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Published on Friday, April 17, 2015

Update on law & justice bills

The legislature hit a milestone on Wednesday, April 15. It was the last day to consider policy bills in their opposite house of origin. In other words, if a bill failed to pass off the House or Senate floor, and it is not related to fiscal matters, it is considered dead. Here’s an update on the law and justice bills AWC followed through the session.

Fire & EMT bills

HB 1389, sponsored by Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), authorizes mobilization of risk resources regularly provided by fire departments, fire districts and regional fire protection authorities to include landslides, floods, earthquakes and contagious diseases in addition to wildfires. HB 1389 has the Senate by a vote of 49-0. It now moves to Governor Inslee’s desk for signature.

E2SHB 1368, sponsored by Rep. Chris Reykdal (D-Olympia), removes disincentives to the voluntary formation of regional fire protection service authorities by equalizing provisions with existing laws governing fire protection district and by clarifying the formation process. E2SHB 1368 did not get out of its Senate policy committee prior to the cutoff and is considered dead for the session.

SHB 2007, sponsored by Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup), creates a supplemental payment program for government owned and operated providers that provide emergency ground transportation services to Medicaid beneficiaries and creates an intergovernmental transfer program to fund increased managed care payments for public ground EMT services. SHB 2007 passed off the Senate floor with a vote of 39 yeas, 7 nays, 7 absent and 1 excused. It now moves to Governor Inslee’s desk for signature.

Police

SSB 5311, sponsored by Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), requires crisis intervention training for new and currently employed peace officers. SSB 5311 passed off the House floor with a vote of 96-1. It now moves to Governor Inslee’s desk for signature.

SB 5593, Sen. Bruce Dammeier (R-Puyallup), would require law enforcement to accompany violent and sexual offenders brought to a hospital while in their custody.  The bill also addresses the cost of inmate medical care. This bill is the result of negotiations and compromise between hospitals and law enforcement to address concerns of both. AWC supported this compromise measure. SB 5593 passed off of the House floor 98-0. It now moves to Governor Inslee’s desk for signature.

Drone bills

HB 1093, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Mt. Vernon), primarily addresses privacy concerns around the private use of unmanned aircraft systems by prohibiting their use in Washington airspace if they have an active sensory device onboard that collects personal information about an individual without that individual’s consent, unless the federal government has authorized so. HB 1093 died in the Senate Rules Committee.

HB 1639, sponsored by Rep. David Taylor (R-Moxee), addresses public agency use of unmanned aircraft systems. It prohibits state agencies from procuring drones without first receiving an appropriation from the Legislature and prohibits local agencies from procuring drones without first receiving explicit approval from its governing body. HB 1639 also specifically details what agencies can and cannot do with drone technology. This bill has been strongly opposed by law enforcement. HB 1639 passed off of the Senate floor with 43 yeas and 4 nays. It now moves to Governor Inslee’s desk for signature. Last year the Governor vetoed a similar proposal.

SHB 2085, sponsored by Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), requires courts to allow a person who is assessed a monetary penalty for a traffic infraction to enter into a community restitution plan, if available, in lieu of all or part of the monetary penalty if the person is eligible or the court determines the person is indigent. SHB 2085 died in the Senate Rules Committee.

HB 1276, sponsored by Rep. Brad Klippert (R-Kennewick), modifies DUI law. Many of the provisions of the bill relate to ignition interlock devises, but it also makes it an infraction to have an open container of marijuana in the passenger compartment of a vehicle. To read about the bill, see this previous Bulletin article. HB 1276 passed off the Senate floor with 39 yeas, 9 nays and 1 excused. It now moves to Governor Inslee’s desk for signature.

SSB 5037, sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban (R-Lakewood), expands the crime of organized retail theft to include circumstances where a person commits the crime with the aid of six accomplices and makes or receives an electronic communication in the planning or commission of the theft. SSB 5037 died in the House Rules Committee.

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