Category Archives: Public Safety

Joel’s Law and dealing with lawsuits, disasters, and an increase in child abuse reports

The House Appropriations committee is planning to hear two bills Today, (Jan. 26, 2015): HB 1258 – Concerning court review of detention decisions under the involuntary treatment act. This is “Joel’s Law,” a bill creating the ability for parents and … Continue reading

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Lawmakers seek community input on state budget

Posted on January 5, 2015 Rep. Ross Hunter How would you solve Washington state’s $4.4 billion budget problem? That’s the central question Senator-elect Cyrus Habib (D-Kirkland) and Representative Ross Hunter (D-Medina) will be asking their constituents at a town hall … Continue reading

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Expensive Cloud, Silver Lining…

One of the key responsibilities for the state is running the prison system. Overall we spend about $1.5 billion on the entire corrections system, including medical care for inmates. The US Constitution requires that inmates receive healthcare that meets the … Continue reading

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Scary “Drones” or Annoying Neighbors with Model Airplanes?

I’ve gotten a lot of mail recently from ACLU members supporting regulation of drone use in Washington, which I support. However, I won’t support ANY bill on drones. I think the environment is more interesting than just the current ephemeral … Continue reading

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WA Budget 2015-17: High Degree of Difficulty

When writing about the budget it’s important to share good news as well as bad. First the good: (it’s short) the revenue forecast picked up a little bit. The bad is that we face one of the most difficult budget … Continue reading

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No More Boarding the Mentally Ill in Emergency Rooms

The WA State Supreme Court released a decision this morning on psychiatric boarding in hospitals that basically prohibits the state from doing this. Judge Gonzales’ summary is quite pithy. GONZALEZ, I.-Washington State’s involuntary treatment act (ITA), chapter 71.05 RCW, authorizes counties … Continue reading

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Fail: Congress Working on Toxics Policy

With the exception of education policy, there’s probably no other issue where states’ rights are paramount than when it comes to the health of its residents. Congress is currently considering a bill that would have devastating consequences to public health … Continue reading

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Visiting Prisons

I’ve been trying to visit everywhere we spend a billion dollars or more per biennium, and the prison system definitely makes the list. This month I got a chance to visit McNeil Island, a very creepy place. We have a … Continue reading

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Background Checks and Guns in the Chamber

I recorded a video last week that describes my dissapointment at not passing HB 1588, a quite reasonable bill that would have required background checks on gun purchasers to ensure that we are not enabling felons or those with serious mental … Continue reading

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Standardized Tax Rates for all Marijuana

Rep. Reuven Carlyle and I introduced legislation today to standardize state tax rates across medical and non-medical marijuana. The medical market would now look like the setup initiative 502 put in place for recreational use. The press release we issued … Continue reading

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