The Washington State House Public Safety Committee (WA House PS) moved Substitute House Bill 1500 out of committee with a “do pass” recommendation including one amendment.
- HB 1500 - "Concerning misdemeanor marijuana offense convictions" (video @ 18:20).
- The committee previously hosted a public hearing for HB 1500 on February 5th.
- In executive session, a substitute version of the bill was proposed by Representative Sherry Appleton. The substitute made the following changes according to an included summary:
- Specifies that the underlying bill applies to misdemeanor marijuana possession offenses charged under predecessor statutes from prior to 2004 as well as equivalent municipal ordinances.
- Prohibits the court from imposing fees or costs for applications to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions.
- Requires the Administrative Office of the Courts to develop a single master pattern form for applications to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions by January 1, 2020.
- Requires county and city prosecutors to file motions by January 1, 2020, to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions (where defendants were age 21 or older at the time of the offense) occurring from January 1, 1998, through December 5, 2012. Allows motions to be filed ex parte and to include multiple defendants. Requires the court to vacate convictions upon a
motion from a prosecuting attorney. Specifies that the mandated process initiated by prosecutors does not preclude a person from filing an independent application to vacate a conviction under the separate process provided in the underlying bill.
- Reorganizes subsections in current law and the underlying bill.
- After adoption, the substitute bill was amended with a change proposed by Representative Dan Griffey, which “Removes from the proposed substitute the provision restricting courts from imposing fees or costs for applications to vacate misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions.” Griffey had concerns about unfunded requirements for courts (video @ 37:24).