Dear friends and neighbors,

Before the 2024 session adjourned last month, the Legislature made meaningful progress to ensure people are safe and feel safe in their communities. Several new laws will help prevent crimes, increase support for survivors, and strengthen law enforcement training and recruitment.

Improving public safety


  • Several measures (SB 5424, SB 6301, HB 1530, SB 6157) will expand and diversify law enforcement recruiting, training and retention. Just last month, the Washington State Patrol graduated 47 new troopers (above).
  • SB 6009 prohibits the dangerous and inhumane practice of hog-tying, which is unfortunately still allowed by some law enforcement jurisdictions in Washington.
  • SB 6006 and SB 5937 make several improvements to how the state responds to victims of child trafficking and sexual assault.
  • HB 1999expands certain criminal offenses related to depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including deepfake images of minors.
  • HB 1958creates a civil cause of action for “stealthing” – nonconsensual removal of or tampering with a sexually protective device, or for misleading a person into believing that a sexually protective device was used.
  • SB 5427 establishes a hotline to accept reports of hate crimes and bias incidents and provide crisis intervention and victim-centered, culturally competent, and trauma-informed information.
  • SB 5917 expands hate crime laws to include bias-motivated defacement of public property.
  • HB 2153 establishes new felony and gross misdemeanor offenses for trafficking in, possessing, selling, or offering to sell catalytic converters.
  • SB 5891 makes trespassing on school buses a crime, to better protect the safety of bus drivers and students.

High-speed police chases

In 2021, I was proud to vote for HB 1054 to restrict high-speed police chases, which are inherently dangerous for the officers involved and to innocent passengers and bystanders. The bill limited chases to situations with probable cause that a person has committed or is committing a violent crime, sex offense or escape; or reasonable suspicion of DUI. Complaints from law enforcement led to the passage of SB 5352 last year to expand the list of offenses for which law enforcement is allowed to engage in high-speed chases. I did not vote in favor of the bill because I believe chases are extremely dangerous and the potential arrests that might result from a high-speed pursuit do not outweigh the number of fatalities suffered by innocent members of the public.

This year the Legislature had to wrestle with Initiative 2113, which further rolls back limitations on vehicular pursuits. It allows an officer to conduct a vehicular pursuit on the basis of reasonable suspicion a person has violated the law. While I voted against this initiative, it ultimately passed with a bipartisan majority. Although some jurisdictions, including King County and the City of Seattle, are likely to keep their own restrictions in place, other jurisdictions around the state will now engage in dangerous pursuits that endanger citizens.

Thanks for taking the time to read my newsletter. If you missed my previous updates on gun safetypublic educationenvironmental protections, affordable housing, or LGBTQ+ rights, they are available on my website. Please reach out with any questions at

Best wishes,