Case Support

2020 Legislative Updates

 Expanding Washington’s Alternatives to Prison for Parents with Minor Children.  Reunifying parents with support through this sentencing alternative improves the quality of child-parent reunification and improves public safety.  It is counter-productive to leave parents in prison who would otherwise be good candidates to serve their final 12 months of imprisonment on electronic home monitoring or to or to send parents to prison who would otherwise be good candidates to serve their sentence in the community; both while completing a strengths-based and successful parenting program.

Bill Number: 5291 (Senate)

This bill passed the Washington legislature and was signed by Gov. Inslee.  It becomes effective on June 11, 2020.

Please see these comparison charts describing each program option and how they differ.

Comparison Chart between original Court Based Option and New Bill

Comparison Chart between original  Prison Based Option and New Bill

 

Full text of the bill as it passed

 

Making Substitute Caregiving Arrangements.  This bill makes RCW 11.130.915 providing for parental use of power of attorney documents to create minor child caregiving arrangements for up to 24 months effective 90 days after sessions ends in June 2020, instead of January 1, 2021.

Bill Number: 6287 (Senate)

This bill passed the Washington legislature and was signed by Gov. Inslee.  It becomes effective on June 11, 2020.

The guardianship bill improves upon last year’s bill in two critical ways:

  1. Parents can use power of attorney documents to make minor caregiving arrangements for up to 24 months starting June 2020.
  2. The court must clearly state rights retained by any parent of the minor even when appointing the guardian, including the entry of orders preserving the parent-child relationship through parent-child visitation and other contact, decision making regarding the minor’s health care, education, or other matter, or access to a record regarding the minor unless findings are entered that allow for restriction under RCW 26.09.191.

 

Full text of the bill as it passed

Link to last year’s bill

 

 

Parental Volunteering in Schools After Criminal Conviction.  This bill ensures that a parent, legal guardian, or grandparent (hereinafter, “parent”), who has been issued a document demonstrating in innocence, pardon, expungement, and other forms of rehabilitation, cannot be denied because of their past criminal convictions to volunteer in their child’s schools.  It creates a consistent process for all Washington schools to use when assessing a parent who is not eligible to pursue those documents or who has not yet received such a document and an appeals process for those denied.  Washington’s schools should prioritize parental volunteering for the children who have experienced parental incarceration.

Bill Number:  2220 (House)

This bill did not get voted out of the House.

 


For more information, contact:

 D’Adre Cunningham……………………   (206) 623-4321………………… DAdre@defensenet.org