House advances set of public-safety measures

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OLYMPIA — Legislators centered their attention on public safety this morning, approving several bills meant to protect Washington residents. Safety improvements on roadways, in homes and neighborhoods, and even in cyberspace were the focus of today’s floor session in the House of Representatives.

“Protecting our people and our neighborhoods is a fundamental part of our work as lawmakers. It also strikes us all on a personal level.  During our public hearings, we heard deeply moving stories from Washingtonians who came forward to seek changes to our laws,” said Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “Helping our people to feel and be safe provides the foundation for opportunity and success.”

Legislation approved by the House today—most on strong bipartisan votes—includes:

 

  • HB 1652, the “e-personation” bill, allows victims of online impersonators to sue for damages when they have been harmed by e-personation at social networking sites and online bulletin boards, where the most egregious cases have taken place. This would make Washington the second state, after California, to address this growing problem. (Frockt, D – Seattle)

 

  • HB 1438. Not only are states exporting an inequitable number of felons to Washington, they’re exporting the cost as well. The bill requires Washington representatives, at the next meeting of the Interstate Commission, to seek a resolution regarding any inequitable distribution of costs, benefits, and obligations affecting Washington under the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision. (Kelley, D – Tacoma)

 

  • HB 1295, requested and supported by the Washington Association of Fire Chiefs, incentivizes the installation of residential sprinkler systems in homes by waiving some of the impact fees related to fire operations. Structural fires are much easier to extinguish out when a sprinkler system is already on site, resulting in less harm to people and property. (Van De Wege, D – Sequim)

 

  • HB 1243 holds people accountable for the malicious killing or substantial harming of another person’s livestock animal. (Kretz, R – Wauconda)

 

  • HB 1585 establishes a statewide mutual aid system that better enables local jurisdictions to share resources as they respond to emergencies, such as major floods and snowstorms. (Eddy, D – Kirkland)

 

  • HB 1188 includes suffocation in the definition of assault in the second degree, consistent with the recommendation of the Domestic Violence Work Group. (Goodman, D – Kirkland))

 

  • HB 1263 lets corrections officers in South Correctional Entity (SCORE) jail facility continue membership in their current public retirement plan.  (Crouse, R – Spokane Valley)

 

  • HB 1775 provides that participation in a restorative justice program is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of a counsel and release for a juvenile whose case has been referred for a diversion. (Goodman, D – Kirkland)

 

  • HB 1811 improves the ability of social service providers to help homeless individuals by allowing for the consent to release information over the phone. Written consent is the only option under existing law. The bill puts additional privacy safeguards into place. (Springer, D – Kirkland)
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