Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee

HB 2273

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Creating a study committee on human genome editing.

Sponsors: Representatives Slatter and Irwin.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Directs the Washington Academy of Sciences to establish a study committee to examine scientific, ethical, and societal issues associated with human genome editing.

Hearing Date: 1/14/20

Staff: Yelena Baker (786-7301).


Human Genome Editing.

Human genome editing is a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to add, remove, or alter genetic material at particular locations in human genome. A recent approach to genome editing is known as CRISPR, short for "Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats."

Human genome editing can be used in biomedical research to help advance understanding of human diseases, in clinical applications to treat or prevent disease or disability, or potentially for enhancement or modification of human traits beyond those considered typical of adequate health.

Washington Academy of Sciences.

Created by the Legislature in 2005, the Washington Academy of Sciences is a nonprofit organization whose principal mission is to investigate, examine, and report on any subject of science referred to the Academy by the Governor or the Legislature.

Summary of Bill:

The Washington Academy of Sciences is directed to establish a study committee to examine scientific, ethical, and societal issues associated with human genome editing and to inform legislative approaches to safe and ethically responsible uses of human genome editing.

The membership of the study committee must include:

The study committee must solicit public participation and hold at least one meeting to provide a public forum for diverse perspectives about human genome editing.

By October 1, 2021, the study committee must submit to the Legislature a report that summarizes the activities and findings of the study committee and recommends the guiding principles for regulating human genome editing.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 10, 2020.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.