Washington state House and Senate Republicans today unveiled their common-sense solutions to the public safety crisis ravaging communities and destroying lives across the state.
“During the last legislative session, the majority dropped the ball on public safety,” said Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, ranking member of the Senate Law and Justice Committee. “Democrats removed critical tools from police, reduced punishment for criminals, missed opportunities to protect the public from repeat DUI offenders, and flat-out surrendered on the war on drugs.
“The impacts of these decision on the lives of Washingtonians have been devastating and immediate,” added Padden. “Violent gang and drug-related crimes are on the rise, as property crimes are impacting families and businesses alike. Instead of criminals being handcuffed, it is members of law enforcement who are hindered from doing their job. Even after receiving pushback from the public, the majority is back at it again, introducing new measures to reduce the punishment for drive-by shooting and impaired drivers.”
The substantive package of legislation in the “Safe Washington: A Republican plan for increasing public safety, reducing crime, and putting victims first” provides corrections and solutions to a series of issues that have jeopardized public safety.
“Washington communities are struggling as they face the challenges of chronic homelessness, addiction, crime, and untreated mental health needs. Unfortunately, the majority party’s ineffective and destructive policies have made these problems worse and left law enforcement professionals without the tools and support they need to do their jobs to protect the public,” said Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, ranking Republican on the House Public Safety Committee. “Our legislation seeks to reverse these policies so we can ensure all citizens can live, work, and raise their families in a safe Washington.”
Areas the legislation will address include:
- Fixing several flawed anti-police measures adopted by the majority last session and providing additional support for law enforcement.
- Measures aimed at putting victims and the safety of Washington’s communities first by dealing with human trafficking, missing indigenous persons, strengthening the felony DUI law, and combating domestic violence and sexual assault.
- Reforming the Department of Corrections and reversing efforts to prematurely release criminals back on the streets. (See Prison Alarm Bells report).
- Increases in violent gang and drug-related crimes.
- Increases in property crimes, including retail and catalytic converter theft.
- The majority’s inadequate response to the Washington State Supreme Court’s ruling in State v. Blake.
With a focus on compassion and accountability, legislative Republicans say they will continue working to help keep Washington’s streets, neighborhoods, and families safe, while respecting those who serve and protect communities across the state.
The broadcast of the full Safe Washington plan can be viewed here: https://www.tvw.org/watch/?clientID=9375922947&eventID=2022011050.
The legislative session begins Monday, Jan. 10, and is scheduled for 60 days.