Gov. Signs Cortes Bill Expanding Law Enforcement and Prosecutor Opportunities

OLYMPIA – House Bill 1530, sponsored by Representative Julio Cortes (D-Everett), was signed by the Governor today.

The bill tackles Washington’s ongoing shortage of law enforcement and prosecutors by expanding the pool of qualified candidates. This includes allowing lawful permanent residents, alongside citizens, to contribute to public safety by serving in police departments and prosecutorial offices. Previously, only U.S. citizens could hold these positions.

This broader talent pool can attract a wider range of qualified candidates, fostering diversity within these crucial areas. The bill also addresses prosecutor staffing challenges by eliminating the residency requirement.

“We face a critical need for dedicated individuals to enforce our laws and uphold justice,” said Rep. Cortes. “House Bill 1530 recognizes the talent within our diverse communities, giving law enforcement and prosecutors access to a wider range of qualified applicants.”

House Bill 1530 goes into effect on June 5, 2024, ninety days after adjournment of the legislature.