Griffey commends signing of bill ending, extending statute of limitations for ‘heinous’ sex crimes

After a long, uphill battle, Rep. Dan Griffey joined lawmakers Friday for the signing of a bill he has pursued for the past five years to modify the statute of limitations for sex crimes.

Senate Bill 5649 nearly mirrors Griffey's House Bill 1231, which he sponsored this year. Specifically, the bill eliminates the statute of limitations for most sex crimes committed against minors, and extends the statute of limitations for most other sex offenses.

After the bill was signed into law, Griffey, R-Allyn, released the following statement:

“While the final vehicle for this crucial policy was not my bill, this is legislation I have shepherded through the legislative process over the past five years. This is a pivotal day, and I could not be happier to see this bill signed into law.

“Though I've fought for this bill since my first term, the real credit goes to the survivors who have traveled to Olympia year after year to tell their most painful stories to lawmakers. Their strength and tenacity should be commended by the legislative body, our governor, and fellow Washingtonians.

“The road to getting this bill approved has been anything but smooth. From the first iteration of this measure to the last, it seemed to have always been shoved aside. Thankfully, this year was different.

“Many who have been tracking this legislation since I first introduced it several years ago know this issue is deeply personal to me and my family. Both my wife and daughter have suffered unimaginable pain and abuse. This bill is for them, and the countless other survivors who have, after years of self-torment, summoned the courage to tell law enforcement only to be turned away because the clock ran out. State law has done wrong by our survivors for too many years, and this legislation says 'no more.'

“While this is a momentous day, the work is not over. We need to eliminate the statute of limitations for all sex crimes. Period. I will not stop fighting for this. I will not stop fighting to put these monsters away for the heinous crimes they have committed. The bill that was signed into law today, albeit huge, was just the first step.”

During his first term, Griffey sponsored House Bill 2873, which would have eliminated the statute of limitations for most sex crimes. After the bill didn't pass the state House in 2016, he doubled down on his efforts and sponsored House Bill 1155 the following year. Before dying in the 2018 legislative session, HB 1155 was amended by the Senate to only affect certain sex crimes committed against children.

This year, Griffey sponsored House Bill 1231, which retained the changes the Senate made to HB 1155 the previous session.

SB 5649, which reflects similar policy to HB 1231, will take effect July 27, 2019.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov