SB 6406, to repeal the Washington State Civil Rights Act

By PAUL GUPPY  | 
LEGISLATIVE MEMO
|
Feb 7, 2018

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Key Findings

  1. SB 6406 would repeal the Washington Civil Rights Act and re-introduce the use of race, ethnicity and sex in the award of public benefits.
     
  2. The Washington State Civil Rights Act was passed as I-200 in 1998.  The measure passed by 58% to 42%, and received a majority vote in 38 of the state’s 39 counties.
     
  3. In the past officials could use race and other forms of discrimination in making decisions about public hiring, awarding contracts, and admissions to the UW, WSU and other state colleges and universities.
     
  4. Civil rights opponents said I-200 would end girls’ math and science programs, eliminate job training for minorities and women, and lead to expensive lawsuits.  None of these predictions came true.
     
  5. Repeal of the Washington State Civil Rights Act would work against the the public interest by again allowing officials to discriminate against citizens based on race, ethnicity or gender.
     
  6. SB 6406 would also work against the public interest by undermining confidence in the fair administration of government programs.
     

Introduction
SB 6406 would repeal Initiative 200, the Washington State Civil Rights Act, and permit public officials to again use race, ethnicity and gender in making decisions about who benefits from state employment, contract work, and admissions to the University of Washington, Washington State University, and other public universities and colleges.  The bill was introduced by Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Edmonds) and has six co-sponsors.

Download file Download the full legislative memo here