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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
During an hours-long special session on Tuesday, May 16, the Washington State House of Representatives voted 83-13 in support of compromise legislation for the so-called “Blake fix.” The measure, Senate Bill 5536, failed to pass on the final day of the 105-day regular session, but negotiators were able to come to an agreement after much give-and-take by both sides.
I issued the following statement in support of the bipartisan compromise measure and wanted to make sure you saw it in its entirety:
“I've said from the beginning that any solution to our state's drug use and abuse problem needs to have a measure of accountability and consequences for actions. The compromise bill we voted on today takes these two key factors and combines them with a much-needed increase in services and investments in care for those struggling with substance abuse.
“There are some in our communities who would want this bill to go further – to reinstate the felony aspect of drug possession and drug use. There are some that think all drugs should be decriminalized. I think a gross misdemeanor, with treatment-oriented diversion, is a good compromise. We need to give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to keep our communities, schools, and children safe. And we need to give our local jurisdictions the access to expert services and treatment to help those struggling within the grips of their addiction.
“I'm pleased to support Senate Bill 5536. However, I do not think this is the end of the issue. We will continue to perfect our strategies to help clean up our streets and make sure our citizens are safe.”
You can view my floor speech from today here.
You can watch the entire floor debate on TVW here.
If you have any questions or concerns about state government issues, please contact my office. We're here to help!
406 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7812 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000