OLYMPIA — A bill to provide meaningful help to victims of hate crimes and bias incidents in Washington state was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee today.

Senate Bill 5427, sponsored by Sen. Javier Valdez (D-Seattle), establishes a support system for victims of hate crimes and bias incidents by creating a hotline administered by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) for reporting these incidents. The hotline will accept reports and provide appropriate crisis intervention, as well as victim-centered, culturally competent, and trauma-informed information. These services will be accessible to as many Washington state residents as possible, regardless of the language they speak.

“This new law addresses the concerning surge in hate crimes within our state.” Valdez stated. “It affirms that hate has no place within our communities. It’s more than just collecting reports; it’s about standing up for our neighbors, offering them meaningful support, and fostering an environment where everyone feels safe, valued, and heard.”

Under this new law, the AGO will develop a standardized process to collect, analyze, and regularly report information related to these incidents to the governor, Senate, and House of Representatives. The collected data will also be required to be made publicly available after redacting personally identifiable information for the protection and safety of the victims.

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2025.