Senate Passes Cortes Bill to Open Doors & Strengthen Public Safety

OLYMPIA – Today, the Washington state Senate voted unanimously to pass House Bill 1530, addressing its law enforcement and prosecutor shortage. Introduced by Rep. Julio Cortes (D-Everett), the bipartisan bill expands the pool of qualified candidates by allowing lawful permanent residents to apply for specific positions.

“This bill recognizes the potential in our diverse communities,” said Rep. Cortes. “By opening doors to talent beyond citizenship, we can strengthen public safety and ensure equal opportunity.”

Previously, citizenship restricted access to these roles. Now, agencies can consider lawful permanent residents with the skills and dedication to serve. This opens the door to a wider range of qualified individuals, fostering better representation in law enforcement and the justice system.

The bill also tackles the prosecutor shortage by eliminating the residency requirement for deputy positions. This broadens the pool and could lead to faster case processing and improved access to justice.

HB 1530 demonstrates Washington’s commitment to strengthening public safety and ensuring equal opportunity. HB 1530 now heads to the governor’s desk.