Responding to violence against the LGBTQ community
Black and brown LGBTQ Washingtonians are disproportionately subjected to violence by law enforcement officers. The Legislature worked this session to make policing more just and transparent through the following bills:
- House Bill 1054 sets a baseline of acceptable tactics and equipment that make it clear that preserving and protecting human life must be law enforcement’s highest value. This bill would ban chokeholds, neck restraints, no-knock warrants and certain military equipment, and put restrictions on tear gas, vehicular pursuits and shooting at moving vehicles.
- House Bill 1088 addresses the credibility of testimony by law enforcement officers. It would set up a process to establish statewide policies shedding light on officers who are on prosecutor-held “Brady” lists because of any history that could call their credibility into question.
- House Bill 1089 provides meaningful transparency about investigations and charging decisions made after deadly force is used by police. These investigations are required under Initiative 940, passed by Washington voters in 2018.
- House Bill 1223 will require law enforcement to electronically record video and audio of custodial interrogations that occur at a detention center if the interrogation is of a juvenile or related to a felony.
- House Bill 1267 creates an independent agency to investigate deadly uses of force, allowing families of those killed by police, as well as the community, to have faith that a proper investigation occurred.
- Senate Bill 5051 will provide timely & effective enforcement of state standards for law enforcement officers in WA, allowing the Criminal Justice Training Commission to discipline officers unfit to carry a badge and gun.
- Senate Bill 5066 will empower officers to do the right thing & intervene when fellow officers are using force unjustly.
- Senate Bill 5259 will increase community confidence in policing by collecting & publishing information on law enforcement use-of-force incidents.
- Senate Bill 5263 will give families that have had a loved one killed by police a better chance to have their day in court.
Equity in Health
To promote greater equity in our health care systems, the caucus supported the following bills:
- House Bill 1273 will make menstrual products available for free in all Washington schools, because students who menstruate shouldn’t have to choose between their health & education.
- Senate Bill 5052 will require the Washington State Department of Health to designate health equity zones based on health disparity data.
- Senate Bill 5097 will expand coverage of the paid family and medical leave program.
- Senate Bill 5313, known as the Gender Affirming Treatment Act, will improve health equity for transgender people and helps end healthcare discrimination against trans and gender fluid Washingtonians.
Equity in Education
To ensure that teachers and educators received the tools necessary to provide training on antiracism, diversity, and equity at different levels of education, the caucus advocated for the following bills:
- Senate Bill 5044 will add antiracism training, equity, diversity, & inclusion curricula to professional development opportunities for K-12 educators.
- Senate Bill 5227 will require diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism training and assessments at institutions of higher education.
- Senate Bill 5228 will build diversity, equity, inclusion, & antiracism training into medical school curricula.
- Senate Bill 5229 will enable health care professionals to care effectively for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities through health equity continuing education training.
In providing broader support for community members, the caucus supported:
Finally, the caucus was successful in securing funding for the following items, all which will provide essential support for the LGBTQ community:
- $291,000 for the LGBTQ Community Center on Capital Hill
- $340,000,000 for the creation of a Worker Immigrant Relief Fund
- $20,000 for HIV medication parity
- By using existing resources, secured funding for the development of plans for an inclusive bathroom building code