Summary of Legislation for 2016

Below is a summary of what passed in the Judiciary / Law and Order for 2016. The first section is Judiciary (Law) and the second section is Early Learning (Schools). Jump to Early Ed Section.

Judiciary

SHB 1111

Kilduff, Stokesbary, Walkinshaw

Concerning Court Transcripts – Provides that certified court reporters and authorized transcriptionists (in addition to official court reporters) may make official transcripts of testimony and other court proceedings. Exempts transcripts requested for appellate cases from the requirement that transcripts must be filed with the trial court. Makes the Administrator for the Courts a consultant for the implementation of electronic recording equipment in courts of limited jurisdiction, instead of a required supervisor. Modifies terminology regarding storage mediums for duplicated recordings of court proceedings.

Del to Gov

2SHB 1448

Riccelli, Holy, Parker

Providing Procedures for Responding to Reports of Threatened or Attempted Suicide – Requires all law enforcement agencies to  adopt criteria and procedures by July 1, 2017, for an officer to refer a person to a mental health agency after receiving a report of the person’s threatened or attempted suicide. Requires the  Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, in  consultation with the Criminal Justice Training Commission, to develop a model policy for officer referral to a mental health  agency following a report threatened or attempted suicide.  Provides that a mental health professional must attempt to contact any person referred by law enforcement within 24 hours of the referral, excluding weekends and holidays.

Del to Gov

SHB 2359

Goodman, Jinkins

Updating Obsolete Provisions and Making Technical Corrections – Amends form year designations throughout the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) by removing references to a specific century  and instead providing a general instruction to insert the year as follows: “(year).” Removes obsolete language in various sections of the RCW and corrects technical errors.

Del to Gov

EHB 2362

Hansen, Pettigrew, Nealey

Concerning Video and/or Sound Recordings Made by Law Enforcement or Corrections Officers – Establishes Public Records Act provisions governing requests for and disclosure of body worn camera recordings made by law enforcement and corrections officers between the effective date of the act and July 1, 2019. Exempts body worn camera recordings from public inspection if nondisclosure is essential to protect a person’s right to privacy, and creates presumptions that recordings depicting certain people or situations are highly offensive. Requires requests for disclosure of recordings to identify specific recordings sought, and allows agencies to charge redaction costs except in certain cases. Requires agencies that deploy body worn cameras to adopt policies that at a minimum address specified issues relating to use of body worn cameras. Encourages cities and towns to adopt an ordinance or resolution authorizing body worn cameras before they are used in the jurisdiction. Creates a task force to review and report on the  use of body worn cameras by law enforcement and corrections agencies, model policies on body worn cameras, retention and retrieval of data, and other issues.

Del to Gov

HB 2371

Kuderer, Magendanz, Hudgins

Requiring a Court that Consults the Judicial Information System to File a Copy of the Consulted Information in the Court File Only Upon Party Request – Provides that the requirement for a court to file a copy of any relied-upon document in the case file after consulting the Judicial Information System or a related database applies only if a party requests that the document is so filed.

Del to Gov

SHB 2405

Muri, Kilduff, Jinkins

Concerning the Role of Parties in Cases Related to Certain Notices and Records – Requires the petitioner in a criminal case, or an involuntary mental health commitment case, that results in loss of firearms rights to provide the court with certain identifying information of the convicted or committed person. Amends laws governing juvenile records to broaden the definition of “official juvenile court file.” Amends statutes relating to a number of different court proceedings to provide that a party in the case, rather than the clerk of the court, must provide certain notices or issue summons in the proceedings.

Del to Gov

SHB 2410

Hayes, Orwall, Klippert

Requiring Inclusion of Information about Certain Criminal Defendants in the Felony Firearm Offense Conviction Database – Requires any person convicted of a felony firearm offense that was committed in conjunction with a crime involving sexual motivation, a crime against a child, or a serious violent offense to register in the felony firearm offense conviction database.

Del to Gov

2SHB 2449

Orwall, Magendanz, Kagi

Providing Court-Based and School-Based Intervention and Prevention Efforts to Promote Attendance and Reduce Truancy – Makes a variety of changes and additions to practices and requirements related to school attendance and truancy, including: requiring schools to regularly provide certain information to parents; putting in place a coordinated school response to excused absences in elementary school; requiring, by the 2017-18 school year, that juvenile courts and school districts enter into memoranda of understanding (MOU) regarding a coordinated approach to address truancy which, for most districts, will include a community truancy board (CTB) and, for smaller districts, may include a CTB or other coordinated means of intervention; redefining CTBs and providing, subject to funding, grants for training and services; specifying that a priority focus of the Learning Assistance Program (LAP) shall be on students with excessive absenteeism and truancy, and providing that up to two percent of a district’s LAP allocation may be used to fund efforts to address this issue; providing, with respect to truancy petitions, an initial stay if the MOU and coordinated approach to address truancy have been put in place by the court and district; providing courts with additional authority with respect to children subject to truancy petitions for addressing mental health, substance abuse, and health and safety concerns; expressing a preference that children detained for contempt of court with respect to truancy be detained in a CRC rather than a juvenile detention facility; directing, subject to funding, an increase in the number of CRC and HOPE beds; tasking the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Commission, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, and the Administrative Office of the Courts with a variety of responsibilities related to collecting data, reviewing, and reporting with respect to issues related to attendance, truancy, CTBs, and detention.

