Governor signs Irwin’s bill giving youth courts jurisdiction over transit infractions

31st District legislator sees first bill signed into law

Currently, youth courts only have jurisdiction over traffic infractions. These include parking, standing, stopping, and pedestrian offenses found in the state motor vehicle code. A bill sponsored by Rep. Morgan Irwin, R-Enumclaw, would add transit infractions as part of the jurisdiction youth courts hold.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1199 into law on Friday. This bill allows transit infractions such as offenses that took place on a bus, train, or other means of public transit, such as failure to pay the required fare, failure to produce proof of payment, or failure to depart a bus, facility of other mode of transportation when asked to leave, to a youth courts jurisdiction.

“Youth courts only have jurisdiction over traffic infractions. My bill simply adds transit infractions to current provisions,” said Irwin. “This will help 16 or 17-year olds with a first time infraction by allowing them to receive guidance, training and instructional opportunities. By allowing these teenagers the chance to go through youth court, rather than slapping a paper ticket on them and assuming they understand what they did wrong, we are teaching them to learn from their mistakes. It’s about educating them to make better decisions in the future.”

Irwin’s bill passed the Legislature with strong bipartisan support. It will go into effect 90-days after the conclusion of the legislative session.

The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications