INITIAL SUCCESS WITH DRUG REFORM BILL!!
FCWPP’s key legislation this session, the Drug Sentence Reform bill, passed the House with a 72 to 25 vote on Monday February 18th! We should thank representatives for their yes votes on 2nd Substitute House Bill 2338.
Anderson, Ballasiotes, Barlean, Benson, Berkey, Campbell, Casada, Chase, Clements, Cody, Conway, Cooper, Crouse, Darneille, Delvin, Dickerson, Doumit, Dunshee, Edwards, Eickmeyer, Esser, Fisher, Fromhold, Gombosky, Grant, Haigh, Hankins, Hatfield, Hunt, Hurst, Jackley, Jarrett, Kagi, Kenney, Kessler, Kirby, Lantz, Linville, Lovick,Lysen, McDermott, McIntire, Miloscia, Mitchell, Morell, Morris, Murray, Nixon, O’Brien, Ogden, Pearson, Pflug, Quall, Reardon, Rockefeller, Romero, Ruderman, Santos, Schindler, Schmidt, Schual-Berke, Simpson, Skinner, Sommers, Sullivan, Tokuda, Upthegrove, Van Luven, Veloria, Wood, Woods, and Speaker Frank Chopp.
Except Representative Lisk, who was excused, your Representative voted no if they are not named
above. Remember, the Senate has not yet voted; our message to them is different.
ACTION: Thank your Representatives for their yes vote on 2nd Substitute House Bill 2338. If they voted no, please make the points outlined last week (below).
Most Senators haven’t had a chance to vote on either version of the bill. There will be a hearing on 2nd Substitute House Bill 2338 in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 8 am on Tuesday February 26th. It has a $7.5 million dollar annual cap which we would rather not see, but was put in there by the sponsor to insure passage. Should future savings exceed that level they would go to the state general fund. Its companion bill, Substitute Senate Bill 6361, has provisions that would spend money directed to treatment for other
support services, which we would rather see directed mainly towards treatment itself. I will be watching closely to urge that the best of both bills end up in the ultimate package.
ACTION: Call your Senator and express your support for drug sentence reform, especially if they sit on the Judiciary
Sen. Adam Kline (D-37), Chair
Sen. Jim Kastama (D-25), V. Chair
Sen. Bob McCaslin (R-4), Ranking Minority Member
Sen. Jeri Costa (D-38)
Sen. James Hargrove (D-24)
Sen. Stephen Johnson (R-47)
Sen. Jeanine Long (R-44)
Sen. Erik Poulsen (D-34)
Sen. Pam Roach (R-31)
Sen. Pat Thibaudeau (D-43)
Sen. Joseph Zarelli (R-18)
If you haven’t yet, commending bill sponsor Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32) co-sponsor Rep. Ida Ballasiotes (R-41), and House Criminal Justice & Corrections Chairman Rep. Al O’Brien (D-1) is still valuable.
Speaking points for drug sentencing reform
The bill reduces sentences for minor non-violent drug offenses and directs savings from less incarceration into treatment, both in the Dept. of Corrections and in community-based facilities. In two years, more sentences will change as a new “drug grid” establishing lower standard ranges take effect. Stress these points:
>Treatment works, even if involuntary. Incarceration hasn’t, and is very costly. In many places 5 or more addicts canbe treated for the same cost as incarcerating 1 inmate. Treatment alternatives have much better results reducingrecidivism and increasing addicts recovery.
>Treatment is demanding, and holds offenders accountable.
>The 12 existing Drug Courts have broad support (as does this bill) in the criminal justice and treatment professions and organizations including judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, treatment agencies, and the Department of Corrections. The treatment alternatives Drug Courts provide are critical to an individual’s success in overcoming addiction and leading drug- and crime-free lives. Funding for existing Drug Courts needs to be expanded. More Drug
Courts are needed; federal funding is available to get them started, but many jurisdictions won’t do so unless they can see clear to ongoing suppport. This bill provides that assurance, and will make Drug Courts much more widely available around the state.
>Preserving the funding in the bill is critical. No cuts beyond the $7.5 million cap are acceptable, especially in light of the severe cuts in the Governor’s budget for existing treatment programs.
When calling, writing, or sending e-mail on any issue covered in the Alerts, please identify yourself as a Friend and as a member of FCWPP. Our effectiveness is enhanced when legislators hear from people who respond to our issues.
“Anti-Terrorism” Bills Pass House, Threaten Civil Liberites
The bills in last week’s Alert House Bill 2879, House Bill 2416, and House Bill 2411 all passed the House with large majorities. 2879and 2411 will be heard this week in Senate Committees. Plan to call your Senator to oppose these bills; calls to the Governor andstate Attorney General are valuable too, as they requested both bills. See last week’s Alert for some details.
ACTION: Call your Senator, ask him or her to Vote NO on House Bills 2879 and 2411, should they make it to the Senate Floor or if he or she serves on the State and Local Government Committee (2411) or the Judiciary Committee (2879, see members listed above).
There are other interesting and worthy bills being considered this week. House Bill 1279 would recognize April 20th as a “state day of peace.” I will testify in favor of this bill. Some others on my as-time-allows list include:
ESHB 2505 – Providing criminal penalties for training in furtherance of civil disorders
ESSB 5329 – Allowing crime victims employment leave.
HB 1248 – Providing unemployment insurance benefits for victims of domestic violence
ESJM 8023 – Requesting full funding for the cleanup of the Hanford Reservation
SSJM 8036 – Requesting a memorial to remember the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II
What have you learned about that fits Friends’ Legislative priorities? Read our Policy Statement
http://www.quaker.org/fcwpp/Policy%20Statement.html and you will see that many concerns could be priorities – they just need champions! Please call or e-mail me for information, help, or to go over legislative issues that concern you. I appreciate hearing from Friends.
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Friends Committee on Washington State Public Policy
P.O. Box 452
Olympia, WA 98507-0452
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PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
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