OLYMPIA - This year, Governor Jay Inslee signed hundreds of new bills into law, with some of them going into effect in July.
SHB 1599: High school graduation requirements
Beginning with the class of 2020, students are no longer required to pass statewide tests in English, Science or Math. Students can meet the criteria by passing the AP exam or International Baccalaureate in applicable subjects, meeting the required score for the mathematics portion and the reading, English, or writing portion of the SAT or ACT.
A student may also complete career technical education classes that are related to the student's plans after high school. To meet the requirements, students can also be admitted into a college or career training program.
SB 5023: Ethnic studies
This legislation requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and update ethnic studies curriculum for use in grades seventh through twelfth by September 2020.
An ethnic studies advisory committee is also established to advise, assist and make recommendations to the superintendent that pertains to the development of the model ethnic studies curriculum.
SB 5612: Holocaust education
Schools are "strongly encouraged" to teach about the Holocaust in every middle and high school in the state. The bill also directs the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to partner with an organization to develop practices and guidelines for the instruction pertaining to the Holocaust and to encourage support, and train teachers in implementing the criteria.
Middle and high schools offering this instruction are required to follow the best practices and guidelines that are developed beginning in September of 2020. The Holocaust could also be a mandatory part of the curriculum in schools starting in 2022.
HB 1065: Out-of-network health care services
Revises requirements related to coverage of emergency services that are provided at an Out-of-network emergency department, and also regulates the practice of balance billing by out-of-network providers and facilities.
The law also authorizes arbitration of balance billing disputes between health carriers and out-of-network providers or facilities.
Health care facilities, health care providers, and health carriers would be mandated to provide patients with information relating to network status.
HB 1095: Medical marijuana in schools
Medical marijuana registered students in Washington State public schools will be able to consume marijuana under the new law.
House Bill 1095 would require school districts around the state to authorize a student who meets certain requirements to consume marijuana for medical purposes on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending a school-sponsored event.
HB 1638: Philosophical vaccine exemptions
Under the new law, parents are no longer able to cite personal or philosophical reasons from childhood vaccinations for measles, mumps or rubella. The legislation takes effect on July 28.
HB 1930: Break time to pump breast milk
Employers must provide reasonable break time for employees to pump breast milk up to two years after the birth of a child. The employer also must provide a private location, other than a bathroom, to pump breast milk.
If the business does not have a private space for the employee to pump breast milk, the employer is required to work with the employee to find a convenient location and work schedule to accommodate their needs.
SB 5602: Reproductive health care
Beginning in 2021, health plans must provide coverage for condoms, screenings, medically necessary services, and medication after a sexual assault. Prenatal vitamins for pregnant people and breast pumps for covered people would also be included in the coverage.
SB 5649: Statute of limitations with regard to sexual assault
Under the new law, there are no statute of limitations when it comes to sexual crimes against children, such as child rape, child molestation or rape in the first or second degree if the victim was under 16 years old.
Victims have up to 20 years to come forward for rape in the first or second degree if they were over the age of 16 years old. For rape in the third degree, they have 10 years to come forward.
Those who are victims of incest or commercial sex abuse as a child have until their 30th birthday or 10 years after the crime to come forward and report it to authorities.
HB 1513: Youth voter registration
Under the new law, teens at least 16 years of age are allowed to register to vote, but the law prohibits from adding minors to the voter rolls until the teen becomes 18 years of age by the next election.
SB 5063: Prepaid postage for elections
Requires prepaid postage on return envelopes for all elections, with the state reimbursing counties for the cost of the postage.
HB 1440: Rent Increases
Under the law, landlords are required to provide a tenant at least 60 days prior written notice of an increase in rent.
Although, the law does not apply when rental agreements governing subsidized tenancies where the rental amount is based on the income of the tenant or circumstances specific to the subsidized household.
SB 5600: Rent Increases
The 3-day notice to pay and vacate for default in rent payment is increased to 14 days notice for tenancies under the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act. The law also includes information on how tenants can access legal and advocacy resources.
Landlords would be required to first apply any tenant payment to rent before applying the payment toward other charges.
HB 1055: Arrests pertaining to no-contact orders
Authorities a law enforcement officer who has probable cause, to arrest a suspect who they believe violates a no-contact order issued in a promoting prostitution or a trafficking case without a warrant.
HB 1465: Pistol sales and transfers
Dealers may not transfer pistols until the dealer is notified by the chief of police or sheriff that the person interested in purchasing the pistol is eligible to possess the firearm and the application is approved.
The law also applied when 10 business days have elapsed since the application was received by the law enforcement agency, and the time period may be extended for up to 60 days if the purchaser doesn't meet certain criteria.