Council Member Zappone and Local Officials Celebrate Passage of Hate Crimes Bill 5917

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 3:03 p.m.

Local officials are celebrating the passage of hate crimes legislation SB5917 concerning criminal penalties for bias-motivated private or public property defacement, a tier 1 priority for the city. The legislation passed the House with an overwhelming vote of 68-27, following its previous passage in the Senate with a vote of 35-14. This marks a commendable show of bipartisan support for the legislation.

"The passage of the hate crimes legislation is a tremendous victory for our city and all those impacted by hate crimes," said Council Member Zack Zappone. "This legislation arose in response to targeted attacks on community members. It shows our commitment to ensuring that we all belong in Spokane and all of Washington. We are thankful for the team effort to pass thing legislation, including community members and Sen. Billig."

The Hate Crimes Legislation will help to ensure that individuals who commit hate crimes are held accountable for their actions. The passing of this bill marks a significant step forward in the fight against hate and bigotry in Spokane.

“It is a testament to the power of community mobilization and the importance of bipartisan support for protecting all individuals,” said Council President Betsy Wilkerson.

“Everyone deserves to be safe and feel safe in our community,” said Senator Andy Billig. “By closing this loophole in the state’s hate crime statute, we make our community more welcoming and increase accountability for those committing hate crimes. I appreciate the partnership with the City to advance this important bill to address hateful acts. Once again, Spokane is leading the way.”

The bill will be sent to the governor's office for signature. Once it is signed, it will become a state law.

About the Spokane City Council
The City Council is the legislative body of the City of Spokane, which is home to more than 220,000 people and is located in the heart of the Inland Northwest. The City’s 2,000 employees strive to deliver efficient and effective services that facilitate economic opportunity and enhance the quality of life for all our citizens. For more information, visit and follow us @SpokaneCityCouncil on Facebook.