Status Summary

The bill was heard, amended and passed by Senate Ways and Means and sent to Rules. It was pulled in Rules and is now on the Senate floor awaiting a vote.
SB6453 was voted on by the Senate, 47-0-0-2 and referred to the House Judiciary committee.
The bill was heard on 2/20, and exec’d on 2/22, and was referred to Appropriations on 2/23.
Heard in Appropriations on 2/24. Exec. action taken on 2/26; majority passed and referred to Rules.

On 2/28, Rules relieved of further consideration and placed on second reading.
On 3/1, Rules suspended and placed on third reading. Passed on third reading; yeas, 97; nays, 0; absent, 0; excused 1.
On 3/6, President signed and on 3/8, Speaker signed. The bill will now be delivered to the Governor for action.
(updated 3/8)

Legislative Session



In Progress


Sen. King

SB6453 gives the Department Of Social And Health Services the authority to purchase legal representation for kinship caregivers of children who are at risk of being dependent, or who are dependent, to establish or modify a parenting plan or secure orders establishing other relevant civil legal relationships authorized by law, when it is necessary for the child’s safety, permanence, or well-being. 
The bill does not create an entitlement to such services, nor does it create judicial authority to order the department to purchase legal services.  Further, the department is encouraged to work with the Office Of Civil Legal Aid and the Public Defense Parent Representation Program to develop a cost-effective system for providing effective civil legal representation for parents and kinship caregivers.

Companion: HB2663

As amended by the Human Services & Corrections committee, the bill authorizes the Dept. of Social and Health Services’ (DSHS) to purchase legal representation for parents and kinship caregivers involved in non-parental actions for child custody. The substitute does the following: 

-Clarifies the definition of “kinship caregiver” to mean a caregiver that meets the definition of “kin” in statute. 
-Clarifies that if the child under the kinship caregiver’s care is an Indian child, the term “kinship caregiver” means a caregiver who is an extended family member as defined under the Indian Child Welfare Act. 
-Clarifies that DSHS is encouraged to work with the Office of Public Defense and Office of Civil Legal Aid if DSHS exercises its authority to provide legal representation.

The amendment by Ways and Means declares that the department’s purchase of legal representation for kinship caregivers must be within existing appropriations.