Legislative and Policy Advocacy

WDA’s legislative advocacy program is coordinated with the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL).  We share a lobbyist, Neil Beaver, and staff oversee various issues and advocacy efforts under the guidance of our joint Legislative Committee.

Legislative Session 2020 

The 2020 Legislative Session is a “short” 60-day session that begins January 13 and ends March 13, 2020.  As it is the second year of the legislature’s biennial sessions, bills that were introduced in 2019 are still alive and we expect a number of them to be a focus for passage in 2020.  In addition, new bills are being introduced, some of which we expect to be prioritized for passage while others are more for political posturing in anticipation of the 2020 elections.  The pace of the session will be fast and response times compressed.

Our priority issues/areas this year are:

Indigent Defense Study/Task Force
3 Strike Retroactivity
Failure to Appear (Bail Jump)
Parent Sentencing Alternative
71.09 Less Restrictive Alternative Reform
Death Penalty Repeal
DWLS 3 Reform
ITA Protections
Surveillance/Privacy Protections

Please contact Christie Hedman or Amy Hirotaka if you have any questions or are interested in our legislative work.

Global Bill Status Report Report

Position Papers

Amicus Work

WDA appears on behalf of indigent persons, public defenders and other criminal defense attorneys on issues relating to due process, access to justice, criminal defense and the rights of indigent persons. If you are handling a matter at the appellate level that you would like WDA to provide amicus briefing on, or to sign on to your amicus, please visit our Amicus Advocacy page.