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Picture of the top of the Washington State Capital Building with blue sky behind it. Text over the sky reads, "2022 Legislative Agenda." Below picture is the Disability Rights Washington logo with a blue graphic of a tree and the words "Washington's protection and advocacy system" written underneath.
Image Description: Picture of the top of the Washington State Capital Building with blue sky behind it. Text over the sky reads, “2022 Legislative Agenda.” Below picture is the Disability Rights Washington logo with a blue graphic of a tree and the words “Washington’s protection and advocacy system” written underneath.

2022 Legislative Agenda

These issues have been identified by Disability Rights Washington (DRW) Programs and their constituents for focus during the 2022 legislative session. This list is not exhaustive and may change as the session progresses. Issues are not listed in a particular order. Items listed under the Lead Agenda are initiatives DRW is leading or working with stakeholders to lead. Items listed under the Support Agenda are led by another entity, but DRW will provide support.

In addition to these items, DRW will oppose legislation that undermines the self-determination rights of constituents with disabilities, was created about people with disabilities without them, and criminalizes disability. This includes bills related to restrictions on community placement, expansion of guardianship or involuntary treatment, and creation of new institutions or carceral settings.

Lead Agenda

1. Ensure people with disabilities are represented in policy decision making

2. Restrict the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prisons

3. Privacy protections for people in Washington prisons

  • Amend the Public Records Act to protect certain sensitive records about people incarcerated in prison.

4. Fund Trueblood Programs

  • Provide funding to fully support the programs outlined under the 2018 Settlement Agreement and to sustain the contempt fine-funded diversion programs.

5. Reduce Washington’s reliance on involuntary inpatient behavioral health care by building up outpatient care, crisis response services, and housing and other supports

  • Increase funding for and access to less restrictive treatment and more robust supports while better targeting available inpatient beds to those people who may qualify for more costly, restrictive inpatient settings. (DRW Report: ALL OR NOTHING)

6. Maintain gains made last session which require police de-escalation and better define when police may use force.

  • Ensure law enforcement is following the new law and that any changes to the law do not have adverse outcomes, especially for those experiencing behavioral health crisis.

7. Improve outcomes and system efficiencies in legal representation for patients deemed not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI)

  • Allow OPD to manage these contracts and support a more resourced and better trained pool of defense attorneys. (budget proviso)

8. Address unaffordability of health care costs for Medicare beneficiaries

  • Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income cannot afford out of pocket healthcare costs.

9. Increase capacity in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) community’s efforts to create a more racially equitable service delivery system

  • Build a well-resourced community of I/DD advocates who lead with racial equity.

Support Agenda

1. Increase accessibility of dispute resolution options for marginalized families accessing special education

  • Shift the burden of proof in due process hearings from families to school districts.

2. Provide an additional year of transition programming for students during the pandemic

  • Many students have missed out on learning during the pandemic.

3. Eliminate the use of isolation in schools

  • Working in concert with community leaders to introduce legislation in 2023. BIPOC students with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by this practice.

4. Increase police accountability

  • Through reforming collective bargaining agreements, establishing independent prosecution, and reducing use of force.

5. Improve and increase non-police emergency behavioral health response

  • Provide community-based behavioral health crisis services that are independent of law enforcement.

6. Expand opportunities for release from prison and decrease sentence lengths

  • Change the requirements for Extraordinary Medical Placement so that more people with serious chronic medical conditions can be reviewed for release into the community and expand opportunities for review under the clemency board (SB 5036); expand the rate at which incarcerated people receive earned release time to at least 33% (SHB 1282); allow sentence review for certain people who were under the age of 25 when their crime was committed (HB 1344); retroactively eliminate the use of juvenile felonies in the calculation of adult sentences (HB 1413); allow earned time on sentence enhancements and provide judges greater discretion in imposing enhancements (HB 1169).

7. Prevent inappropriate hospitalization of children and adults with developmental disabilities

  • Fund complex transition coordination teams, mobile diversion rapid response, provider development, smaller caseloads, and enhanced support to providers to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.
  • Require DDA to expand the data collected to include all people with developmental disabilities who are taken to the hospital to find out why people are stuck there. This includes people coming out of residential service settings and private homes.

8. Ensure the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is adequately funded by caseload forecasting all DDA services

  • Mandate caseload forecasting for DDA community supports and services.
  • Address the needs of the 15,000+ clients DDA has identified who asked for services but are waiting (no paid services caseload) by increasing availability of waiver services.

9. Eliminate the prevailing wage exemption for people with disabilities

  • People with disabilities should not be paid less than their able-bodied peers because of their disability.

10. Support TVW’s budget request to improve accessibility of the legislature

  • TVW is the most direct connection between constituents and the legislature.

11. Increase access to voting and democratic processes by addressing systemic barriers

  • Financial and institutional barriers prevent people with direct lived experience from voting and participating in policy making processes which directly impact them.

For questions please contact: Darya Farivar, Public Policy Director,

Updated: 12/16/21