What was approved during Washington’s 2022 legislative session?

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Last Thursday marked the end of the Washington State legislative session for 2022, but several items are making their way to Governor Inslee’s desk.

In fact, five major initiatives are making their way into signed law.

Catalytic Converters

With thefts of catalytic converters on the rise, state lawmakers have addressed the issue with their most recent agenda. House Bill 1815 manages this inconvenient crime by regulating the sale of catalytic converters.

Along with showing photo IDs and signing forms, sellers must now prove that a registered vehicle in their name needs a new catalytic converter. The penalty for non-compliance can result in a $1,000 fine per catalytic converter.

RELATED: Police see a rise in catalytic converter thefts

Police Reform Amendments

Following the death of George Floyd and many protests in 2020, states across the U.S. enacted various police reform laws.

Washington State, in particular, introduced House Bills 1719 and 2037. These limited the ways that law enforcement officials across the state can perform daily functions.

Law enforcement agencies across the state have criticized the bills, saying it impacts their ability to keep communities safe.

House Bill 1719 revisits the use of ‘military grade’ and ‘less-than-lethal’ alternatives that municipalities can deploy. Tri-Cities’ own Kennewick Police Department (KPD) has denounced the bill; saying that a woman with a knife who slashed nine tires on KPD patrol cars before fleeing the area could have been stopped in five to ten minutes with the use of rubber bullets.

A new revision will allow law enforcement agencies to use rubber and bean bag rounds.

House Bill 2037 redefines when law enforcement officers can use physical force. Previously, the bill did not allow officers to pursue a person fleeing from officers. Now, if someone flees, a law enforcement officer may use necessary physical force to detain an individual who has engaged in a criminal offense attempting to flee questioning.

RELATED: Kennewick Police say woman with knives could have been contained faster

High-Capacity Magazine Ban

Following the request of state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, legislation that bans the sale of high-capacity magazines was passed. The bill was proposed as a way to address firearm safety and increase public security.

Senate Bill 5078 prohibits the sale or attempted sale, manufacturing and distribution of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds.

The bill allows those with magazines currently bigger than 10 rounds to keep those in their possession, and only affects new sales.

Violations of this law are considered a gross misdemeanor. It can cost you a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

RELATED: Washington legislature votes to ban sales of high-capacity magazines

New Infrastructure Bill

One of the biggest changes following the legislative session is a $17 billion infrastructure plan that will invest in the state’s transit systems, interstates, and bridges over the next 16 years.

Titled “Move Ahead WA,” the bill mainly focuses on improvements in western Washington.

The improvements include replacing Kitsap Transit’s passenger ferries to be all-electric, replacing a bridge over the Columbia River between White Salmon and Hood River, and increasing bike safety with new street improvements.

The bill does not introduce any new taxes but will reallocate some of the state’s current funding sources.

However, $1.4 billion of the project’s funding will come from increasing license plate fees.

READ: Public transit gets $3.6B to woo riders, adopt green fleets

New State Sport

Possibly the most lighthearted of all things discussed during the legislative sessions: pickleball is on its way to being the state of Washington’s official sport.

In Senate Bill 5615, the legislature acknowledge that pickleball was created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island by Joel McFee Pritchard.

In the bill, it states “The legislature finds that pickleball is a game that can be played by anyone, one-on-one, or as a team, and has expanded far beyond Washington to become a national and internationally beloved game.”

Pickleball joins a list of other official state symbols, including Palouse Falls as the state waterfall, the Columbian Mammoth as the state fossil, and the Olympic Marmot as the state endemic mammal.

RELATED: Pickleball on step closer to becoming official state sport of Washington