When the 2022 legislative session convenes Monday, response and recovery from the pandemic remains our prime concern. Beyond that, I’ve drafted a baker’s dozen bills and drawn up about half a dozen budget requests. My priorities include proposals involving drug crimes, water pollution and police accountability:

  • Last year the State Supreme Court invalidated the criminal penalties prohibiting illegal drug possession. Last session we addressed this void left by the ruling by making a third offense of possession of controlled substances a simple misdemeanor while recommending offenders go to a treatment program the first two times they are caught. Currently there is just too little follow-up for these referrals. This session I will introduce a measure to restore accountability for public drug use on a civil level rather than criminal level.
  • It’s imperative we stop water pollution from 6PPD — a chemical used in rubber tires that is toxic to fish.  While we spend millions to improve fish passage in culverts, this toxic tire dust ends up killing salmon in the very waterways we are trying to restore.  I am investigating inexpensive ways to remove polluted water runoff from streets by, for example, filtering it through abundant compost material.
  • I hope to make tweaks to last year’s reforms to police accountability reforms to ensure sensible implementation and to maintain public safety. I also want to prohibit the practice of police officers who are disciplined by their supervisors for dishonesty or excessive force from hiring private lawyers to overturn that discipline through arbitration. Studies show discipline is lessened or overturned in about half of matters that go to arbitration, exploiting a loophole to defeat accountability measures imposed by sheriffs and chiefs.

Additional bills I have drafted for 2022 would:

  • Speed up the creation of new housing by streamlining building code permit process. This will make housing more abundant and affordable.
  • Mimic the Oregon initiative that allows the regulated use of psychedelic mushrooms in therapeutic settings to help people struggling with depression, anxiety or addiction. Recent FDA studies show great promise.
  • Protect shorelines and critical fish habitat.