The House 2011 Supplementary Operating Budget (HB 1086) for the current fiscal year passed the House and is now in the Senate Ways & Means Committee. It includes partial or time-limited funding for the Disability Lifeline, Apple Health for Kids, and Community Health Clinics. Basic Health is terminated after April 30, 2011. Take Charge family planning is fully funded through the end of the biennium.
Companion Restorative Justice bills are planned to be submitted in the House (by Rep. Roger Goodman) and in the Senate (by Sen. Nick Harper). The bills would apply to juvenile offenders only and would codify that restorative justice is a legal option for diversion in defined circumstances. FCWPP is seeking hearings in the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee (chaired by Rep. Ruth Kagi) and the Senate Human Services & Corrections Committee (chaired by Sen. James Hargrove). Both Committees have a number of members who have supported FCWPP issues in the past.
SB 5236: Review of 3-strikers for possible release to community custody after 15 years, sponsored by Sen. Adam Kline. Hearing held 1/19 in Senate Judiciary Committee (chaired by Kline). Strong questioning of witnesses by some on Committee. No opportunity for oral testimony by FCWPP and many others prepared to testify in favor, but strong support by all but one of those few who could testify. Given makeup of Committee, it should be voted out favorably.
HB 1020: Resume 50% earned-release time for nonviolent offenders, sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson. Hearing held 1/25 in House Public Safety Committee. Oral testimony by FCWPP and others. Considerable questioning of bill supporters. Committee makeup has changed and expanded from last year; hard to predict fate of this bill.
HB 1320/SB 5238: Washington Investment Trust, sponsored (in the House) by Rep. Bob Hasegawa. Set up state institution to hold state funds and lend to small business, farmers, students and others. Hearings held 1/25 in House Business and Finance Committee and Senate Financial Institutions Committee. Oral testimony by FCWPP in both hearings. Strong support provided by former executives of the State Bank of North Dakota, which has run successfully since 1919. Opposed by the Washington State Treasurer, who claims that the Trust would be unconstitutional, that the current concentration bank that handles state funds now does a better and much less expensive job than the proposed state bank would do, and that self-insurance would be risky. We are looking into these claims.
HB 1063: Periodic review for Juveniles sent to life w/o parole, sponsored by Rep. Sherry Appleton. No hearing set (House Public Safety Committee, Christopher Hurst, Chair).
SB 5456 replaces the death penalty with life without parole, Senator Ed Murray is the primary sponsor. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee (S). A hearing may be scheduled in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Friday, Feb. 4 at 1:30 in Cherberg Hearing Room 4. Watch for updates.