House Bill 1210, this year’s version of so-called Anti-Terrorism legislation, should not pass out of the House Rules committee. We must encourage Rules committee members by Wednesday, especially Frank Chopp who is the Speaker of the House and the Chair of the committee, NOT TO PASS HB 1210.
BACKGROUND: This bill would create six new felonies specific to terrorism – felony terrorism, unlawful possession of a weapon of mass destruction, making terrorist threats in the first and second degrees, providing material support or resources to terrorists, and unlawful possession of false
identification for terrorist purposes. There is no statute of limitations for these crimes. All of these crimes cover acts already punishable by current law. No part of the bill addresses preventative measures. Passage of the bill would not prevent terrorism. The leading new crime – Felony Terrorism – is a level XV felony, the same as Murder 1, but could include acts that didn’t result in the death of any victims.
Inadequate definition of “weapons of mass destruction” has led to an interesting twist. Representative Jeannie Darnielle, the only member to vote against passing it out of the policy committee where the bill was first heard, recently introduced an amendment that would include firearms in the definition of weapon of mass destruction. Attorney General Christine Gregoire, who developed and prompted the legislation, wants that amendment dropped and the gun lobby has mobilized to pressure Representative Darnielle to withdraw it.
The Rules committee functions as a gatekeeper, determining which bills will reach the Floor. Should this bill get Floor debate in the current climate of fear, many members of the House of Representatives will likely vote for it, sight unseen, assuming somehow that it will help keep us safe. Then the real danger emerges in that it would go to the Senate, which could amend it further to reintroduce death penalty provisions or some of the aspects that made this bill so objectionable last year such as warrantless wiretaps. The time to stop this bill is now.
ACTION: Call or e-mail Speaker Chopp before Wednesday – 360-786-7920; firstname.lastname@example.org – asking him politlely not to pass House Bill 1210 out of Rules. Additionally, if any of your Representatives sit on Rules, send them the same message. All legislators can be reached using the Legislative Hotline 1-800-562-6000 Rules Committee Members are:
Frank Chopp – Chair (D), email@example.com
Cathy McMorris – ranking Republican member (R), firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Bush (R), email@example.com
Jim Clements (R), firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard DeBolt (R), email@example.com
William Eickmeyer (D), firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Grant (D), email@example.com
Kathy Haigh (D), firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Hatfield (D), email@example.com
Sam Hunt (D), firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred Jarrett (R), email@example.com
Lynn Kessler (D), firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Kirby (D), email@example.com
John Lovick (D), firstname.lastname@example.org
Joyce McDonald (R), email@example.com
Kirk Pearson (R), firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Ruderman (D), email@example.com
Sharon Tomiko Santos (D), firstname.lastname@example.org
Beverly Woods (R), email@example.com
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PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
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