Felons' right to vote reinstated with sentence completion


The ACLU led efforts by a broad coalition of groups to pass HB 1517 of 2009, which automatically reinstates the right to vote for felons once they have completed their sentence. Previously, felons could get their right to vote back only after they had paid all of their fines and successfully completed a complicated reinstatement procedure.  Representative Jeannie Darnielle worked tirelessly and effectively to obtain passage of this important bill. 

Reform measures continue with Office of Public Guardianship


Two years ago, the Washington State Legislature created an “Office of Public Guardianship” (OPG), and wisely included safeguards to ensure that Washington’s public guardianship program is a reform measure, rather than just a “guardianship mill”.  To make sure that guardians hired by the OPG had adequate time to do a good job, the legislation limits all OPG guardians to a maximum of 20 clients. This prevents the problem that has occurred in other states, where public guardians sometimes have hundreds of clients who are subsequently not well-served.