Friends and neighbors,

We have now passed some key deadlines in the Legislature and are moving more towards voting on bills on the Senate floor rather than in Committee hearings.

As we’re continuing to debate bills, I look forward to the work ahead of us this session. Keep reading this newsletter to reflect on a moment of unity as we marked the Day of Remembrance last week and learn about a key issue before the Legislature this session.

Honoring the Day of Remembrance – Senate Floor Resolution 8618 by Sen. Bob Hasegawa

Last week, we honored the “Day of Remembrance” in the Washington State Senate. It has been 81 years since the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942. This led to the forced removal and incarceration of some 12,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry living in Washington State without any due process – my family among them, even though they were American citizens.

I’m humbled to bring the Resolution to the Senate floor on each anniversary to remind us of how fragile freedom is, of what it means to be an American, and to make sure this never happens again to any of our neighbors.

You can watch a video of the Floor action adopting the Resolution here.

Addressing high-speed police chases

One of the issues my office has been hearing a lot about this year is high-speed chases by law enforcement. I understand the frustration many of our neighbors feel as they have seen or even experienced crime in our communities, and it can be even more frustrating when you are told by police that they can’t do their jobs.

I want to clear up a few points, though. In 2021, we passed House Bill 1054 to restrict the use of high-speed chases by police for low level infractions, and out of caution for bystanders who often end up unwittingly in the middle of a dangerous chase. In the year and a half before the bill was implemented, 9 people were killed in high-speed police chases. In the year and a half since, only 3 people were – marking a 67% decrease in deaths.

This does not, however, mean that police are unable to do their jobs and protect our communities. In fact, we passed this law to further increase safety for our neighbors. Police can still give chase during instances of DUI, sexual violence, and violent crimes where the potential danger presented by the suspect is greater than the danger presented by the chase itself.

However, there has been some confusion by police about the interpretation of this bill, and we are working on clearing up those concerns this session. Senate Bill 5533 would fund local police departments to use new technology that comes with less risk than a high-speed chase and convene a group of law enforcement officers and community members to come together to study and recommend best practices as we move forward.

You can read more about this bill and issue in a recent article by my colleagues Sen. Trudeau and Rep. Mena.

I understand how crucial it is that each of our neighbors feels and actually is safe in our community. I give my thanks to all of you who have voiced your perspective on this issue. I look forward to continuing this conversation with you and my colleagues throughout session and beyond.

Stay in touch

As always, your feedback is a crucial part of the lawmaking process. You can reach out to me at or 360-786-7616 with feedback. I look forward to hearing all your thoughtful ideas throughout the legislative session.

In solidarity,