Video Update from Olympia

Click here to watch an update on health care legislation that has moved through the Senate as we wrap up the session. YouTube alternative link.

Hate crimes

This week, the Senate passed HB 1732, which changes Washington’s bias-based offense statute to:

  • Call hate crimes by name.
  • Clearly state gender expression and identity are protected under this law.
  • Make it easier to prosecute hate crimes.
  • Create a work group to add restorative justice as an option for holding hate crime offenders accountable.

This matter is deeply personal for me as a parent raising a small child in the Jewish faith.  Click here to see my floor speech regarding HB 1732.

Domestic Violence Protection

Another piece of legislation the Senate passed this week is HB 1225, which enhances the safety of survivors of domestic violence, their families, and law enforcement officers.

While working in the criminal justice system, I saw that if an alleged abuser posted bail before the arraignment hearing for a domestic violence charge, no order prohibiting them from possessing firearms would be entered until after the arraignment hearing. When those prohibitions were ordered, a defendant was permitted to swear they did not have any gun to surrender, and follow-up was almost never done to verify this. 

HB 1225 requires law enforcement at the scene of a domestic violence incident to immediately remove guns that are in plain sign or removed subject to a consent search, and gives courts the option to return them at arraignment if the allegations are unfounded.

I will continue working on these issues, and more, as a member of both the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee and the Law & Justice Committee, and as vice chair of both the Local Government and the Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks committees.

I want to hear from you on what’s important and how our Legislature can do more to put people first. I encourage you to contact my office or visit me in Olympia.

Thank you,