HB 1783 establishes the formation of the Washington State Office of Equity, effective January 1st, 2020, within the Office of the Governor, for the purpose of promoting access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce disparities, including racial and ethnic disparities, and improve outcomes statewide.
The legislature acknowledges that state government must identify and coordinate effective strategies that focus on eliminating systemic barriers for certain racial and ethnic groups. Thus, an Office of Equity will assist government agencies to consider equitable impacts in all aspects of their decision making.
The Office shall be administered by a director appointed by the governor. Some of the responsibilities of the Office include:
- Facilitating state policy and systems change to promote equity in policy, practice, and outcomes;
- Promoting community outreach and engagement;
- Collaborating with OFM and the Department of Enterprise Services to develop policies, provide technical assistance, and training for agencies on maintain a diverse, inclusive, and culturally sensitive workforce; and
- Establishing standards for collection, analysis, and reporting of disaggregated data regarding race and ethnicity.
Furthermore, a task force must be formed to create the initial operations plan for the Office.
The act must take effect as of July 1st, 2019.
*Companion to SB 5776*