Radio Report: House unanimously approves Barkis’ bill to hold graffiti taggers accountable through community restitution


The state House has unanimously approved a new measure that aims to hold graffiti taggers accountable and curb vandalism throughout Washington state. Hanna Scott reports.

 Radio Report Transcript

HANNA SCOTT: Rep. Andrew Barkis sponsored House Bill 1800 that would provide expanded options for judges in their sentencing of offenders convicted of malicious mischief in the third degree or criminal street gang tagging and graffiti.

BARKIS: “It has gotten worse and worse and it doesn’t seem like we’re doing anything about it – in accountability or any other manner to take care of this problem.”

HANNA SCOTT: In addition to fines and other penalties, the legislation calls for community service and other tools to eradicate the public nuisance.

BARKIS: “So, not throwing them in jail, but hold them accountable, so if they’re caught, they have another form of restitution to do in the form of going out and actually cleaning it up. Maybe, just maybe, it might be enough to deter them from doing it again.”

HANNA SCOTT: In 2023, the state Department of Transportation reported it had spent $1.4 million on graffiti removal in the past two years and expected to spend even more in the future. House Bill 1800 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.

Hanna Scott, the state Capitol.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
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