NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

State Senate sends bill to perfect De-Escalate Washington’s I-940 to Governor Jay Inslee

Legislation to polish and perfect De-Escalate Washington’s Initiative 940 received its second resounding stamp of approval today in the Washington State Senate. By a vote of forty-seven to zero (yes, really), senators voted to send SHB 1064 to Governor Jay Inslee for his signature. It previously received a unanimous vote of support (ninety-eight to zero) in the House of Representatives.

A two-thirds vote was required to approve the bill in each chamber because it amends an initiative passed by a vote of the people.

Prime sponsored by State Representative Roger Goodman, this bill cleans up provisions in I-940 “relating to training, the criminal liability standard for use of deadly force, independent investigations of deadly force incidents, and rendering of first aid.” A similar bill was passed last year during the short session, but the Supreme Court invalidated it after Tim Eyman filed a legal challenge.

We don’t often see unanimous roll calls on major bills. It is truly remarkable that both the House and Senate passed this legislation without a single dissenting vote.

Roll Call
HB 1064
Law enforcement
3rd Reading & Final Passage

Yeas: 47; Excused: 1

Voting Yea: Senators Bailey, Becker, Billig, Braun, Brown, Carlyle, Cleveland, Conway, Darneille, Das, Dhingra, Ericksen, Fortunato, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hawkins, Hobbs, Holy, Honeyford, Hunt, Keiser, King, Kuderer, Liias, McCoy, Mullet, Nguyen, O’Ban, Padden, Palumbo, Pedersen, Randall, Rivers, Rolfes, Saldaña, Salomon, Schoesler, Sheldon, Short, Takko, Van De Wege, Wagoner, Walsh, Warnick, Wellman, Wilson (Claire), Zeiger

Excused: Senator Wilson (Lynda)

Together, I-940 and Goodman’s SHB 1064 accomplish the following, according to a summary prepared by the House Democratic caucus:

  • Require annual training for law enforcement, including training on implicit bias, de-escalation tactics, mental health, and less lethal alternatives;
  • Establish that law enforcement officers have a solemn duty to preserve life, including providing or summoning first aid at the earliest safe opportunity;
  • Institute processes for independent investigations of deadly force incidents;
  • Establish standards for family and community notification, including a requirement to notify tribes if an officer’s use of force results in the death of a tribal member; and
  • Remove the requirement that police “malice” be proven in order to bring criminal charges and replace it with an objective “good faith” or reasonable police officer standard by which prosecutors can more fairly evaluate deadly force incidents.

SHB 1064 enjoyed the support of both the De-Escalate Washington coalition and representatives of organizations that represent law enforcement.

NPI congratulates the Legislature on passage of SHB 1064. This is the first bill to clear the House and Senate this session and head to the Governor’s desk.

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