Dear Friends and Neighbors,
A big “thank you” to all who came out last weekend to our 18th Legislative District town halls! We had a great time answering questions and updating constituents on the session so far. You can read an article by The Reflector on our event in Vancouver here.
I also recorded a short video giving a quick synopsis on some of the issues we discussed at the town halls. You can watch by clicking the picture below.
We will hold another round of town halls on Saturday, May 13:
- 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Battle Ground City Hall
109 SW 1st Street
Battle Ground, WA 98604
- 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Dengerink Admin. Bldg. 110 – Lecture Hall
14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave
Vancouver, WA 98686
One of the biggest issues of this legislative session is public safety, and specifically, allowing police to pursue criminals again.
Due to legislation passed a few years ago, most vehicular police pursuits are now prohibited. I cosponsored a bipartisan bill to allow law enforcement to initiate vehicular pursuits under the old “reasonable suspicion” standard, which would be a permanent fix to this problem. However, the bill got stuck in committee. I joined with several of my legislative colleagues last week in a parliamentary maneuver to try to pull the bill to the floor for a vote of the full House. That effort was thwarted by the majority party.
Currently, the only bill still alive to address police pursuits is Senate Bill 5352. It allows pursuits in more – but still very limited – circumstances than current law. Right now, this bill keeps our options alive. We will try to amend it and make it better for the safety of our communities and to hold criminals accountable for their actions. You can read recent media coverage on this issue below:
- In Our View: House Democrats disappoint on police pursuit bill – The Columbian
- For community safety, state House must pass new police-pursuit law – The Seattle Times
- Troopers say suspect in Sunnyside crash that killed 2 children wasn’t stopped earlier because of state pursuit law – The Yakima Herald
In addition, I have voted against several bills that would negatively impact public safety. I voted against reducing sentence enhancements for drug dealing in school zones; I voted against reducing sentence enhancements for violent crimes committed with a firearm; I voted against reducing sentences for gang-related crimes, and; I voted against a proposal to allow someone to commit a third DUI before facing jail time.
I sponsored legislation to increase penalties for catalytic converter theft, which is skyrocketing across the state, costing victims thousands of dollars in repairs and disrupting lives. You can read more here. You can also listen to my radio interview with Jason Rantz from KTTH here and my interview with KVI’s Ari Hoffman here.
My bill to make it easier for real estate appraisers to do evaluations recently passed the House and also the Senate committee to which it was assigned. You can read more in an article from The Reflector here.
Thank you for staying involved in YOUR state government. If you have questions or concerns about state issues, please feel free to reach out to my office. We are here to help.