NEW 2023 WA State Injury & Violence Prevention Laws
As the 2023-2024 WA State legislative session comes to an end, here are some of the Injury and Violence-related bills signed into law by WA Governor Jay Inslee.
These laws will go into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session, July 23, 2023.
Topics include: Cannabis/Tobacco, Drowning Prevention, Equity/Human Rights, Injury/Violence Prevention, Mental Health/Suicide Prevention, Safe & Active Transportation, Sexual/Domestic Violence
This web site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute the University of Washington Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center’s (HIPRC) views. Neither HIPRC, the University of Washington, nor its employees, nor any contributor to this web site, makes any representations, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use.
Bill action ceremonies will not be open to the general public. Members of the public can view the bill signings on TVW.
Last Updated: 5/26/2023
- SB 5367– AN ACT Relating to the regulation of products containing THC
- SB 5365– AN ACT Relating to the purchase, use, and possession of vapor and tobacco products by minors
- New law states all persons under the age of 21 who purchase, use, or possess vapor or tobacco products should be offered community-based interventions that are more effective in helping them quit.
- New law will increase enforcement strategies to ensure retailer compliance with tobacco and vapor product possession laws.
- A person under the age of eighteen who purchases or attempts to purchase, possesses, or obtains or attempts to obtain cigarettes or tobacco products commits a class 3 civil infraction*
- *This provision does not apply if a person under the age of eighteen, with parental authorization, is participating in a controlled purchase as part of a liquor and cannabis board, law enforcement, or local health department activity
- HB 1750– AN ACT Relating to establishing Yori’s law to promote education around water safety and drowning prevention
- New law states May 15 is recognized as Water Safety Day, on which individuals who work directly with children in their profession are encouraged to provide training, educational materials, and other resources to the children and their families around water safety, water rescue, and drowning prevention. Water Safety Day is not designated as a paid state legal holiday. In memory of those lost to drowning, the act may be known and cited as “Yori’s law.”
- HB 1004- AN ACT Relating to installing signs on or near bridges to provide information to deter jumping
- Also known as Zack’s Law, would require a sign to be placed at the bridge where Zach Rager jumped into the Chehalis River (2021), who died due to cold water shock
- New law would also create pathway for local governments to work with individuals and communities to install warning signs of cold water shock dangers at appropriate locations
- New language will be added to existing drowning warning signs being replaced at existing locations and new construction near known drowning dangers
Equity/ Human Rights
- SB 5599– AN ACT Relating to supporting youth and young adults seeking protected health care services
- New law intends to remove barriers to accessing temporary, licensed shelter accommodations for youth seeking certain protected health care services.
- SB 5072- AN ACT Relating to advancing equity in programs for highly capable students
- New law states for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education. The legislature has directed school districts to prioritize equitable identification of low-income students for participation in highly capable programs and services.
- New law will allocate state funding for programs based on five percent of each school district’s student population.
- SB 5768– AN ACT Relating to protecting access to abortion medications by authorizing the department of corrections to acquire, sell, deliver, distribute, and dispense abortion medications
- New law gives the WA State Department of Corrections authority the authority to distribute or sell the (mifepristone) medication to clinics around the state
- HB 1469– AN ACT Relating to protecting access to reproductive health care services and gender-affirming treatment in Washington state
- Law protects access to reproductive health care services and gender-affirming treatment in the state
- SB 5453– AN ACT Relating to female genital mutilation
- New law would prevent female genital mutilation (FGM) in WA state
- New law will create penalties including fines, license revocation, and restrictions on scope of practice (For health care professionals).
- FGM will now be considered a gross misdemeanor,
- Law will establish a ten-year statute of limitations from the date of the crime, (or if the victim is a minor), until the victim turns 28
- SB 5028– AN ACT Relating to revising the process for individuals to request name changes.
- Updates rules for legal name changes, strengthening safety and privacy protections for trans and nonbinary people, refugees and survivors of domestic violence.
- HB 1580- AN ACT Relating to creating a system to support children in crisis;
- SB 5515– AN ACT Relating to protecting children from child abuse and neglect at residential facilities and residential private schools
- New law would direct the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to investigate referrals of alleged child abuse or neglect occurring at substance use disorder treatment facilities, entities that provide behavioral health services, and residential private schools. DCYF would determine whether there is a finding for abuse or neglect.
- HB 1562– AN ACT Relating to reducing the risks of lethality and other harm associated with gun violence, gender-based violence, and other types of violence by clarifying and updating laws relating to the unlawful possession of firearms and restoration of firearm rights
- New law finds that strengthening the laws regarding unlawful possession and restoration of firearm rights will protect these survivors, and their families and communities, from added risk of harm, and include their personal knowledge regarding possible violations of firearm prohibitions in the restoration petition process
- HB 1002– AN ACT Relating to increasing the penalty for hazing
- New law states no student, or other person in attendance at any public or private institution of higher education, or any other postsecondary educational institution, may intentionally haze another.
- Any student organization, association, or student living group that permits hazing is strictly liable for damages caused to persons or property resulting from hazing.
- If the student organization, association, or student living group is a corporation whether for profit or nonprofit, the individual directors of the corporation may be held individually liable for damages
- HB 1230– AN ACT Relating to requiring school districts and other public education entities to make information from the department of health about substance use trends, overdose symptoms and response, and the secure storage of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and firearms and ammunition, available through their websites and other communication resources
- Law requires school districts and other public education entities to make information from the department of health available
- HB 1600– AN ACT Relating to providing access to sealed juvenile records for firearm purposes
- HB 1143– AN ACT Relating to enhancing requirements for the purchase or transfer of firearms by requiring a permit to purchase firearms, firearms safety training, and a 10-day waiting period, prohibiting firearms transfers prior to completion of a background check, and updating and creating consistency in firearms transfer and background check procedures
- New law would require 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases
- New law would require firearm purchasers must provide proof of completion of a recognized firearm safety training program within the last five years that complies with the requirements in section 2 of this act, or proof that the purchaser is exempt from the training requirement
- New law requires firearm dealers to mandate a background check
- HB 1240– AN ACT Relating to establishing firearms-related safety measures to increase public safety by prohibiting the manufacture, importation, distribution, selling, and offering for sale of assault weapons, and by providing limited exemptions applicable to licensed firearm manufacturers and dealers for purposes of sale to armed forces branches and law enforcement agencies and for purposes of sale or transfer outside the state, and to inheritors; reenacting and amending RCW 9.41.010; adding new sections to chapter 9.41 RCW; creating a new section; prescribing penalties; and declaring an emergency.
- New law prohibits the sale, manufacturing, and import of assault weapons in the state
- HB 5078– AN ACT Relating to protecting public safety by establishing duties of firearm industry members engaged in the sale, manufacturing, distribution, importing, or marketing of firearms, ammunition, component parts, or accessories, to adopt and implement reasonable controls to prevent the diversion of firearms and related products to straw purchasers, firearm traffickers, unauthorized individuals, and individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others, to prohibit such firearm industry members from creating or maintaining a public nuisance, and providing for investigation and enforcement by the attorney general; adding a new section to chapter; creating new sections; and prescribing penalties.
- New law states that firearms manufacturers and sellers will face liability if they fail to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls in the manufacture, sale, distribution, and marketing of firearms to keep them out of the hands of dangerous individuals
- HB 1177– AN ACT Relating to a missing and murdered indigenous women and people cold case investigations unit
- Law established a new unit dedicated to Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) cases within the State Attorney General’s Office
- New unit will help unit will provide additional assistance and resources to law enforcement agencies in solving MMIP cold cases
- SB 5623- AN ACT Relating to modifying an element of the offense of hate crime and classifying a hate crime as crimes against persons.
- The law expands the current definition of a hate crime- assaults that are meant to intimidate or demean (but don’t result) in a hate crime can be considered a hate crime.
- The law will allow courts to impose therapeutic treatment for offenders meant to rehabilitate them.
- New law replaces word “swastika” with the more precise “Nazi emblem, symbol, or Hakenkreuz.
- SB 5370– AN ACT Relating to adult protective services.
- Expands the number of mandated reporters, who can determine if vulnerable adults should be considered for interventions such as possible guardianship or admission to a care facility.
- The law now makes employees of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, as well as certified residential services staff and operators, mandated reporters.
Mental Health/ Suicide Prevention
- HB 1134– AN ACT Relating to implementing the 988 behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention system
- New law will expand the services provided through the 988 crisis hotline and will establish designated 988 call center hubs. Will also create an endorsement for 988 rapid-response crisis teams, the primary response teams for people experiencing a significant behavioral health emergency that requires an urgent, in-person response.
