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Washington Legislature Bills & New Laws Affecting Offenders Discussion and information pertaining to newly proposed legislation and laws which affect offenders.

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  #1  
Old 02-02-2010, 04:56 AM
PhilB PhilB is offline
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Arrow HB 1299 Will Allow Landlords to Deny Housing to All Felons

HB 1299 - Concerning local government crime-free rental housing programs.

This bill as it stands will deny rental apartment/housing to anyone ever convicted of a felony, referred to as a "criminal" in the bill. I would strongly urge members to email or write their representatives about this bill. If passed into law, soon there will be no decent places for us to live.

Part of bill reads as follows:

(1) A city, town, or county may adopt and implement a local
government crime-free rental housing program designed to reduce crime,
drugs, and gangs on rental properties by having the rental property
owner or manager: Attend classes on property management; submit to a
crime prevention through environmental design inspection; agree to
screen all applicants and to not rent to criminals; agree not to hire
known felons
for work on the property
; or hold a crime awareness social
on the property or in the neighborhood.

See entire bill at:

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summ...1299&year=2009
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2010, 11:31 AM
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Phil?

Did this pass?
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:38 AM
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I am sorry, but i dont get it....

How can anyone be denied housing because of your criminal record? Are they trying to force people to live in the street.

Here in South Africa you cannot deny anyone housing based on their criminal record.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:20 PM
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Current Status in Judicial Committee so nothing can be done until the next legislative session starts.

Introduced by Rep. Al O'Brien, (D-Mountlake Terrace) (D) on January 16, 2009, to create a local government crime-free rental housing program. The purpose of the program is to allow local governments to designate areas of rental housing as crime-free. This act provides direction to the local governments for the implementation of the crime-free rental program including, landlord participation, education courses and other necessary programs.
  • Referred to the House Judiciary Committee on January 16, 2009.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:17 AM
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Thank You Phil.
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:15 AM
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I work in property management, have for over 4 years now; I have worked for 2 different companies, and both have had the screening guidelines actually state that if you have had a misdemeanor in the last 7 years OR if you have ever been convicted of a felony, your application will automatically be declined.

The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) of 2004 states (in section 605) that "...no consumer reporting agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following items of information..." and item 5 in that list is "Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimeswhich antedates the report by more than seven years."

A couple years back, I ran an application for a retired man, mid-60's, living on Social Security. Sometime in his younger years (20's or 30's), he was convicted of a felony, but had nothing on his record since then. He was denied. My requests to override the screening results were also denied. I had to call this man and explain to him how, even though he had not committed a crime in decades, and the DOC decided he had long since finished paying his time and was fit for society, our property management company disagreed and wanted to continue making him pay by denying him the right to have an apartment in our community.

It hurts (a lot) having to deny someone based on their criminal background, knowing my very own loved ones (brother and boyfriend) will have that problem in less than a year when they each get out.

It's already started with the FCRA in 2004. Property management is already able to go back 100+ years in people's screening. The last thing we need is for the government to begin micro-managing this and making it even harder for people.

If anyone has any ideas on how to get this repealed, then please count me in! At the very least, let's not let it get worse than it already is!
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:32 AM
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Is it just me or isn't this a Government regulated form of discrimination? They can't deny someone based on their race, creed, color, religious or sexual orientation, but they CAN deny them based on their criminal background? And here I thought we didn't live in a dictatorship? I only WISH I lived in WA right now!
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2010, 08:17 PM
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The Fair Credit Reporting Act

Is also very clear on what happens to those who violate the rules such as the seven year window on criminal convictions:

§ 620. Unauthorized disclosures by officers or employees [15 U.S.C. § 1681r]
Any officer or employee of a consumer reporting agency who knowingly and willfully
provides information concerning an individual from the agency's files to a person not
authorized to receive that information shall be fined under title 18, United States Code,
imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.

Note: the term "shall" in legal terms is NOT an optional action, but a required action..
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:27 PM
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Washington state changed the reporting period to employers from 7 years to 10 years from the date of conviction. The Fair Reporting Act limits this to seven years.

So the question is, can the state change a Federal law? Since it is a Federal law I would take violations of the seven year rule to a Federal District Court where that law stands, and not to a state court which can only apply state (10 yr) laws.

States are supposed to be prohibited from creating laws contrary to Federal laws. A good example of this is the California marijuana laws where the state may approve the drugs but the Feds will arrest you.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:44 PM
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Washington state changed the reporting period to employers from 7 years to 10 years from the date of conviction.


Ok, so here is my question.............Ray's conviction was 17 years ago.........does that mean he doesn't have to reveal that conviction? I know, how else would he explain no employment (tho he HAS been employed for all these years) history?

I just think this bill is one more way for WA to PUNISH people, even tho they have "paid their debt to society."
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:11 PM
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According to WA laws the answer to that question is NO since the employers may not consider any conviction over ten years old. If they find it and claim he lied (and even use it for cause to terminate later) it would be a legal issue where the employer and their background service would be liable for civil action. But I am not a lawyer so I would suggest contacting Labor and Industries or WA Employment Security (WorkSource).
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
According to WA laws the answer to that question is NO since the employers may not consider any conviction over ten years old. If they find it and claim he lied (and even use it for cause to terminate later) it would be a legal issue where the employer and their background service would be liable for civil action. But I am not a lawyer so I would suggest contacting Labor and Industries or WA Employment Security (WorkSource).

Thanks! I will just have to do that. I am curious after all.
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