Sen. Margarita Prentice from the 11th District (Renton), is chair of Senate Ways & Means, and is the key figure in the progress of the corrections ombudsman bill, SB 5295. To progress further, the bill must have a hearing and be reported out of Ways & Means by next Monday, March 5, which is the cutoff for bills with fiscal impact.
The ombudsman bill won’t get a hearing unless Sen. Prentice and committee leadership decide to fund it. It currently has a large price tag according to the fiscal note: $3.4 in the first biennium, then $2.7 million in future biennia for a staff of 14. This can be reduced by use of volunteers and other potential resources, which weren’t considered in the fiscal note but are authorized in the substitute bill reported out of the policy committee.
It is particularly important for anyone in the 11th district to contact Sen. Prentice to urge her to schedule 5295 for a hearing, and to fund it in some form. Other members of the Ways & Means Committee are listed below, including Sen. Fraser and Regala who are cosponsors, and should be particularly urged to exert their influence to get 5295 a hearing. Committee members Fairley, Kohl-Welles, and Rasmussen are also cosponsors.
Thanks for helping with this important measure toward greater health, safety, and rehabilitation in our correctional system in whatever way you can.
Daniel N. Clark, Legislative Chair
Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy
PO Box 1222
Walla Walla WA 99362
509-522-0399, fax 522-0415
Senate Ways & Means
Prentice, Chair (D 11)
Fraser, Vice Chair Capital Budget Chair
Pridemore, Vice Chair, Operating Budget
Zarelli, Ranking Minority Member (R 18)
Fairley (D 32)
Hatfield (D 19 )
Hewitt (R 16)
Hobbs (D 44 )
Honeyford (R 15 )
Keiser (D 33)
Kohl-Welles (D 36)
Parlette(R 12 )
Rasmussen (D 2)
Roach (R 31)