Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Overview

The Policy Team supports the development and implementation of the Attorney General’s policy priorities and initiatives. The Attorney General’s policy initiatives and projects have included issues such as legal assistance for veterans and military service members, the opioid epidemic, data breaches, worker protection, hate crimes, immigrant and refugee issues, criminal justice reform (in particular, law enforcement use of force), racial equity, environmental justice, sexual assault, and youth safety and well-being.

Policy analysis is the evaluation of public policies and programs in their ability to achieve various social objectives. Through various analyses (data analysis, stakeholder analysis, etc.), the analyst develops recommendations in response to issues or problems that require some kind of attention. Among other possibilities, these take the form of new proposed laws, new regulations, or new programmatic features. The Policy team works with people with lived experience, advocacy organizations, research institutes, government agencies in Washington and across the country, and a cross-section of legal divisions in the Attorney General’s Office.  

In addition, the Attorney General’s Policy team hosts the Office of Military and Veteran Legal Assistance (OMVLA) and the Tipline program.

 

Policy Taskforces, Advisory Committees, and Workgroups

The Policy Team manages and facilitates meetings for taskforces, advisory committees, and working groups appointed by the Washington State Legislature or the Attorney General’s Office, as well as internal working groups. Meetings of our task forces and work groups are open to the public.  Find out about upcoming meetings, learn about other ways you can provide feedback, and read what past groups have recommended here.

How to apply to be a member of a taskforce, advisory committee or workgroup: members of taskforces, advisory committees, and working groups are often appointed by the Legislature. When the Attorney General’s Office is authorized to lead the appointment process, information about membership opportunities can be found at this link

 

Reports/Model Policies

Policy Team reports and model policies can be found on the AGO website under Publications & Reports.

 

Office of Military and Veteran Legal Assistance (OMVLA)

The Attorney General’s Office created OMVLA to promote and facilitate civil legal assistance programs, pro bono services, and self-help services for military service members, veterans, and their families. To request legal assistance, volunteer to provide legal assistance, or learn more about OMVLA, please go here. OMVLA is currently supported by a grant from Americorps VISTA.  

 

HearMeWA 

Pursuant to ESSB 5092 (2021), the AGO must develop a program for receiving and responding to tips from the public regarding risks or potential risks to the safety or well-being of youth. Risks to safety or well-being may include:

  • Harm or threats of harm to self or others
  • Sexual abuse
  • Assault
  • Rape
  • Bullying or cyberbullying
  • Substance use
  • Criminal acts

The AGO is required to convene an Advisory Committee to advise the agency as it develops and implements the HearMeWA. Meetings are open to the public, and information can be found on this webpage.

If you have any questions about the program, you can email the Youth Program Team at youthprogram@atg.wa.gov

 

Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents Reporting Hotline

Pursuant to SB 5427 (2024), the AGO must develop and implement a statewide hate crimes and bias incidents reporting hotline by January 1, 2027. It must also develop and implement a pilot in three counties by July 1, 2025. 

The AGO must convene an advisory committee to help establish the hotline policies and data collection procedures. For more information, please reach out to policy_team@atg.wa.gov. More information forthcoming. 

Federal Liaison

The Policy Team also hosts the Federal Liaison for the Attorney General’s Office. As part of this work, the Federal Liaison coordinates across divisions in other state attorneys general offices to send advocacy letters to federal agencies. The Federal Liaison also serves as the point of contact for the agency with Congressional representatives.