SB 5356

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Reported by Senate Committee On:

State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections, February 20, 2019

Title: An act relating to establishing the Washington state LGBTQ commission.

Brief Description: Establishing the Washington state LGBTQ commission.

Sponsors: Senators Wilson, C., Randall, Das, Saldaña, Darneille, Pedersen, Liias, Nguyen, Cleveland, Dhingra and Hunt.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections: 2/15/19, 2/20/19 [DPS-WM, w/oRec].

Brief Summary of First Substitute Bill

  • Establishes a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Commission in the office of the Governor.

  • Designates June of each year as LGBTQ month with the fourth week in June designated as a time to celebrate the contributions LGBTQ people have made to the state.


Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5356 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.

Signed by Senators Hunt, Chair; Kuderer, Vice Chair; Hasegawa and Takko.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.

Signed by Senators Zeiger, Ranking Member; Bailey and Hawkins.

Staff: Melissa Van Gorkom (786-7491)

Background: State law establishes a variety of commissions under the office of the Governor, including:

Summary of Bill: The bill as referred to committee not considered.

Summary of Bill (First Substitute): The LGBTQ Commission (Commission) is established in the Office of the Governor. LGBTQ includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. The Governor will appoint an executive director to administer the Commission. The director must:

Membership. The Commission consists of 15 members who are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Governor must consider nominations for membership based on maintaining a balanced and diverse distribution of race and ethnic, geographic, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, and occupational representation, where practicable.

The initial members serve for staggered terms. Subsequently, members serve for a three-year term unless reappointed by the Governor. Members are reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties in accordance with statutory provisions for subsistence, lodging, per diem, and mileage allowance. A simple majority of members constitutes a quorum.

Duties. The Commission must:

The Commission must also submit a biennial report to the Legislature and the Governor detailing the Commission's activities. The report must, at minimum:

State agencies must provide appropriate and reasonable assistance to the Commission as needed, including gathering data and information to assist the Commission in carrying out its purpose.

Powers. The Commission may:

Other. June of each year is designated as LGBTQ month with the fourth week in June designated as a time to celebrate the contributions LGBTQ people have made to the state. Educational institutions, public entities, and private organizations are encouraged to designate time for appropriate activities in commemoration of the lives, history, achievements, and contributions of LGBTQ people.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony on First Substitute: PRO: This bill would establish a vital resource for a segment of our population whose identity places them at risk of experiencing exceptional levels of violence and other treatment that can undermine self-esteem health and general wellbeing. There is a lack of culturally relevant services for LGBTQ people. To address the lack of inclusion, the first important step is to create a statewide commission so that there is oversight around all the areas in which the LGBTQ community has not had access or inclusion in the many benefits afforded every other minority community. There is a lack of employment opportunities and insufficient support around economic development for the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ businesses are certified nationally by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, but not recognized here in the state of Washington. Those certifications help equalize the playing field for small businesses and help support their community. A commission can help consult with agencies to make sure LGBTQ people are at the table in order to address those issues of disparity.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Claire Wilson, Prime Sponsor; Louise Chernin, Greater Seattle Business Association; Mona Smith, GSBA; George Pieper, GSBA; Tobi Hill-Meyer, Gender Justice League.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.