House passes two bills from Rep. Vick, including one to assist people with criminal convictions return to the workforce

A bill that could help people convicted of a crime rejoin the workforce after paying their debt to society passed the state House of Representatives Wednesday.

House Bill 1874, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Vick, would facilitate the process for an individual with a criminal conviction to determine whether their criminal history would disqualify them from obtaining a professional license administered by the Department of Licensing (DOL).

“The overall goal of this bill is simple,” said Vick, R-Vancouver. “We want to do whatever we can to help people with criminal convictions return to work and become contributing members of society. When someone is ready to leave their mistakes in the past, we want to encourage that instead of hindering it. This bill will help reduce the likelihood of recidivism.”

HB 1874 builds on House Bill 1399, which was passed last year. It asks the DOL to consider the seriousness of the offense among other things, which can help a person avoid putting time and effort into a career path that might be unattainable based on the crime committed.

In addition to HB 1874, the House passed another bill from Vick last week. House Bill 1648, which received unanimous support, would replace an inactive certificate status with an inactive license designation for certified public accountants (CPA).

The bill would discontinue certificate holder status for CPAs, beginning on July 1, 2024, and replace it with the designation of “licensee in inactive status.”

“This bill cleans up the existing laws and makes things clearer for the public regarding the certified public accountant designation,” said Vick.

The new inactive status would put Washington's licensing status more on par with other states. It would also increase mobility for CPAs, which is especially important to military families and those moving between states.

“This simple change will make life easier for CPAs, both in Washington and those living outside of the state,” said Vick.

The 2022 legislative session began Jan. 10 and is scheduled to last 60 days.


Washington State House Republican Communications