Del to Gov

HB 2457

Young

Concerning Recorded Interests in Easements by an Electric Utility – Provides that if an electric utility has a recorded interest in an easement, any foreclosure of delinquent taxes on any tract of land subject to the easement, and any tax deed issued pursuant thereto, are subject to the easement regardless of when the easement was established.

Del to Gov

SHB 2541

Frame, Rodne, Jinkins

Concerning Entry of Less Restrictive Involuntary Treatment Orders– Requires a court order for less restrictive alternative (LRA) treatment to name the provider responsible for arranging services and require the person on the LRA order to participate in arranged services, rather than requiring that the order itself list specific services. Requires care coordinators to submit an  individualized plan to the court indicating the services in which a person on an  LRA order is required to participate.

Del to Gov

HB 2587

Rodne, Goodman, Orwall

Concerning the Superior Court Judges’ Association – Revises two statutory references to the “Association of Superior Court Judges” to instead refer to the “Superior Court Judges’ Association.”

Del to Gov

SHB 2644

Blake, Muri, Van De Wege

Concerning Animal Forfeiture in Animal Cruelty Cases – Provides that, upon a successful petition for return of an animal that has been removed from its owner’s care, the animal must be surrendered to the owner, rather than delivered to the owner. Requires a petition for return of a removed animal to be joined  with a criminal action against the owner if the action is filed before the hearing on the petition, rather than before the time the animal is returned. States that the authority of specified persons and entities to remove, adopt, euthanize, or require forfeiture of an animal is not limited by the forfeiture provisions and limitations on animal ownership in the criminal sentencing provisions related to animal cruelty.

Del to Gov

HB 2773

Klippert, Appleton, Haler

Repealing the Warrant Authority of Coroners – Repeals the authority and duty of coroners to issue arrest warrants in certain circumstances, and instead requires coroners to deliver the findings of the inquest jury and associated information to the prosecuting attorney in applicable cases.

Del to Gov

E2SHB 2793

Orwall, Blake, Kretz

Providing for Suicide Awareness and Prevention Education for Safer Homes – Establishes a Safe Homes Task Force to develop suicide awareness and prevention education messages and training and implement advocacy efforts with key stakeholders to pair suicide prevention training with distribution of devices for safe storage of lethal means. Creates a Safe Homes Project to certify firearms dealers and firearms ranges that meet specified requirements as Safe Homes Partners. Requires licensed pharmacists to complete a one-time training on suicide assessment, treatment, and management.

Del to Gov

HB 2808

Jinkins, Kilduff

Amending the Process for a Person’s Immediate Family Member, Guardian, or Conservator to Petition the Court for the Person’s Initial Detention under the Involuntary Treatment Act – Requires a petition for court review of a designated mental health professional’s (DMHP’s) decision not to seek a person’s detention under the Involuntary Treatment Act to be filed in the county in which the DMHP investigation was requested or occurred.

Del to Gov

SHB 2876

Orwall, Kirby, Griffey

Addressing the Foreclosure of Deeds of Trust – Revises expenditures from the Foreclosure Fairness Account (Account). Changes the trigger for remittances to the Account, repealing the section that required certain beneficiaries to remit based on the number of notices of default issued and including a new section  that requires certain beneficiaries to remit based on the number of recorded notices of trustees’ sale.

Del to Gov

ESSB 5029

Pedersen, O’Ban

Concerning the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act – Adopts the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. Allows persons to provide direction regarding disclosure or nondisclosure of his or her digital assets to third parties. Provides fiduciaries with the authority to access and manage the digital assets of a person if the person has not made a direction regarding disclosure. Defines “fiduciary” as a personal representative of a decedent, trustee of a trust, guardian of an incapacitated person, or agent under a power of attorney. Provides custodians of digital assets with standards for responding to requests for access to digital assets by fiduciaries and designated recipients.

Del to Gov

ESSB 5635

Pedersen, O’Ban

Enacting the Uniform Power of Attorney Act – Enacts the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which governs creation, termination, scope of authority, fiduciary duties, and related matters regarding powers of attorney. Repeals current law provisions regarding powers of attorney.

Del to Gov

ESB 6091

Dammeier, O’Ban, Conway

Changing the Definition of Slayer – Provides that a person found not guilty by reason of insanity of killing another person qualifies as a “slayer” and may not inherit property or receive any benefit as a result of the deceased person’s death.

Del to Gov

SSB 6117

Sheldon

Concerning Notice Against Trespass – Defines “posting in a conspicuous manner,” in the context of criminal trespass statutes, to include the use of signs, vertical orange paint marks, or both. Encourages the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Natural Resources, and the State Parks and Recreation Commission to inform the public about the meaning of vertical orange paint marks.

Del to Gov

SB 6156

Rivers, Keiser, Frockt

Reauthorizing the Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act – Limits the sunset review and termination of the Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act to the qui tam provisions, which allow private parties to bring civil actions for Medicaid fraud on behalf of the state. Extends the sunset review and termination of the qui tam provisions to 2023.

