Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The Washington state House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on House Bill 1054 this weekend. This legislation was birthed out of the “Defund the Police” movement and is the wrong direction for our state. It severely limits the tactics, training, and equipment that law enforcement can use to keep our communities and families safe.
If, like me, you oppose this legislation, I urge you to contact the Speaker of the House at Laurie.Jinkins@leg.wa.gov and let her know your thoughts and opinions. As a reminder, you can read my op-ed on this issue in The Spokesman-Review here.
Under any other name, or any other public relations “rebranding,” the Defund the Police movement is not something the majority of my constituents support – you've told me so! And neither do I.
Allowing felons to vote early?
House Bill 1078 passed the House yesterday on party lines. This legislation restores a felon's right to vote immediately upon leaving “total confinement” within correctional custody. It also removes provisions authorizing the revocation of provisional restoration of voting rights upon failure to pay legal financial obligations.
What happened to criminals paying their debt to society? Why should violent criminals and sexual predators have their voting rights restored when, in some cases, they've permanently removed the voting rights of their murdered victims?
In addition, we have many violent sex offenders that are no longer in correctional custody, they're in the custody of the Department of Social and Health Services, serving a period of civil confinement on McNeil Island. I do not believe we should allow these individuals to vote – to determine laws – when they have already proven their intent to break them.
While the bill did pass the House, I'm hopeful we can defeat this bad policy in the Senate.
Will Washington state make all drug use legal? It's possible…
House Bill 1449 would remove the penalties for “personal use amounts” of all illegal drugs under the guise of it being a mental or behavioral issue. In effect, making all drug use legal in our state, including drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
Even worse, our activist state Supreme Court just ruled that our state's felony drug possession law is unconstitutional as written. The court believes that finding drugs on someone or in their vehicle is not enough to prove they had the intent of possessing those drugs. Again, unless the Legislature acts, “drug possession” in our state just became legal.
Shouldn't crime victims have access to legal counsel?
Currently, crime victims are the only ones in our justice system without proper representation. The defense attorneys represent the accused, the prosecuting attorneys represent the state, but no one actually represents the crime victims. This is an injustice in our legal system. If we truly want “justice for all,” we can no longer ignore this segment of our legal system.
I'm working on legislation that will provide – guarantee – legal representation for all violent crime victims. The need for this change in our system will become much more prevalent as the pendulum continues to swing toward favoring criminals, sex predators, murderers, and violent criminals in our state. I'm always seeking balance in our criminal justice system. Right now, there is imbalance.
Again, I urge you to participate in this remote legislative session. We need your voice now more than ever. Click here for more information on how you can stay connected and involved in YOUR state government.
Thank you for the honor of serving you.