- The department will develop informational materials and social media campaign related to the 988 crisis hotline, including call, text, and chat options, and other crisis hotline lines for veterans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and other populations. The informational materials must include appropriate information for persons seeking services at behavioral health clinics and medical clinics, as well as media audiences and students at K-12 schools and higher education institutions. The department shall make the informational materials available to behavioral health clinics, medical clinics, media, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and other relevant settings.
- SB 5120– AN ACT Relating to establishing crisis relief centers in Washington state.
- New law would direct the Department of Health to license or certify crisis relief centers, a new type of crisis diversion facility that can provide short-term help to patients regardless of behavioral health acuity.
- HB 1724- AN ACT Relating to increasing the trained behavioral health workforce
- New law helps strengthen the workforce by getting qualified behavioral health providers into the field as quickly and safely as possible.
- SB 5006– AN ACT Relating to clarifying waiver of firearm rights
- New law helps strengthen the current Washington state “Voluntary Waiver of Rights” law which provides people at risk of a psychological crisis or suicide the option to voluntarily give up their right to keep a firearm
- SB 5257– AN ACT Relating to ensuring elementary school students receive 2 sufficient daily recess for mental and physical health
- New law states, starting the 2024-25 school year, public schools, for each school day that exceeds five hours in duration, must provide a minimum of 30 minutes of daily recess within the school day for all students in grades kindergarten through five and students in grade six that attend an elementary school
- SB 5189– AN ACT Relating to establishing behavioral health support specialists
- New law finds that a behavioral health support specialist is a new member of the workforce in Washington state trained in the competencies developed by the University of Washington behavioral health support specialist clinical training program
- New law will improve access to behavioral health services and ease workforce shortages while helping behavioral health professionals work at the top of their scope of practice.
- HB 1501– AN ACT Relating to authorizing additional counseling services for immediate family members of homicide victims
- New law states when the injury to any victim is so serious as to require the victim’s being taken from the place of injury to a place of treatment, reasonable transportation costs to the nearest place of proper treatment shall be reimbursed by the department as part of the victim’s total claim
- HB 5604- AN ACT Relating to county sales and use taxes for mental health and housing
- New law permits local governments greater flexibility in the spending of tax collections targeted for mental health treatment programs and affordable housing
- HB 1069– AN ACT Relating to the mental health counselor compact.
- New law established Counseling Compact which will allow professional mental health counselors in Washington state to practice remotely in the 17 other states that are a part of the compact
- New law will allow mental health professionals in other states in the compact to practice remotely in Washington State
Safe & Active Transportation
- SB 5583– AN ACT Relating to improving young driver safety
- New law will require the Department of Licensing develop a comprehensive implementation plan for the expansion of the current driver training education requirement to obtain a driver’s license to persons between the ages of 18 and 24 by July 2026
- Those ages 18 to 22 must complete a full driver training education course before receiving a license by Jan 2025
- Those ages 22 to 25 must complete a condensed traffic safety education course or a self-paced, online course prior to receiving a license by Jan 2025
- SB 5347– AN ACT Relating to access to abstract driving records
- New law addresses challenges of getting a full driver’s record from the Department of Licensing in order to sign up for treatment or attend court-ordered substance-abuse assignments
- HB 1319– AN ACT Relating to collision reporting criteria triggering driver’s license reexamination
- New law states police must report anyone who causes a crash that ends in “substantial bodily harm,” in addition to reporting when a crash ends in “serious injury”
- SB 5452– AN ACT Relating to authorizing impact fee revenue to fund improvements to bicycle and pedestrian facilities
- SB 5023– AN ACT Relating to roadside safety measures
- Allows tow truck drivers to use flashing/intermittent revolving blue and red lights while at the scene of an accident to increase their visibility to drivers.
- Requires drivers on highways or other high-speed roads to reduce their speed below 50m mph while passing a tow truck in an emergency or work zone.
- SB 5272– AN ACT Relating to speed safety camera systems on state highways; adding a new section to chapter; and providing an expiration date.
- Law enforcement can now issue a traffic infraction when a car is caught speeding by camera system in a work zone.
- Automated speed cameras will be added to Washington state highways in 2024.
