Rep. Vick bill to reduce employment barriers after being incarcerated signed into law

The governor signed a bill Monday sponsored by Rep. Brandon Vick, which will help individuals who have been incarcerated become contributing members of society after completing their sentences.

House Bill 1399 will create a process for people with a criminal conviction to find out before they apply for a professional license whether their criminal history would disqualify them from obtaining that license.

“I’m pleased to see this legislation become law, and I believe it will make a difference for individuals that want to reenter the workforce after paying their debt to society,” said Vick, R-Vancouver. “This bill should make it easier for a person who wants to make an honest living instead of impeding their progress.”

The bill will create a simple, straightforward process for individuals convicted of a crime to apply for and receive a professional license. Additionally, it will alert them before paying any fees or filling out any forms, whether they will be eligible to receive the license they’re seeking.

House Bill 1399 is also designed to help individuals stay on the right path after being released.

“When a person has served their time and they are ready to move forward the last thing they need is more roadblocks,” said Vick. “This legislation is going to make it easier for people to get back into the workforce, which means it’s less likely they will reoffend.”

The bill also takes into consideration the type of crime committed in relation to the type of license being sought. For example, if someone commits a financial crime, he or she would not be able to get a license in the financial sector.

The legislation is schedule to take effect Jan. 1, 2022.


Washington State House Republican Communications