Bills to Watch Out For
Bills that seem "progressive" but give more power to cops and prosecutors
HB 1071 - this is a "hate crime" bill which seems good at first, but is not shown to deter violence, does not prevent violence, and sometimes leads to marginalized persons being arrested for violence against straight/white/Christian people. It will give prosecutors the power to extend sentences and is supported by the Seattle Police Department (yuck!)
HB 1283 - this bill makes it a crime to brandish (show) a weapon to a group of people. It is supposed to target the right-wing, but left to the racist police, will end up criminalizing and incarcerating more youth of color.
Bills that criminalize protesting
HB 1394 criminalizes unlawful discharge of a laser in response to protesters using lasers to disable police drones and other tactics to defend themselves against the police.
SB 5310 creates more ways that prosecutors can charge protesters who are helping protect people from being attacked or arrested by police.
SB 5148 creates more ways prosecutors can charge people with “harassing” public officials. Such laws can easily be used as part of political repression during times when people are protesting injustice.
SB 5059 makes it a class c felony to deface government property, and is focused on protecting monuments from being defaced.
STOP EXPANSION IN THE 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Why does our legislature keep expanding the criminal legal system in WA?
Every year, dozens of bills are introduced in the WA legislature that add new crimes, increase penalties, increase the budgets for both policing and imprisonment, give prosecutors more power, and increase incarceration.
Some of the bills come from Republicans and some from Democrats, but they all have one thing in common: they seek to solve social problems by arresting more people and locking people up for longer. Most of these bills are endorsed by the police and prosecutors. We know this system is harming our communities. We are tired of our lawmakers growing this system. Black and indigenous communities, communities of color, poor people, people with disabilities, and queer and trans people are relentlessly targeted by any law that increases criminal penalties, no matter what the bill’s sponsors and supporters intend.
This year we say STOP EXPANSION
of the criminal system in WA!