House passes another Barkis bill aimed at fixing Washington’s graffiti problem

With a 96-1 vote on Saturday, the state House approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Andrew Barkis that would create a pilot program to test new technologies and techniques aimed at mitigating the rampant spread of graffiti vandalism across the state.

The program as outlined in House Bill 1989 would be directed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and include:

  • Field testing of state-of-the-art spray drone technology to cover up existing graffiti, ensuring prompt restoration of affected areas.
  • Implementation of advanced surveillance systems to identify and apprehend individuals involved in graffiti vandalism, bolstering deterrence measures.
  • Prioritization of the Interstate 5 Puget Sound region from Tacoma to Seattle and the north Spokane corridor for the deployment of innovative graffiti prevention techniques.

“The explosion of graffiti in our state has become a serious concern that demands an immediate and comprehensive response,” said Barkis, R-Olympia. “This bill, like House Bill 1800, seeks to hold perpetrators accountable, but also gets at the critical issue of quickly and efficiently cleaning up buildings, walls, bridges, overpasses, and other structures we all encounter every day. I’m grateful to see lawmakers saying ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to this issue. I encourage the Senate to take swift action to get the bill to the governor’s desk this year so we can begin reducing graffiti vandalism and restoring the beauty of our public spaces.”

House Bill 1989 is now before the Senate for further deliberation.


Washington State House Republican Communications