Del to Gov

SSB 6165

Takko, Pearson, Sheldon

Concerning Short-Barreled Rifles – Expands authorized activities with respect to short-barreled rifles and their parts to include, among other things, manufacturing, assembling, and repairing short-barreled rifles, and manufacturing, owning, buying, selling, transporting, or possessing short-barreled rifle parts.

Del to Gov

SB 6205

Pedersen, O’Ban, Frockt

Clarifying When a Person is an Acquiring Person of a Target Corporation With More than One Class of Voting Stock – Amends the anti-takeover statute in the Washington Business Corporation Act to use the concept of voting power, rather than voting shares, as the measure for determining when a person becomes an acquiring person or meets other thresholds established in the anti- takeover statute.

Del to Gov

SSB 6295

Hasegawa, McCoy

Clarifying the Venue in Which Coroner’s Inquests are to be Convened and Payment of Related Costs – Requires a superior court, upon request of a coroner, to schedule a courtroom and court staff for an inquest, or to designate a comparable public venue if no courtroom can be made available. Allows transfer of an inquest to another county within 100 miles when no courtroom or comparable public venue is available. States that a county’s responsibility for inquest costs includes superior court costs, as well as any cost associated with transfer of the inquest.

Del to Gov

SSB 6338

Padden, Billig, Baumgartner

Addressing the Rights of Dissenting Members of Cooperative Associations in Certain Mergers –  Provides that a member of a  rural electric association is not entitled to dissent from a merger to which the association is a party if all members of the association have the right to continue their membership status in the surviving association on substantially similar terms.

Del to Gov

SSB 6360

O’Ban, Carlyle, Liias

Developing a Plan for the Consolidation of Traffic-Based Financial Obligations – Tasks the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) with convening a workgroup to provide input and feedback on the development of a plan and program for statewide consolidation of an individual’s traffic-based financial obligations into a unified and affordable payment plan. Requires the AGO to submit a report, by December 1, 2017, detailing its recommendations and the plan and program.

Del to Gov

ESB 6413

Mullet, Benton, Pedersen

Modifying Residential Landlord-Tenant Act Provisions Relating to Tenant Screening, Evictions, and Refunds – Requires residential landlords to notify prospective tenants as to whether “comprehensive reusable tenant screening reports” will be accepted, and defines this and other related terms. Allows courts  to order an unlawful detainer action to be of limited dissemination under certain circumstances, and prohibits a tenant screening service provider from disclosing or using the existence of the unlawful detainer action if such an order has been entered.  Extends, from 14 days to 21 days, the time within which a residential landlord must refund a tenant’s deposit or provide a statement specifying the basis for retaining some or all of the deposit.

Del to Gov

SB 6205

Pedersen, O’Ban, Frockt

Clarifying When a Person is an Acquiring Person of a Target Corporation With More than One Class of Voting Stock – Amends the anti-takeover statute in the Washington Business Corporation Act to use the concept of voting power, rather than voting shares, as the measure for determining when a person becomes an acquiring person or meets other thresholds established in the anti- takeover statute.

Del to Gov

SSB 6295

Hasegawa, McCoy

Clarifying the Venue in Which Coroner’s Inquests are to be Convened and Payment of Related Costs – Requires a superior court, upon request of a coroner, to schedule a courtroom and court staff for an inquest, or to designate a comparable public venue if no courtroom can be made available. Allows transfer of an inquest to another county within 100 miles when no courtroom or comparable public venue is available. States that a county’s responsibility for inquest costs includes superior court costs, as well as any cost associated with transfer of the inquest.

Del to Gov

SSB 6338

Padden, Billig, Baumgartner

Addressing the Rights of Dissenting Members of Cooperative Associations in Certain Mergers –  Provides that a member of a  rural electric association is not entitled to dissent from a merger to which the association is a party if all members of the association have the right to continue their membership status in the surviving association on substantially similar terms.

Del to Gov

SSB 6360

O’Ban, Carlyle, Liias

Developing a Plan for the Consolidation of Traffic-Based Financial Obligations – Tasks the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) with convening a workgroup to provide input and feedback on the development of a plan and program for statewide consolidation of an individual’s traffic-based financial obligations into a unified and affordable payment plan. Requires the AGO to submit a report, by December 1, 2017, detailing its recommendations and the plan and program.

Del to Gov

ESB 6413

Mullet, Benton, Pedersen

Modifying Residential Landlord-Tenant Act Provisions Relating to Tenant Screening, Evictions, and Refunds – Requires residential landlords to notify prospective tenants as to whether “comprehensive reusable tenant screening reports” will be accepted, and defines this and other related terms. Allows courts  to order an unlawful detainer action to be of limited dissemination under certain circumstances, and prohibits a tenant screening service provider from disclosing or using the existence of the unlawful detainer action if such an order has been entered.  Extends, from 14 days to 21 days, the time within which a residential landlord must refund a tenant’s deposit or provide a statement specifying the basis for retaining some or all of the deposit.

