Status Summary

Referred to Senate Committee for Law & Justice on 1.23.19.

Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice on 2.14.19.

As of mid-March, the bill is dead. However, it could “come back" during the 2019 session as an amendment on another bill or other mechanisms, or next year (since bills technically stay alive for the full 2019-20 biennium).

(updated 1.10.20)

Legislative Session



In Progress




This act amends RCWs 9.94A.030 and 9.94A.570 in order to establish definitions and sentencing measures for offenders who committed crimes as juveniles. 

SB 5491 amends existing law to determine the definition of “persistent offender” as an offender who:

§  Has multiple convictions and is subject to life without the possibility of release or the death penalty, as provided in RCW 9.94A.570.

The bill adds new language identifying under what circumstances an offender must be sentenced as a persistent offender:

§  Has been convicted in WA of any felony considered as a most serious offense;

§  Has been convicted as an offender on at least 2 separate occasions on felonies that would be considered most serious offenses;

§  Has been convicted of actual/any attempt of rape, murder, kidnapping, assault or burglary under sexual motivation;

§  Has been convicted as an offender on at least one occasion of an offense listed in section (b)(i) under this subsection, including a conviction for rape of a child in the first degree when the offender was 16 years of age or older; and 

Furthermore, this bill states that any conviction for a crime committed by an offender prior to turning 18 years of age does not constitute a conviction for purposes of determining whether an offender is a persistent offender under this section.