opportunity Zones provide investment incentive for low-income areas

  • ESD releases PFML toolkit to assist employers

  • New law may require your agency to send child support payments electronically

  • Select Committee on Pension Policy votes in support of Plan 1 COLA

  • Online tool shows local student homelessness data

  • Provide feedback to Ecology on update to Critical Aquifer Recharge Area Guidance

  • Initiative 940 – What happens next?

  • Commerce hosts final workshops on civilian-military compatibility planning

  • Deadline approaches for cities to adopt the model license threshold

  • House Finance Committee briefing on B&O tax apportionment workgroup report

  • New FCC rules preempt cities on small cell deployment

  • FCC proposes new rules on cable franchise fees

  • Senate Republicans propose behavioral health package

  • AWC fights for local decision-making in new amicus brief

  • Streamflow restoration grant application closes October 31

  • Bothell and AWC advocate for new economic development tools

  • EAP overtime exemption rulemaking underway

  • Select Committee on Pension Policy discusses potential Plan 1 COLA

  • Public records task force holds second meeting

  • Feeling overwhelmed by cybersecurity? Check these resources

  • Do you have ash trees in your parks or streetscapes? Read this

  • Statewide inventory of untested sexual assault kits complete

  • Spots available at SAO BARS Roundtable events

  • Commerce hosting civilian-military compatibility planning workshops

  • B&O tax apportionment workgroup report completed

  • AWC collecting information on city adoption of the model license threshold

  • Final weeks to comment on Western WA stormwater manual

  • Reminder: Draft stormwater permits workshops & webinars

  • Innovations and Partnerships in Transportation Conference

  • AWC finalizes 2019 Legislative Priorities

  • Budget and campaign season are in full swing

  • New prevailing wage rates creating sticker shock for cities

  • Public records task force holds first meeting

  • The Puget Sound Action Agenda is open for public comment

  • B&O tax apportionment workgroup nearing final recommendations

  • Planning for small cell wireless infrastructure

  • CERB rural broadband program accepting loan grant applications

  • Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation information session

  • Deadline approaching for BLS partner cities to adopt model license provisions

  • Drug take-back program in rulemaking

  • Ninth Circuit decision on criminalizing homelessness

  • ESD is seeking city feedback on PFML Phase 3 rules