Del to Gov

E3SHB 1713

Cody, Harris, Jinkins

Integrating the Treatment Systems for Mental Health and Chemical Dependency – Makes certain short-term changes to the involuntary chemical dependency treatment provisions that largely parallel corresponding involuntary mental health treatment provisions. Integrates the involuntary treatment provisions and systems for chemical dependency and mental health, and  integrates other provisions pertaining to minor-initiated and parent-initiated chemical dependency and mental health treatment for minors, effective April 1, 2018. Directs a Washington State Institute for Public Policy study to evaluate the effect of the integration of the involuntary treatment systems. Recodifies provisions related to the administration of local substance use disorder programs into the community mental health system administration code, effective April 1, 2016. Delays the expiration date of a business and occupation tax deduction for amounts received for providing mental health services under a government- funded program, and expands the deduction to apply to provision of chemical dependency services. Requires the Department of  Social and Health Services to convene a task force with the Health Care authority to align regulations between behavioral health and primary care settings and review matters related to parental notification of minor-initiated chemical dependency treatment, and collaborate with other agencies to review certain processes related to audits, licensing, and contracting.

Del to Gov

SSB 6498

Fain, Frockt, Pedersen

Concerning Testimonial Privilege for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Sponsors – Creates a testimonial privilege applicable in civil proceedings that prevents a person who acts as a sponsor in an alcohol or drug addiction recovery fellowship from testifying about communications made to him or her by a person he or she is sponsoring.

S Filed Sec/St

Early Learning and Education

4SHB 1999
Carlyle, Kagi, Lytton

Coordinating Services and Programs for Foster Youth in Order to Improve Educational Outcomes – Moves responsibility for the demonstration sites to improve educational outcomes for foster youth from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Moves responsibility for the Supplemental Educational Transition Program for foster youth from the DSHS to the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC). Requires that the DSHS, the WSAC, and the OSPI submit reports to the Governor and appropriate committees of the Legislature regarding these programs and educational outcomes of foster youth by November 1, 2016, and twice yearly thereafter.

Del to Gov

ESHB 2323

Kilduff, Walsh, Stanford

Creating the Washington Achieving a Better Life Experience Program – Creates an Achieving a Better Life Experience governing board that must design and implement an Achieving a Better Life Experience savings and investment program for eligible individuals with disabilities by July 1, 2017.

Del to Gov

HB 2394

Walsh, Senn, Kagi

Creating the Parent to Parent Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities – Requires that the Parent to Parent Program that provides support to parents of individuals with developmental disabilities or special health care needs from other parents that have children with developmental disabilities be funded through the Developmental Disability Administration to a state lead organization.

Del to Gov

E2SHB 2439

Kagi, Walsh, Senn

Increasing Access to Adequate and Appropriate Mental Health Services for Children and Youth – Establishes the Children’s Mental Health Work Group to review the barriers that exist in identifying and treating mental health issues in children with a particular focus on birth to age 5, and report to the Legislature by December 1, 2016. Directs the Health Care Authority and the Department of Social and Health Services to identify issues related to network adequacy and report annually to the Legislature on the status of access to behavioral health services for children and youth. Establishes a Partnership Access Line pilot program, in a rural region of the state, to provide an additional level of child mental health care support for primary care providers. Directs the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to conduct an inventory of the mental health service models available to students in schools, school districts, and Educational Service Districts and report its findings to the Legislature by October 31, 2016.

Del to Gov

SHB 2440

Kagi, Smith, McBride

Concerning Host Home Programs for Youth – Creates an exemption from foster licensing for certain host homes and host home programs. Requires the Department of Commerce to provide a report to the Governor and Legislature regarding the best practices for host home programs including any recommendations regarding licensing or certifying host home programs by July 1, 2017. Requires that host home programs register with the Secretary of State and affirm that they meet all statutory requirements that allow for licensure exemption.

Del to Gov

ESHB 2511

Pike, Scott, Vick

Concerning Child Care Center Licensing Requirements – Allows licensed child care centers to serve children enrolled in kindergarten in a mixed group or classroom, excluding classrooms that serve infants not walking independently. Modifies the definition of “school-age child” to include children through 12 years of age for the purposes of child care.

Del to Gov

ESHB 2591

Hargrove, Kagi, Walsh

Notifying Foster Parents of Dependency Hearings and their Opportunity to Be Heard in Those Hearings – Requires the Department of Social and Health Services to provide foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, and caregivers with timely and adequate notice of their right to be heard before each dependency court proceeding. Requires a court to make written findings regarding whether foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, or caregivers were notified of dependency court hearings, whether the court received a caregiver’s report, and whether the court provided the foster parents, pre-adoptive parents, or caregivers an opportunity to be heard. Requires the Administrative Office of the Courts to include in their Annual Dependency Report information regarding whether foster parents received timely notification of court hearings and whether caregivers submitted reports to the court.

Del to Gov

ESHB 2746

Walkinshaw, Walsh, Kagi

Concerning Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Treatment for Juvenile Offenders – Includes residential treatment for substance abuse, mental health, or co-occurring disorders in community supervision for juvenile offenders. Repeals the juvenile mental health disposition alternative. Adds mental health treatment to the chemical dependency disposition alternative to create the chemical dependency or mental health disposition alternative and makes some changes to that disposition alternative, including expanding the length of inpatient treatment that can be ordered.

