WASHINGTON STATE

HOUSE DEMOCRATS

House passes pair of Rep. Valdez bills aimed at protecting vulnerable populations

OLYMPIA – The House of Representatives today moved two measures prime-sponsored by Rep. Javier Valdez (D-Seattle) that will work toward shielding traditionally vulnerable populations.

HB 2343 defines what it means to “willfully” abuse vulnerable adults such as seniors in nursing homes, or someone living in a group home.

“Our current law, which lacks the definition of “willful” has made it easier for abusers to avoid prosecution,” Valdez said. “I believe that if you hurt someone, you should face the consequences.”

HB 2700 would protect children’s privacy after going through a traumatic event. The measure exempts from the public records act, the video or audio recordings of children’s interviews about their neglect or abuse.

“A child going through this in their lives does not need their privacy further invaded by having these records becoming public at a later time,” said Valdez. “We must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable among us.”

The measures now move to the Senate for further consideration.