OLYMPIA –Last week the House Public Safety Committee approved two of several public safety bills sponsored by Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), chair of the committee. Rep. Goodman has a strong record of public safety legislation, passing bills that not only provide strict penalties for criminals, but also reduce recidivism. The two bills approved this week protect those who cannot protect themselves, specifically vulnerable adults and victims of domestic violence.
Vulnerable adults who cannot care for themselves due to age, disability, disease or developmental disorder must rely on caregivers to provide them with the basic necessities of life. Unfortunately, they are also at high risk of being abused. Rep. Goodman’s measure, HB 1153, expands the scope of protection for vulnerable adults, increases penalties for both physical and financial abuse, as well as reduces the barriers to prosecution.
Some domestic abusers repeat their offenses many times, sometimes against the same victim and other times against several victims. Repeat offenders of domestic violence are often some of the most dangerous people in their communities, with long histories of many other violent crimes. Rep. Goodman’s domestic violence bill, HB 1163, holds repeat domestic abusers accountable through harsher penalties and stricter supervision. In addition, the bill works toward improving treatment programs for domestic abusers.
“Victims of abuse, whether physical or financial, deserve justice and those who prey on the vulnerable need to be held accountable for their crimes,” said Goodman, “It’s time to stand up for the vulnerable people in our communities and help improve the conditions of their lives.”
Rep. Goodman has also introduced legislation to expand protections for sexual assault victims and is about to introduce measures to toughen the state’s DUI laws and to improve the rehabilitation of youthful offenders.
This year the House Public Safety Committee will also address the pressing issue of police use of deadly force. Rep. Goodman served as co-chair of the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing and plans to hold public hearings soon to consider options to improve police interactions with the community, such as funding for law enforcement training in de-escalation practices and the use of non-lethal weapons.
“I’m working to bring law enforcement together with concerned citizen groups to find the solution that keeps Washington communities safe, while still protecting people’s civil rights,” said Goodman.