Del to Gov

EHB 2749

Kagi, Ormsby

Extending Dates Concerning Measuring Performance and Performance-Based Contracting of the Child Welfare System – Delays the implementation date for supervising agencies that must deliver child welfare services in demonstration sites from December 30, 2016, to December 30, 2019.

Del to Gov

 

2SHB 2877

Hickel, Zeiger, Riccelli

Expanding Distribution Dates for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits – Expands the date range that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits are distributed from the first through the tenth of every month, to the first through the twentieth.

Del to Gov

ESHB 2906

Stambaugh, Kagi, Magendanz

Strengthening Opportunities for the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Juvenile Offenders – Adds rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders to the purposes underlying the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977. Maintains court discretion in granting deferred dispositions for juvenile offenders, but provides a strong presumption in favor of granting these when a juvenile is eligible. Provides judicial discretion regarding fines for juveniles found to have committed motor vehicle related offenses. Allows a prosecutor to use his or her discretion to determine whether to file the information as a domestic violence offense if the juvenile offense was committed against a sibling, parent, stepparent, or grandparent. Eliminates the requirement that courts and diversion units notify the Department of Licensing after a juvenile offender’s first offense or diversion agreement for an offense while armed with a firearm or offense related to drugs or alcohol.

Del to Gov

SB 5605

Darneille, Jayapal, Kohl- Welles

Concerning the Arrest of 16 and 17 Year Olds for Domestic Violence Assault – Increases the age of mandatory arrest from 16 to 18 years old and older for domestic violence assault. Requires that police officers arrest 16 and 17 year olds for domestic violence assault when the assault occurred within the last four hours and the parent or guardian requests an arrest.

Del to Gov

SB 5879

Billig, McAuliffe, Kohl-Welles

Concerning Early Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities and their Families – Specifies that the Department of Early Learning (DEL) is the lead agency for the Early Support for Infants  and  Toddlers  program.                                                               Specifies  that  the  DEL  has  the authority to develop and adopt rules that establish minimum requirements for the services offered through Part C programs, including allowable allocations and expenditures for transition into Part B. Requires the DEL to develop and submit a plan to the Legislature by December 15, 2016, on comprehensive and coordinated early intervention services for all eligible children with disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C.

Del to Gov

SSB 6329

O’Ban, Conway, Becker

Creating the Parent to Parent Program for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities – Identifies goals and activities of the Parent to Parent program for individuals with special health care needs. Requires that the Parent to Parent program be funded through the Developmental Disability Administration to a state lead organization, if funds are provided.

Del to Gov

SB 6371

Litzow, Mullet, Dammeier

Concerning the Definition of “Agency” for Purposes of Early Learning Programs – Modifies the definition of “agency” to exempt school-age programs that operate in schools and meet specified requirements from licensing by the Department of Early Learning.

Del to Gov

E2SSB 6564

O’Ban, Fain, Keiser

Providing Protections for Persons with Developmental Disabilities – Requires the Developmental Disabilities Administration to identify clients who have the highest risk of experiencing abuse or neglect and increase home visits for these individuals. Requires the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to conduct a vulnerable adult fatality review when the DSHS has reason to believe the death may be related to abuse, abandonment, exploitation, or neglect, and the individual was receiving services or was the subject of a report with the DSHS. Establishes an Office of the Developmental Disabilities Ombuds to provide ombuds services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Del to Gov

EHB 1003

Hawkins, Lytton, Magendanz

Concerning the Development of a Model Policy on Natural Disaster School Infrastructure Recovery – Requires the Washington State School Directors’ Association to develop a model policy addressing the restoration of the safe learning environment that is disrupted by natural disaster impacts to school district infrastructures, and distribute the policy to districts by August 31, 2017.

Del to Gov

2SHB 1408

Ortiz-Self, Magendanz, Sawyer

Concerning the Development of a Definition and Model for “Family Engagement Coordinator” and Other Terms Used Interchangeably With it – Requires that the Office of the Education Ombuds, with the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee and other specified organizations to recommend to the Legislature a definition for the term that is variously referred to as “family engagement coordinator,” “parent and family engagement coordinator,” and “parent involvement coordinator,” and a model or framework for such a staff position.

Del to Gov

4SHB 1541

Santos, Ortiz- Self, Tharinger

Implementing Strategies to Close the Educational Opportunity Gap, Based on the Recommendations of the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee – Prohibits districts from suspending the provision of educational services as a disciplinary action. Prohibits long-term suspension or expulsion as a form of discretionary discipline, limits all suspension or expulsion to the length of an academic term, and requires a reengagement meeting that includes the student’s family. Requires districts to adopt, enforce, and disseminate discipline policies and procedures, and encourages districts to train staff on the policies and procedures. Requires a report on the outcomes of youth in the juvenile justice system. Requires development of cultural competence training for all district staff and encourages this training for certain schools. Requires teachers assigned to the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program to be endorsed in Bilingual Education or English Language Learner beginning in 2019-20. Requires collection of student data disaggregated by subracial and subethnic categories, to be phased in beginning in 2017-18. Requires posting and disaggregation of racial and ethnic data related to teachers and posting of their average length of service. Requires the Department of Early Learning to create a community information and involvement plan to inform early learning providers of the Early Achievers program. Establishes the Washington Integrated Student Supports Protocol (WISSP) to promote the success of students by coordinating academic and non- academic supports. Creates a work group to determine how to implement the WISSP. Provides that many provisions are subject to funding.

