E2SHB 1783

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.


C 332 L 20

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Creating the Washington state office of equity.

Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Gregerson, Morgan, Ryu, Lovick, Valdez, Ramos, Thai, Reeves, Slatter, Lekanoff, Peterson, Macri, Entenman, Pettigrew, Bergquist, Callan, Stonier, Orwall, Hudgins, Riccelli, Mead, Senn, Santos, Chapman, Walen, Kloba, Doglio, Tarleton, Pollet, Dolan, Davis, Jinkins, Wylie, Shewmake, Pellicciotti, Fey, Stanford, Sells, Morris, Kilduff, Leavitt, Appleton, Tharinger, Ormsby, Frame and Robinson).

House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations

House Committee on Appropriations

Senate Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections

Senate Committee on Ways & Means


Various state agencies, including the Governor's Interagency Coordinating Council on Health Disparities (Council), have undertaken efforts to promote equity and reduce disparities statewide. In January 2018 the Council issued a state policy action plan related to its work to eliminate health inequities by race, ethnicity, and gender. As part of that plan, the Council recommended that the Governor issue a policy to create a comprehensive initiative to promote equity in state government. The Council recommended that the initiative include actions such as collecting disaggregated data to raise awareness of inequities and ensuring diverse communities have a voice in state government decisions.

A proviso in the 2019-2021 biennial operating budget directed the Council to convene and staff an Office of Equity Task Force (Task Force) that would develop a proposal for the creation of the Washington State Office of Equity (Equity Office). The Task Force is composed of representatives from:

In addition, the Task Force includes two Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and two Senators appointed by the President of the Senate. The Governor also appoints three members to the Task Force, including representatives from the Office of the Governor, the Office of Financial Management's (OFM) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community.

The Task Force has held multiple public meetings and public forums in different locations across the state as part of its work to develop recommendations on the general structure and roles for the Equity Office. The Task Force will continue to meet in 2020 to develop additional recommendations and is required to produce a final report by July 1, 2020.


Washington State Office of Equity Established.

The Equity Office is established on July 1, 2020, within the Office of the Governor, to promote access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce disparities and improve outcomes statewide across state government. The work of the Equity Office must be guided by specified principles of equity and must complement and not supplant the work of statutory commissions.

The Governor is required to appoint a Director, with the consent of the Senate, to administer the Equity Office. The Director must employ and supervise staff and oversee the administration and programs of the Equity Office in accordance with guiding principles.

Duties of the Washington State Office of Equity.

The Equity Office is required to facilitate state policy and systems change to promote equitable policies, practices, and outcomes through:

The Equity Office must submit a report to the Governor and Legislature by October 1, 2022, and every year thereafter that includes a summary of the Equity Office's work an overview of agency compliance, and an equity analysis of the makeup of the Board. The Equity Office and its Director must review final recommendations submitted by the Task Force and report to the Governor and the Legislature any additional recommendations

Powers of the Washington State Office of Equity.

Among other powers, the Equity Office may:

Community Advisory Board.

The Board is created to advise the Equity Office on its priorities and timelines and provide guidance on standards and performance measures. The Director appoints members to the Board to support diverse representation by geography and identity. Members of the Board are entitled to compensation and reimbursement for travel expenses.

Responsibilities of State Agencies.

All state agencies are required to:

Votes on Final Passage:







(Senate amended)




(House concurred)


June 11, 2020

July 1, 2020 (Section 3)

Partial Veto Summary: The Governor vetoed the section that: created a Board within the Equity Office; required the appointment of members to the Board; and prescribed the duties, powers, and compensation of the Board. The Governor also vetoed the section that required agencies to perform certain tasks, including: designating an agency diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) liaison; using the assessment tools developed by the Equity Office to apply an equity lens to its policies and programs; creating and submitting a DEI plan to the Equity Office; developing and maintaining written language access policies and plans; collaborating with the Equity Office to establish performance measures; providing data and information to the Equity Office; and submitting responses to the Equity Office’s report on agency performance.