Informed consent for breast implant surgery
Sometimes legislation comes from a very personal place. My daughter dealt with the challenges of a serious autoimmune disease for over 22 years. When faced with breast cancer, she chose to move forward with a mastectomy and breast implants. Had she been informed that “autoimmune” and implants were not a great combination, she would have refused that option – no question. But like so many women we heard from, she was not provided comprehensive information on the specific potential risks associated with this procedure.
My bill, SB 5441, assures the patient will be provided information to make an informed decision. This legislation will make sure that when a woman is discussing the option of breast implant surgery with her doctor, she will be provided with a description of the surgical procedure, and a description not only of the risks associated with the surgery but risks with the implants themselves. More than two hundred women signed on in support of this legislation and watched the testimony hoping that Washington would hear them and assure that their experiences with years of terrible undiagnosed symptoms would not happen to others.
Police Reform Bills
One of the major issues the legislature is focusing on this session is police reform. This is a matter I’m glad to see given attention, and I know many of you are as well. There are a number of consequential bills being discussed, and I’d like to highlight some of them below.
Peace officer’s duty to intervene
SB 5066 will create a legal requirement for peace officers to intervene when witnessing a fellow officer engage in excessive force, render aid to any person injured as a result of that force, and report the event to the officer’s supervisor. This is a long overdue step towards curbing the worst of police violence and will empower good officers to be a part of the solution. By providing clear processes and requirements, we can curtail future instances of police brutality and hold law enforcement to account when they do cause harm – harm that falls disproportionately on our communities of color.
State Auditor’s review of deadly force
Currently, if a peace officer uses deadly force, an independent investigation team is required to investigate the case and determine if deadly force was justified. HB 1089 would authorize the State Auditor to review these independent investigations to determine whether the involved actors complied with all applicable rules and procedures. The State Auditor would also be able to audit a law enforcement agency to make sure it is in compliance with all rules concerning training and certification of its officers. I signed on as a sponsor of the companion bill in the Senate, SB 5069. This would create crucial oversight into the investigation and certification processes of police officers, something that’s become clear is necessary to fair and transparent disciplinary actions.
State oversight and accountability of peace officers
I also signed on as a sponsor of SB 5051, which will expand the background investigation requirements for people applying to be a peace officer and expand the conduct for which their certification may be revoked. This bill also grants the Criminal Justice Training Commission greater authority to deny employment for officers with a record of misconduct, including affiliations with extremist organizations. Finally, this bill intends to enhance public trust in the criminal justice system by adding more civilian members to the Criminal Justice Training Commission.
How to participate in this legislative session:
Watch – Committee meetings, debates, and more can all be seen live or in a recording at TVW.org
Research – Look up legislation by lawmaker or by topic here.
Learn – Learn about the entire legislative process from start to finish here.
Testify – Visit here for an overview of the process. Written testimony is also an option, and you can also email me your story.
Get in touch – As always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions or comments.