Del to Gov

HB 2023

Parker, Lytton, Magendanz

Changing the Deadline for Notices of Nonrenewal of Contracts for Certificated School Employees – Provides that if the omnibus appropriations act has not passed the Legislature by the end of the regular legislative session, school districts have until June 15 to send contract nonrenewal notices to certificated employees and transfer notices to administrators being transferred to a subordinate certificated position. Provides that if the omnibus appropriations act has not passed the Legislature by the end of the regular legislative session, Educational Service Districts have until June 15 to send contract nonrenewal notices to certificated employees.

Del to Gov

HB 2360

Lytton, Magendanz, Sullivan

Eliminating the Quality Education Council – Eliminates the Quality Education Council (QEC), and eliminates the technical funding formulas working group monitored and overseen by the Legislature and the QEC.

Del to Gov

HB 2476

Johnson, Santos, Magendanz

Concerning Waivers from the One Hundred Eighty-Day School Year Requirement – Authorizes the State Board of Education (SBE) to continue granting waivers to school districts from the 180-day minimum school year requirement by eliminating an August 31, 2017, expiration of its authority to issue waivers. Deletes a provision specifying that all waivers to the 180-day minimum school year requirement granted to school districts by the SBE expire on August 31, 2017.

Del to Gov

HB 2597

Orwall, Magendanz, Reykdal

Requiring School Districts to Include Sexual Abuse as a Topic in Plans Addressing Students’ Emotional or Behavioral Distress – Requires school districts to include specific provisions for possible sexual abuse in required plans for the recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students. Modifies the minimum content requirements for school district plans for the recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students.

Del to Gov

E2SSB 6194

Litzow, Mullet

Concerning Public Schools That are not Common Schools – Re- establishes a charter schools system, with charter schools created separately from the common school system and funded with revenues from the Washington Opportunity Pathways Account. Makes numerous modifications to court-invalidated charter school statutes, including prohibiting local school levy funds from being used for charter schools, prohibiting the conversion of common schools into charter schools, and adding the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Chair of the State Board of Education to the membership of the Washington State Charter Commission.

Del to Gov

SB 6245

Litzow, Hill, Fain

Concerning Visual Screening in Schools – Requires every board of school directors to provide for screening for both distance and near visual acuity.

Del to Gov

SSB 6273

Liias, Litzow, Rolfes

Concerning Safe Technology use and Digital Citizenship in Public Schools – Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop best practices and recommendations for instruction on digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy, in consultation with stakeholders, and report to the Legislature on strategies for statewide implementation. Requires school districts to annually review policies and procedures on electronic resources and Internet safety, beginning in the 2017-18 school year.

Del to Gov

E2SSB 6455

Dammeier, Rolfes, Litzow

Expanding the Professional Educator Workforce – Increases teacher recruitment. Requires that certain out-of-state teachers be issued a Washington professional certificate. Provides that certain retired teachers may work as substitute teachers for up to 867 hours per year without a suspension of their pension benefits. Expands Alternative Route to Teacher Certification programs. Increases teacher mentoring support. Adds financial aid programs for individuals wishing to teach in subject or geographic shortage areas or Title I schools.

Del to Gov

ESB 6620

McAuliffe, Dammeier, Rolfes

Concerning Cost-Effective Methods for Maintaining and Increasing School Safety – Requires the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to complete an evaluation of how Washington and other states have addressed the funding of school safety and security programs, and to submit a report to the Legislature, the Governor, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) by December 1, 2017. Requires the OSPI and the School Safety Advisory Committee to hold annual school safety summits with appointed legislators and other participants, subject to the availability of funds appropriated for that purpose. Requires the OSPI to develop an online social and emotional training module for educators. Allows, subject to the availability of funding, educational service districts to implement a regional school safety and security program that is modeled after a regional school safety and security center developed by an educational service district.

Del to Gov

 

Restorative Justice Becomes Law

New legislation happened quietly this year in Washington that affects the juvenile justice system. I knew it was happening, but the legislators I work with wanted to keep it quiet. Sometimes, when a light shines on legislation, people stop doing the right thing and do what they think is politically correct to be re-elected.

The new legislation can be found here: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2015-16/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/2906-S.PL.pdf

The most important part of the legislation may be the addition of restorative justice as an alternative to secure detention:

“Community-based rehabilitation” means one or more of the following: Employment; attendance of information classes; literacy classes; counseling, outpatient substance abuse treatment programs, outpatient mental health programs, anger management classes, education or outpatient treatment programs to prevent animal cruelty, or other services including, when appropriate, restorative justice programs; or attendance at school or other educational programs appropriate for the juvenile as determined by the school district.”

Previously, restorative justice had restricted access. This opens it up for local municipalities to make their own judgment regarding what is good rehabilitation. It also defines restorative justice:

“Restorative justice” means practices, policies, and programs informed by and sensitive to the needs of crime victims that are designed to encourage offenders to accept responsibility for repairing the harm caused by their offense by providing safe and supportive opportunities for voluntary participation and communication between the victim, the offender, their families, and relevant community members.”

