Sen. John Braun: “Public safety wasn’t a top priority just for Republicans. It was the top priority for Washingtonians, by a wide margin.”
OLYMPIA… “Our communities are plagued with homelessness, violent crime, drug abuse, auto theft, and retail theft. Some have said that they feel as if they are under siege. Yet Democrats pushed legislation that would lower the penalties for criminals and ignored the pleas of victims’ families,” said Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia.
Crime is up, and number of officers down, in 2022 Crime in Washington report
Credit: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
- Washington is ranked 51st out of the 50 states and District of Columbia for the number of officers per thousand residents.
- There was a total of 2,375 assaults on law enforcement officers. Two officers were killed in the line
- Motor vehicle theft rose 34 percent.
- There were 394 murders.
Credit: KING 5 and Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
- Domestic Violence offenses made up 45.9 percent of all Crimes Against Persons.
- A total of 544 hate crime incidents were reported.
- 1,444 arrests for Drug/Narcotic Violations was down from 2,163 in 2021
Police-pursuit bill narrowly passed by Senate is ‘half step’ in the right direction
SB 5352 While the Legislature did pass a bill that expands the list of crimes where the standard for police pursuit is ‘reasonable suspicion’ instead of ‘probable cause,’ the standard does not apply to auto theft or reckless driving. It’s only a half-step in the right direction. And it was opposed by law enforcement and the mother of a young girl who died after being hit by a stolen truck. She testified that the legislation would not have saved her daughter.
Legislature passes ‘workable’ drug-possession compromise
SB 5536 The Legislature passed a compromise bill on the possession of hard drugs such as fentanyl during a one-day special session. Republicans acknowledge the bill isn’t perfect, but it is a strong step in the right direction and addresses major shortcomings in the law that proved to be such a failure the past two years. The policy will provide opportunities to those who seek treatment for drug addiction and hold accountable those who refuse it.
Inslee vetoes proviso requiring state to notify residents when sexually violent predators placed communities
Eliminating a requirement for DSHS to notify people when dangerous sex predators are released into their communities is irresponsible. People should not be kept in the dark about convicted violent rapists and child molesters moving into their neighborhood. They deserve to know if some of the worst criminals in our society are moving in next door.
GOOD BILLS THAT PASSED IN THE 2023 SESSION
- HB 1682: Provides stable funding source to combat auto theft
- SB 5033: Reclassifying the sentencing for custodial sexual misconduct
- SB 5347: Making it easier to get court-ordered substance-use treatment
- SB 5398: Increasing funding for rural domestic violence shelters
- SB 5502: Substance-use-disorder treatment during graduated re-entry
- SB 5518: Protection of critical data of constituents against cybercrime
- SB 8612: Raising awareness of human trafficking
BAD BILLS THAT PASSED IN THE 2023 SESSION
- HB 1143: Establishes significant new requirements to legally purchase or transfer a firearm, including a new permit requirement with fingerprinting, in addition to a background check
- HB 1169: Eliminates criminals having to pay a penalty to fund services for victims of crimes and shift these costs to taxpayers
- HB 1240: Banning the sale and importation of modern sporting rifles, even by members of the military
- HB 1324: Prohibits juvenile dispositions, except for murder in the first or second degree or a class A felony sex offense, from being included in a defendant’s offender score for the purpose of adult felony sentencing
- SB 5078: Making firearm manufacturers liable for injury/death where their products were used
- SB 5599: Hiding youth from parents if they are seeking “protected health care services,” which includes treatments that are a prelude to a sex change