State of Washington
66th Legislature
2019 Regular Session
ByHouse Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Mosbrucker, Gregerson, Caldier, Dye, Barkis, Corry, Sells, Lekanoff, Schmick, Orwall, Chandler, Hudgins, Ryu, Frame, Jinkins, Ortiz-Self, Peterson, Stanford, Van Werven, Tarleton, Valdez, Macri, Pollet, and Leavitt)
AN ACT Relating to improving law enforcement response to missing and murdered Native American women; adding new sections to chapter 43.43 RCW; and creating new sections.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The legislature finds that Native American women experience violence at much higher rates than other populations. A recent federal study reported that Native American women are murdered at rates greater than ten times the national average. Many of these crimes, however, are often unsolved or even unreported because there are also very high rates of disappearance for Native American women.
The legislature further finds that although violence against Native American women has been a neglected issue in society, there is a growing awareness of this crisis, as well as a recognition that the criminal justice system needs to better serve and protect Native American women. The legislature intends to find ways to connect state, tribal, and federal resources to create partnerships to find ways to solve this crisis facing Native American women in our state, while being mindful to include voices from both tribal and urban communities.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 43.43 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Two liaison positions for missing and murdered indigenous women and other missing and murdered indigenous persons are established in the Washington state patrol. One liaison must reside in western Washington, and one liaison must reside in eastern Washington. The liaisons shall work to build relationships to increase trust between governmental organizations and native communities. The liaisons shall facilitate communications among:
(a) Indian tribes and tribal organizations and communities;
(b) Urban Indian organizations and communities;
(c) Tribal liaisons in other state agencies;
(d) Law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, local, and tribal level; and
(e) Nongovernmental entities that provide services to Native American women.
(2) The salary for the liaison positions is fixed by the Washington state patrol.
(3) To be eligible for hire as a liaison, an applicant must have significant experience living in tribal or urban indigenous communities.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. A new section is added to chapter 43.43 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The Washington state patrol must develop a best practices protocol for law enforcement response to missing persons reports for indigenous women and other indigenous persons. The protocol must include steps that law enforcement should take upon receiving a missing persons report for an indigenous woman or other indigenous person.
(2) The governor's office of Indian affairs must provide the Washington state patrol with government-to-government training, and must work with the Washington state patrol to schedule and facilitate the training.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4. If specific funding for the purposes of this act, referencing this act by bill or chapter number, is not provided by June 30, 2019, in the omnibus appropriations act, this act is null and void.
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