OLYMPIA – This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed HB 2362, a bill to increase criminal fines for corporations. The bill, which passed 97 to 1, is sponsored by Rep. Mike Pellicciotti, D-Federal Way, and increases corporate penalties that have not changed since 1925.
“It’s ridiculous that the legislature has failed to update corporate criminal penalties for nearly a century,” said Pellicciotti. “It is past time to hold corporate entities accountable when managerial actions harm the public.”
The criminal fines in Pellicciotti’s bill against corporate entities would be in additional to jail sanctions for individuals who commit corporate crimes. Currently, corporate entities can be penalized up to $10,000 for a corporate crime, regardless of the felony committed. For many corporations, that can be a cost of doing business. Under HB 2362, those fines are increased from $50,000 for a misdemeanor up to $1,000,000 for a Class A or B felony.
HB 2362 moves to the Senate for consideration. Last year, Pellicciotti’s bill was not granted a hearing in the Republican-controlled Senate. With the new Democratic leadership of the Senate, Pellicciotti’s bill is more likely to advance this year.