OLYMPIA— Sen. Javier Valdez (D-Seattle) reintroduced legislation aimed at providing support to victims of hate crimes and bias incidents.

SB 5427, initially introduced during the 2023 legislative session, was heard in the Senate Ways & Means Committee Thursday.  It creates a useful hotline under the administration of the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) for reporting hate crimes and bias incidents. The hotline would do more than take reports; it is designed to deliver comprehensive support, including crisis intervention and culturally sensitive, trauma-informed information. The service would be available to all Washington residents, regardless of the language they speak.

“My commitment against hate extends beyond standing against hate crimes,” Valdez said. “We must actively provide meaningful support and resources to uplift and empower victims.”

The AGO would not only administer the hotline but also develop a systematic framework for the collection, analysis, and regular dissemination of information pertaining to these incidents. This data-sharing initiative aims for transparency and accountability by providing information to the governor, Senate, and House of Representatives. To safeguard the privacy and security of victims, any personally identifiable information would be redacted before the data is made publicly available, striking a balance between transparency and protection.

Follow the progress of this bill here.