Spokane City Council Spearheads 2022 State Legislative Outcomes

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Friday, March 11, 2022 at 12:27 p.m.

Thursday evening, state lawmakers wrapped up the 2022 legislative session, with Spokane playing a significant role in the outcomes.  Most notable were the vital priorities on Police and Criminal Justice reform. 

Council Members, the Mayor and staff provided compelling testimony in public hearings on various issues, including bills on the City’s State Legislative Agenda and other proposals with potential impacts on cities. Their work behind the scenes rallying support from the community, making personal contact with legislators, and sharing the subject matter expertise of City staff, was instrumental in achieving excellent outcomes.

“The City of Spokane’s superpower at the Legislature is having the strong support of senior legislative leaders, Sen. Billig and Reps. Ormsby and Riccelli,” said Council President Breean Beggs.

The City of Spokane successfully supported two police reform bills, HB 1735 – Police use of force/community caretaking; and HB 2037 – Terry stops. HB 1735 confirms that using reasonable care before physical force does not limit officers’ caretaking functions of taking a person into custody, transporting them for treatment, or providing other mental health assistance. HB 2037 confirms that police can use force against someone refusing an investigatory “Terry stop” in situations where someone is obstructing law enforcement by actively fleeing a lawful temporary investigative detention after being given notice that they are being detained.

In criminal justice reform, the City led an effort in supporting the legislature's approval of a $2.4 million program that will allow judges to use the Accelerated Rehabilitation and Community Safety (ARCS) strategy for reducing crime.  The funding supports community justice counselors and community coordinators that work with municipal and district court drug and therapeutic court programs.

Additional legislative outcomes include traffic safety, transportation funding, housing incentives, WSDOT land use, climate action in the Growth Management Act (GMA), and several state-funded projects totaling over $4 million for the Spokane community.  

City Council sets the City’s legislative agenda and worked this year to achieve many Spokane priorities with the support of the Administration and an excellent team of lobbyists.