A bill ( S.B. 5157) that would allow state agencies to purchase different fingerprinting systems has been approved by the Washington Senate and is now pending in the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee. The bill would allow state agencies, including various law enforcement groups, to purchase any brand of fingerprinting system so long as the systems are interoperable. The bill would overturn a 1996 law that required all state agencies to purchase the same system.
Another bill (S.B. 5553), which would require fingerprint background checks for purposes not related to criminal activity to be submitted electronically, has been approved by the Senate Health, Services, and Corrections Committee. The proposed legislation is currently awaiting action in the Washington State House Ways and Means Committee.
The bill, which would have a significant effect on fingerprint background checks conducted during the hiring process, would provide $270,000 to help upgrade the current system. The proposed legislation also requires that the electronic fingerprints, such as those obtained by employers, be destroyed after the background check is complete.