This is a big deal. Restorative justice is now codified in Washington state law!

We owe a great deal of thanks to Rep. Roger Goodman for being a tireless advocate of restorative justice. You can send a note of thanks via his assistant at: Derek.Zable@leg.wa.gov

Woohoo!!

Legislative Update

I’ve taken Faith Action Network’s Report and boiled down the items that are of particular consequence for the incarcerated:
 
• I don’t see anything on LFO’s. That bill (legal financial obligations) was stuck in budgeting. We will have to see the budget to know if it made it all the way through.
 
• Mental Health Funding (about $40M) – Washington’s mental health system got funding for more staff, particularly at our state’s largest mental health hospital, to help provide better care and reduce the boarding of mentally ill people.
 
• Housing and Homelessness (about $13M, particularly to address youth homelessness)
 
• Post-Secondary Education in Prisons – Sen. Mike Hewitt was ‘bound and determined’ to see that, even though his bill (SB 6260, concerning post-secondary education in prisons) was stalled in the Senate, a proviso (amendment) that captured the essence of his bill got into the final budget that was adopted Tuesday night.
 
Please send him a thank you message for this effort: mike.hewitt@leg.wa.gov.
 
This proviso will only be in effect for the remaining year of this biennium.
 
• HB 1553 – Walkinshaw: known as the Certificates of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) bill, will establish a program that will reduce the chance of someone coming out of our prison system to recidivate.
 
• HB 1682 – Fey: known as the Homeless Student Stability Act, will begin a voucher system in our public schools to give homeless students and their households more stability, therefore allowing them a better chance to succeed in school.
 
• SB 5342 – Hasegawa: known as the Human Trafficking Definition bill, will expand how our state legally understands human trafficking in terms of enforcement. Particularly, this defines human trafficking taking place not only in the sex industry but also in the labor industry. The state attorney general’s office will be a key focus for the implementation of this.
 
Please send a thank you email to the prime sponsors for any one or more of these bills.

Child Sex Abuse

One More Time
By Sue Magrath

Child sexual abuse is a silent and insidious cancer that eats away at the lives of its victims. It is conducted in silence and perpetuated in silence. Victims are often admonished never to speak about what is happening to them, and these warnings are often accompanied by threats of violence against the victim, their families, or their pets if they ever dare to tell someone about the abuse. Unfortunately, this silence comes at a cost. It is said that what is unspoken becomes unspeakable. In other words, the enormity of what a victim has suffered and the impact of the abuse on their lives grows and thrives in silence and secrecy. When abuse is not spoken about, healing is not possible.

A pastor acquaintance of mine recently told me a touching story of healing that speaks to this issue of silence. Years ago, Claire was conducting a movie theology group in her congregation. During one gathering, a film that portrayed an abusive marital relationship was being viewed by the group. Gradually, Claire began to notice that the behavior of one of the young woman in attendance was becoming more and more agitated. Her discomfort was evident. During a break, the pastor drew the young woman, Debra, aside and asked her if she was okay. After much hesitation, Debra finally shared that she had been raped by her grandfather when she was a young girl. Claire listened and validated her discomfort with the movie, then invited her to come by the church office the next day to talk more about this traumatic event.

Debra did come to Claire’s office as she had been asked and told her story for the first of many times. She shared with Claire that she was the first person to hear her narrative of abuse. Debra had kept this secret for many years until the impact of a movie’s portrayal of abuse unleashed her own painful story. This began a ritual that went on for several years. Debra would stop by Claire’s office and ask her if she had time to hear the story again. Claire would always respond with, “One more time.” Ultimately, it took forty times before Debra had purged herself of the cancer of abuse and received the gift of listening that led to healing. She eventually got married and had children and was able to live a normal and happy life.

Unfortunately, there are many, many stories about child sexual abuse that do not have happy endings. Statistics report that somewhere between thirty and fifty percent of incarcerated women experienced sexual abuse as children. Sixty percent of men and women in drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities likewise report episodes of childhood sexual abuse. This is corroborated by the seventy to eighty percent of adult survivors who acknowledge excessive use of drugs and alcohol as a means to cope with the aftermath of their abuse. In addition, a full seventy-five percent of prostitutes were victims of child sexual abuse. I have to wonder what would have been different for these hundreds of thousands of survivors had they had someone like Claire to tell their story to, someone who would listen without judgment and be a compassionate and loving presence in their lives.

The fact that it took Debra forty times of breaking the silence before she was done strikes me as a vital part of her healing. The number forty figures prominently in biblical narratives. The Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, and Jesus fasted and prayed in the wilderness for forty days and nights before beginning his earthly ministry. Certainly, the wilderness experience is an apt metaphor for the bleak and barren aftermath of child sexual abuse. It takes a lot of wandering to find your way after the trauma of abuse. It takes time. The experience may feel like fasting, where there is no sustenance or nourishment for body or soul. And the desert is a lonely place, often with no signposts to tell you where you are or where you’re headed. You can take a lot of wrong turns in the wilderness. And often, something that looks like it might be an oasis turns out to be a mirage. This makes it hard for survivors to trust anything that looks like hope. They might turn away from people who offer help, fearing that it will just be more of the same disappointment or abandonment they’ve suffered in the past. But Debra’s experience with Claire offers hope for something new, something that opens the floodgates of suppressed emotions that hold one back from healing and restoration. And in the sharing of the story, the breaking of the silence, healing can happen.

