Leadership Blog

News from the Caucus

October 24, 2023
John Braun

Broken Inslee promise stalls behavioral-health treatment facility

CENTRALIA… Efforts to build a behavioral-health treatment facility in Lewis County are being pushed back another six months by what Lewis County lawmakers say is another broken promise from Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration. Sen. John Braun and Rep. Peter Abbarno, both R-Centralia, are particularly frustrated because the governor’s office assured them an important cost-saving change...
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May 16, 2023
Senate Republican Caucus

Legislature passes ‘workable’ drug-possession compromise

OLYMPIA…The Washington State Legislature passed a compromise bill on the possession of hard drugs such as fentanyl today during a one-day special session. Senate Republican Leader John Braun and House Republican Leader Drew Stokesbary provided the following comments in response: “This bill isn’t perfect, but it is a strong step in the right direction and...
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May 02, 2023
Senate Republican Caucus

STATEMENT: Republican leader cautious about drug-law ‘special’ session

CENTRALIA… State lawmakers have been called into a special session to continue work toward a new state law on the possession of controlled substances, after failing to come to an agreement before the regular legislative session ended April 23. Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered this comment following Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation that the Legislature...
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April 21, 2023
Mark Schoesler

Schoesler says Democrats’ passage of anti-firearm bills won’t deter criminals

State Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, issued this statement after Democratic majorities in the Legislature passed House Bill 1240, which would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons in Washington, and House Bill 1143, which would prohibit someone from buying a firearm from a dealer unless the buyer has passed a background check and has completed a...
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April 17, 2023
Senate Republican Caucus

Bill to expand standard for vehicular pursuit “simply not enough,” says Senate Republican Leader

 OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun today provided the following comments after the Senate’s narrow passage of legislation that is a half-step toward letting law-enforcement officers engage in vehicular pursuits in more situations than Washington law has allowed since 2021. Senate Bill 5352 was passed with a 26-22 vote, representing the mixed feelings about the bill on...
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March 30, 2023
Mike Padden

Governor signs Padden bill raising penalty for custodial sexual misconduct

A bipartisan bill, sponsored by 4th District Sen. Mike Padden, that aims to impose longer sentences on sexually abusive jail and prison guards was signed today by Gov. Jay Inslee after receiving unanimous approval by the Legislature this session. The law created by Senate Bill 5033 reclassifies the crime of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct, (in...
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March 22, 2023
Mike Padden

Legislature passes Padden bill raising penalty for custodial sexual misconduct

A bipartisan bill that aims to impose longer sentences on sexually abusive jail and prison guards is headed to the governor after being unanimously passed today by the House of Representatives. Senate Bill 5033 would reclassify the crime of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct (in which the corrections officer has sexual intercourse with the victim) from...
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March 22, 2023
Senate Republican Caucus

Democrats ‘gaslight’ those calling for police pursuit reform

Members of Legislature’s majority blame police, alleged ‘misinformation’ from Republicans for interest in rolling policy back to ‘reasonable suspicion’ standard   OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, shared the following comments in response to accusations by a House Democrat that the public’s interest in reforming the current police pursuit law is a result of lies...
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February 09, 2023
Senate Republican Caucus

Sen. John Braun’s weekly leadership update – week 6

  Watch: Police pursuit and drug possession remain top concerns for Senate Republicans as we try to convince Legislative Democrats to grant hearings for the bills that would remedy some of these issues.
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February 09, 2023
Mike Padden

Committee passes Padden bill to keep repeat property offenders behind bars longer

A bill from 4th District Sen. Mike Padden that could keep repeat property offenders behind bars longer was approved today by the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Senate Bill 5056 would require that someone who is found to be a habitual property offender to be sentenced to an additional 24 months in total confinement for...
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February 06, 2023
Mike Padden

Padden bill to increase penalty for drug possession receives committee hearing

The Senate Law and Justice Committee held a public hearing today on a bill introduced by 4th District Sen. Mike Padden that aims to reverse the alarming trend in fentanyl use and fentanyl-related deaths in Washington. Padden’s measure, Senate Bill 5035, would make possession or use of illegal drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin a...
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September 30, 2022
Senate Republican Caucus

Shorter sentence for man convicted in brutal car crash is terrible result of war on public safety, senators say

Robert Jackson was among 3,000 prisoners released in earlier Department of Corrections fiasco OLYMPIA – Resentencing of a man who got life without parole after he killed his girlfriend in a bloody 2015 car crash is a travesty that illustrates the terrible human consequences when the Legislature goes “soft on crime,” Republican senators say. Robert...
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