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A Criminal Justice and a Military Recruitment bill must pass Committees

Friends–Another friendly nudge from you and we may end up with two more good bills passed this session: SB 6790 on prison education and HB 2026 on military recruiting in the schools. Thank you.

Post-secondary Education for Prisoners.  SSB6790 is an exciting bill that attempts to reintroduce higher
education into the prison system by starting small. It authorizes two pilot projects that will be closely monitored for evidence that higher education really does reduce recidivism. It has passed the Senate and will most likely make it out of the House Human Services Committee by Tuesday (2/26). Where we need your help next week is with the House Appropriations Committee and, again later, with the Rules Committee. Since state revenues have fallen well short of predictions, legislators are under pressure not to spend money. However, please remind them that the cost of this program is very small, and since returning higher education to our prison system will save us a great deal of money in the long run by significantly reducing the number of people who return to prison–a fact that has already been repeatedly established by research–it is money very wisely spent. And the cost of not doing this is quite high.
Thank you!

House Appropriations Committee: Helen Sommers – Chair (D), Hans Dunshee – Vice Chair (D), 
 Gary Alexander – Ranking Minority Member (R), Barbara Bailey – Asst Ranking Minority Member (R), 
Larry Haler – Asst Ranking Minority Member (R), Glenn Anderson (R), Bruce Chandler (R), Eileen Cody (D) 
Steve Conway (D), Jeannie Darneille (D), Mark Ericks (D), Bill Fromhold (D) Bill Grant (D)Tami Green (D) 
Kathy Haigh (D) Bill Hinkle (R) Sam Hunt (D) Ross Hunter (D) Ruth Kagi (D) Phyllis Kenney (D) Lynn Kessler (D) 
Joel Kretz (R) Kelli Linville (D) Joyce McDonald (R) Jim McIntire (D) Dawn Morrell (D) Eric Pettigrew (D) 
Skip Priest (R) Charles Ross (R) Joe Schmick (R) Shay Schual-Berke (D) Larry Seaquist (D) Pat Sullivan (D) 
Maureen Walsh (R)

Military Recruiting in Schools.  HB2026 is a bill regarding military recruiting in schools that Ric Power has been working on for two sessions. As introduced by Rep. Santos in 2007, it was a very limited bill. Nevertheless, it passed the House and was expanded by amendment in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education to cover some of our broader objectives. Last year’s senate amendment divides those who wish to recruit in schools into categories– institutions of higher education and vocational education, prospective employers, the military, the Peace Corps, the Job Corps, and AmeriCorps–and allows the student to opt out of any category of recruitment without opting out of all categories. After passing the House in its limited form, the bill is scheduled for another hearing Thursday (2/28) in the Senate Committee on Early Learning and K-12. Please urge committee members (before and during the hearing) to adopt last session’s amendment language to make this a much more useful piece of legislation. 

Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee:  Rosemary McAuliffe – Chair (D) Rodney Tom – 
Vice Chair (D) Curtis King – Ranking Minority Member (R) Dale Brandland (R)Tracey Eide (D) 
Mike Hewitt
 (R) Steve Hobbs (D) Janéa Holmquist (R) Claudia Kauffman (D) Joe McDermott (D) Eric Oemig (D)
Marilyn Rasmussen
 (D) Brian Weinstein (D) Joseph Zarelli (R)

Written by: Carol Estes, Policy Analyst and Legislative Advocate
Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy

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