So, if you are a survivor of child sexual abuse, find someone to tell your story to. Tell it again and again, until you don’t need to tell it any more. Let their caring and nurturing spirit help you heal. And if you are someone whose vocation leads you to walk with those who have painful stories to tell, listen! Listen with compassion. Hold their story gently, offering no advice or platitudes, only your deep sorrow over their suffering and the assurance that they didn’t deserve what happened to them. Be patient, for it might indeed take forty times. And remember that sometimes, when you think you can’t listen any more, you’ll find, with the help of God, that you can do it one more time.

Sue Magrath is author of the recently released book, Healing the Ravaged Soul: Tending the Spiritual Wounds of Child Sexual Abuse. She is a native of Washington State and currently lives in Leavenworth. Her many years of working with survivors of child sexual abuse as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director led her to write this book, sharing a side of abuse that is rarely recognized or discussed. The book is available through Amazon or Cokesbury.

Photo attribution:

U.S. Fotografie, https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfotografie/8345962959/

Legislative Update

Bill No. Description Thoughts
SHB 2746 Concerning mental health and chemical dependency treatment for juvenile offenders Passed Human Services, Mental Health & Housing

Passed Ways & Means

To Rules Committee where they will decide whether to place this on the calendar for a full vote.

SB 6524 Addressing factors to be considered when sentencing youth in adult criminal court for crimes committed as minors Senate rules “X” files: meaning it will not be considered. This bill is dead.

 

SHB 2906 Strengthening opportunities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders 

Note: This is nearly the same as SSB 6529. The main difference is it originates in the House.

Passed Human Services, Mental Health & Housing

Passed Ways & Means

To Rules Committee where they will decide whether to place this on the calendar for a full vote.

SSB 6529 Strengthening opportunities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders 

Note: This is nearly the same as SHB 2906. The main difference is it originates in the Senate.

Passed Human Services, Mental Health & Housing

Passed House Committee on Early Learning & Human Services

Referred to Transportation. Passed Transportation.

To Rules Committee where they will decide whether to place this on the calendar for a full vote.

SB 6365 Establishing a lower age limit for discretionary decline hearings in juvenile court Appears to have never gotten out of committee.

Current Legislation in Olympia regarding Juveniles

Bill No. Description Thoughts
SHB 2746 Concerning mental health and chemical dependency treatment for juvenile offenders Adds residential treatment options for substance abuse and mental health issues to be considered “punishment” for a juvenile crime if a whole bunch of people including therapists agree that mental health or addiction is the root cause.

GOOD.

SB 6524 Addressing factors to be considered when sentencing youth in adult criminal court for crimes committed as minors Allows adult courts to consider mitigating factors that are not available for “adults” in adult court so that an “exceptional sentence below the standard range” may be applied if the judge so decides.

MOSTLY GOOD.

SHB 2906 Strengthening opportunities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders

 

Note: This is nearly the same as SSB 6529. The main difference is it originates in the House.

Adds rehabilitation and reintegration as a purpose of juvenile detention to the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977.

 

Eliminates mandatory motor vehicle related fines

 

Gives prosecutors discretion regarding filing youth violence against family members as an official domestic violence complaint

 

Eliminates the requirement that courts notify DOL of juvenile offenses

 

Requires the court to defer disposition whenever they are eligible except in cases of animal cruelty.

GOOD.

SSB 6529 Strengthening opportunities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders

 

Note: This is nearly the same as SHB 2906. The main difference is it originates in the Senate.

Requires the court to defer disposition whenever they are eligible except in cases of animal cruelty. If the juvenile makes the motion.

 

Gives prosecutors discretion regarding filing youth violence against family members as an official domestic violence complaint. Also eliminates mandatory arrest in youth DV situations.

 

Eliminates mandatory motor vehicle related fines

 

Eliminates the requirement that courts notify DOL of juvenile offenses

 

Adds rehabilitation and reintegration as a purpose of juvenile detention to the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977.

MOSTLY GOOD.

SB 6365 Establishing a lower age limit for discretionary decline hearings in juvenile court Establishes a minimum age for discretionary decline at 14 from non-existent. i.e. any age can currently be charged as an adult.

EXCELLENT.

Christmas Reflections

Christmas day rolled around and once again we gathered. We heard the choir singing with an occasional giggle and kazoo. Cookies and Red Vines showed up along with Santa and his helper!

A generous spirit was in the air.

Because of donations to the King County Juvenile Detention Center, we were able to witness youth realize the abundance of community. A young woman alone in the world receiving love. A young man with the largest stack of presents he has ever had. We witnessed a Christmas miracle!

One thing that is fun every year is to see the kids put on all clothing they get. They keep putting it on! Layer over layer. They are visibly delighted.

One thing that is sad every year is noticing who is here this year. Again.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to the most vulnerable youth in King County. Because of your gifts, grace and mercy were present!

My dream is that it can be Christmas for these youth every day. That the amount of concern shown on Christmas day will be shown every day of their lives. And the gifts given will be given during ordinary time.