- HB 1715– AN ACT Relating to enacting comprehensive protections for victims of domestic violence and other violence involving family members or intimate partners
- Law would initiate statewide requirements for electronic monitoring with victim notification
- Law will also change the process for surrendering firearms and create provisions under which a domestic violence victim can terminate a rental agreement
- HB 1696– AN ACT Relating to stalking-related offenses.
- SB 5081– AN ACT Relating to victim notification
- New law states at the earliest possible date, and in no event later than thirty days before release except in the event of escape or emergency furloughs
- The department of corrections shall send written notice of parole, release, community custody, work release placement, furlough, or escape about a specific inmate convicted of a violent offense, a sex offense
- SB 5398– AN ACT Relating to domestic violence funding allocation
- New law states, the domestic violence services program within the department of social and health services shall convene a work group to review and update the formula used to determine the allocation of funding for domestic violence victim services agencies.
- HB 1766– AN ACT Relating to the creation of a hope card program
- Hope cards are durable, laminated cards, similar in construction to a driver’s license, that contain the vital information about a protection order that first responders need to quickly verify its existence. Establishing a hope card program in Washington will not only relieve protection order recipients of an unnecessary source of frustration and stress, but also increase the effectiveness of these crucial sources of safety and security for thousands of Washingtonians.
- HB 1564– AN ACT Relating to prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter sexual assault kits
- New law prohibits sale of OTC sexual assault kits
- The sale of over-the-counter sexual assault kits may prevent survivors from receiving accurate information about their options and reporting processes; from obtaining access to appropriate and timely medical treatment and follow up; and from connecting to their community and other vital resources.
- SB 5355– AN ACT Relating to mandating instruction on sex trafficking prevention and identification for students in grades seven through 12
- New law states, beginning 2025-26 school year, school districts must offer instruction in sex trafficking awareness and prevention. The instruction may be offered beginning in grade seven, but each student must be offered the instruction at least once before completing grade 12.
- The instruction, at the discretion of the school or school district, may be integrated into a relevant course or a course may be repurposed to include the instruction.
- SB 5114– AN ACT Relating to supporting adults with lived experience of sex trafficking
- Washington is the FIRST state in the nation to pass a human trafficking law
- In order to reduce the trauma, violence, and disproportionate impact of sex trafficking, the legislature intends to create a network of healing, support, and transition services for adults with lived experience of sex trafficking tailored to the self-determined needs of each individual.
- HB 1028– AN ACT Relating to supporting crime victims and witnesses by promoting victim-centered, trauma-informed responses in the legal system
- Law requires law enforcement agencies to conduct an investigation of a reported sexual assault within 90 days when the testing of a sexual assault kit (SAK) generates a hit in the Combined DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) Indexing System (CODIS), provide case status updates to the Office of the Attorney General for all SAKs with CODIS hits
- Law requires Crime Victim Compensation Program to reimburse a Washington resident who is billed for a sexual assault examination by an out-of-state facility
- Provides that a medical disclosure authorization to a health care provider or facility regarding a forensic examination remains valid until the end of all related criminal proceedings, subject to certain exceptions
- Modifies certain reporting requirements imposed on the Washington State Patrol (WSP) related to statewide SAK testing and tracking
- Extends the statute of limitations that applies to the prosecution of sex offenses where the suspect is identified by DNA testing or photograph
- Reestablishes the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Best Practices Advisory Group.
- HB 1394– AN ACT Relating to creating a developmentally appropriate response to youth who commit sexual offenses
- SB 5070– AN ACT Relating to victims of nonfatal strangulation
- New law states permanent reimbursement for the Crime Victims Compensation Program for survivors of strangulation
- This bill will take effect on June 30, 2023 (due to an emergency clause)
- HB 1522– AN ACT Relating to addressing sexual misconduct at scholarly or professional associations
- New law requires potential employees of universities to sign a statement disclosing whether the applicant is the subject of any proven findings of sexual misconduct by any past employer
- New law rill allow applicant’s former employer to disclose information regarding substantiated sexual misconduct findings to the university to which the applicant is applying
- SB 5033– AN ACT Relating to reclassifying the sentence for the crime of custodial sexual misconduct and creating a new section; and prescribing penalties.
Source: Bill Action by Washington Governor, Jay Inslee >>