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Published on Friday, July 31, 2015

Busy session on the law and justice front, many bills pass

During the 2015 session AWC tracked a wide variety of legal, criminal justice, and public safety legislation. We covered everything from DUI penalties, to fireworks regulations, and regional fire authorities.

Highlights included the passage of HB 1276, which addresses DUI laws and clarifies open container laws for legal marijuana products, and passage of HB 5311, which requires crisis intervention training for law enforcement officers. In addition, AWC supported HB 2007, which provides Medicaid reimbursement for qualifying EMT services. We were also very pleased with the passage of SB 6134. Introduced late in the session by Sen. Padden (R-Spokane Valley), SB 6134 fixed an issue created by a recent Supreme Court ruling to allow cost recovery for certain pretrial electronic alcohol and drug monitoring programs.

There was a great deal of discussion this session about legislation related to police body cameras and government and private use of drones. However, no legislation passed.

There was also a lot of focus on legislation implementing recommendations from the Governor’s Justice Reinvestment Task Force. However, while earlier Senate versions of the budget assumed passage of a bill, ultimately the legislation was not successful. Finally, cities spent a considerable amount of time working to stop a bill that would have severely limited local regulatory authority over health and safety issues for fireworks sales and use. Those bills, SB 5914 and HB 1702, failed to pass the Legislature.

In 2016 we expect the issues around police body cameras and drones, as well as the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, will be revisited.

BillTracker Bill # Descriptive title Final status
  HB 1276 DUI law revisions; relating to provisions around ignition interlock devices and marijuana open container laws Law; Effective 9/26/2015
  HB 1282 Concerning driving while license suspended when the suspension is based on noncompliance with a child support order Law; Effective 7/24/2015
  HB 1382 Developing a plan for the WA State Patrol's Fire Training Academy to deliver basic firefighter training and testing to all firefighting agencies Law; Effective 7/24/2015
  HB 1389 Authorizes the mobilization of risk resources in response emergencies Law; Effective 7/24/2015
  HB 1943 Concerning home detention and electronic monitoring Law; Effective 7/24/2015
  HB 2007 Reimbursing cities for EMT services Law; Effective 7/24/2015
  SB 5158 Requiring call location information to be provided to law enforcement responding to an emergency Law; Effective 7/24/2015
  SB 5311 Requring crisis intervention training for peace officers Law; Effective 7/24/2015
  SB 5593 Requring security of violent offenders in hosptials by law enforcement Law; Effective 7/24/2015
  SB 6134 Exempting pretrial electronic alcohol monitoring programs from statuatory limitations on pretrail supervision costs Law; Effective 10/2/2015
  HB 1093 Private use of drones Failed
  HB 1368 Removing disincentives to the voluntary formation of regional fire protection service authorities Failed
  HB 1606/SB 5537 Establishing regional fire protection service authorities within the boundaries of regional cities Failed
  HB 1639 Government use of drones Failed
Yes HB 1702 Local authority regulating fireworks Failed
  HB 1885 Justice Reinvestment Initiative Failed
  HB 1910 Body camera use by law enforcement Failed
Yes HB 1917 Body camera use by law enforcement Failed
  HB 2270 Justice Reinvestment Initiative Failed
  SB 5037 Expanding the crime of Organized Retail Theft to include circumstances where a person commits the crime with the aid of six accomplices or receives an electronic communication in the planning or commission of the theft Failed
  SB 5105 Making a 4th DUI a felony Failed
  SB 5181 Scope of state fire service mobilization Failed
  SB 5247 Concerning driving while license suspended when the suspension is based on noncompliance with a child support order Failed
  SB 5732 Body camera use by law enforcement Failed
  SB 5751 Changing the burden of proof in certain civil asset forfeiture hearings Failed
  SB 5755 Justice Reinvestment Initiative Failed
  SB 5783 Pilot program where peace officers could assist DOC with the supervision of offenders  Failed
  SB 5955 Requiring cities to pay for the Basic Law Enforcement Academy Failed