In the News

Seattle Times Editorial: Steps toward police reform, but a misstep on disciplinary actions

Seattle Times Editorial: Steps toward police reform, but a misstep on disciplinary actions

State lawmakers advanced several good police reforms out of committee before Monday’s policy cutoff. But they balked at a vital piece of legislation that would help make sure that police chiefs and sheriffs aren’t forced to put cops with troubling records back on the payroll. Senate Bill 5134 would have stripped disciplinary processes for excessive use of force and other serious misconduct from collective-bargaining agreements between law enforcement unions and agencies. It would eliminate private arbitration for ...

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Everett Herald Editorial: Unpaid traffic tickets shouldn’t bring loss of jobs

Everett Herald Editorial: Unpaid traffic tickets shouldn’t bring loss of jobs

No one would dispute that monetary fines — from a $136 speeding ticket on up to $2.6 million for violating state campaign financing laws — can be effective in keeping everyone in line. We can easily think of plenty we’d rather do with that $136 than send it to the court. Yet, for many, those fines — if they go unpaid and lead to a suspended driver’s license — become more than an annoyance, more than incentive to obey speed limits ...

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Spokesman-Review: Reform will require blocking police unions from impeding accountability

Spokesman-Review: Reform will require blocking police unions from impeding accountability

If you’re hoping to see shackles placed on the ability of police unions to hamper officer misconduct investigations, then I suggest you get to grips with an excellent slice of legislation: Section 3 of Senate Bill 5134. Because it may not be long for this world. Or at least this legislative session. In a Legislature overflowing with police reform proposals, that proposal, along with a narrower bill proposed by Spokane Sen. Andy Billig, takes aim at the unholy conflict between police unions ...

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KNKX: State lawmakers consider bill to allow school districts to build teacher housing

KNKX: State lawmakers consider bill to allow school districts to build teacher housing

School district leaders, the statewide teachers union and other groups are urging lawmakers to address housing affordability for school employees. Right now, state law allows school districts with fewer than 2,000 students to build teacher cottages and other employee housing. Sen. Jesse Salomon, a Democrat whose district includes Shoreline, Edmonds and northwest Seattle, has sponsored a bill that would expand that to all school districts. It advanced out of the Senate Committee on Early Learning and K-12 Education on Wednesday. Click ...

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Seattle Times: Keep up tough conversations to enact police reforms

Seattle Times: Keep up tough conversations to enact police reforms

State lawmakers are wading decisively into the difficult but necessary challenge of addressing the injustices and abuses that drove this summer’s historic Black Lives Matter protests. Last week, the House Public Safety Committee passed three police-reform bills, which were the products of months of thoughtful research and robust discussion. They would ban certain police tactics, require independent audits of use-of-force investigations and create a public database of force and other incidents.

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Seattle Times LTE: Police accountability: Dueling bills in Olympia

Seattle Times LTE: Police accountability: Dueling bills in Olympia

It’s crunchtime in Olympia for police accountability. Dueling Democratic bills have distinct differences. Sen. Jesse Salomon’s Senate Bill 5134 would cut negotiations around discipline and oversight out of police-contract negotiations, disallow arbitration for misconduct appeals and specify misconduct mandating officer discharges.

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MyNorthWest: Battle over police accountability ramps up in Washington state

MyNorthWest: Battle over police accountability ramps up in Washington state

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Manny Ellis. These were the names being chanted in the streets of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and many other Washington cities in 2020, as the Black community had enough and demanded change and accountability during months of protests that still continue. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan committed to reforms, but also stressed it was not something the city could achieve on its own with some of the most important change needed at the state level, specifically regarding arbitration. “The system ...

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The Stranger: Olympia Drills Down on Police Misconduct

The Stranger: Olympia Drills Down on Police Misconduct

This year the legislature is going hard on police reform. One bill calls for a ban on chokeholds, no-knock warrants, and tear gas. Other bills would establish a statewide body to review use-of-force cases. None of those bills would mean anything and officers could still get away with breaking those new rules, Sen. Jesse Salomon argued in a committee meeting yesterday, if "we don't change the accountability system." Click here to read more...

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