Search
Close this search box.

Legislative update: bills to watch

FPIW is closely following 88 bills currently proceeding through Washington’s state legislature. Here’s a detailed breakdown of some of our organization’s most supported and most highly opposed bills:

 

SUPPORTED:

 

SB 5056: Establishing a special allegation for habitual property offenders.

Conservative lawmakers in Washington sponsored SB 5056 after finding that a large portion of property crimes that occur in the state are committed by repeat offenders, and the law as it currently stands is ineffective in deterring these crimes. Property violations include: residential burglary, burglary in the second degree, theft in the first degree, theft in the second degree, theft of a firearm, unlawful issuance of checks or drafts, organized retail theft, theft with special circumstances, or mail theft.

Under the new bill, if a person is a habitual property offender – determined based on the seriousness and frequency of their crimes – the standard sentencing for the crimes will be altered to reflect their status as a repeat offender. The Senate Bill Report states that the court can use its discretion to sentence a person if they are “found beyond a reasonable doubt to be a habitual property offender to an additional 24 months in total confinement for a Class B felony, and an additional 12 months for a Class C felony.”

Legislators hope the increased penalties will deter potential criminals and reduce recidivism rates throughout the state. The bill is currently on its second reading in the Rules Committee and if passed will proceed to the full Senate.

Contact your state legislators on the Rules Committee TODAY and encourage them to support SB 5056! 

 

SB 5035: Concerning possession of controlled substances

 Washington’s previous statutes, set to expire in July 2023, created a “de facto decriminalization of possession” for controlled substances by encouraging prosecutors to divert a criminals’ first two charges of possession of controlled substances for assessment or treatment, rather than jail time and/or fines.

SB 5035 seeks to reclassify the crime of creating, delivering or knowingly possessing a counterfeit substance from a misdemeanor to a class C felony. It also removes the requirement for officers to “offer a referral to substance use disorder services for an individual’s first two arrests for possession of prohibited substances.” It encourages prosecutors to divert charges only for the first offense, rather than the first two offenses.

This bill treats the possession of controlled substances with the appropriate level of severity to prevent consistent substance abuse.  

On February 6 the Senate Committee on Law & Justice held a public hearing of SB 5035. Contact members of the committee to encourage them to vote in favor of the bill as it proceeds through the Senate.

 

 

OPPOSED:

 

SB 5599: Supporting youth and young adults seeking protected health care services.

At its core, SB 5599 seeks to strip parents of their right to protect their children from the government. The bill makes provisions for children who run away from home claiming the need for “protected health services” – a coded term used throughout the bill which is eventually defined as “gender-affirming treatment and reproductive healthcare services that are lawful in the state of Washington. Gender-affirming treatment means health services or products that support and affirm an individual’s gender identity, including social, psychological, behavioral, and medical or surgical interventions.”

If a minor runs away to a licensed shelter for a short period of time or is placed in a host home for a longer period of time, the bill states that the shelter is no longer required to contact the child’s parental guardians and removes the need for parental permission to re-home the child.

SB 5599 is supposedly centered on protecting “LGBTQ+” children, but as the opposition writes in Senate Bill Report, it does nothing short of “legaliz[ing] the kidnapping of children” and “allow[ing] for the harboring of minors.” The opposition continues by writing that “minors cannot consent to these kinds of medical procedures. The bill doesn’t say how long youth can be away from home, this should be considered child abuse.”

Due to the plethora of concerning implications in this bill, we urge you to contact lawmakers on the Senate Rules Committee and voice your strong opposition to SB 5599.

 

HB 1281: Increasing access to the provisions of the Washington death with dignity act.

FPIW is strongly opposed to HB 1281 because it broadens the scope of physician-assisted suicide to include authorization for advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform the duties of the Death with Dignity Act. The bill would also make lethal drugs available by mail, opening up the door for radical misuse of the substances. It decreases the waiting time between a patient requesting the medication and receiving it, and makes physician-assisted suicide more easily accessible. It would become an option on the table rather than a last resort.

Lawmakers in opposition to the bill have expressed concerns over the possibility of lethal drugs being sent by mail to “family members who have their own agenda.” Additionally, the bill removes a waiting period of 15 days to seven days, which was put in place to allow antidepressants and pain medication to take effect, which often changes a patient’s decision. 

“The bill fails to account for how often the terminally ill have compromised decision-making abilities and depression which go unrecognized by physicians,” the opposition writes in the House Bill Report. “Brain function declines close to death making this a legal and ethical challenge because getting consent during this time is unethical due to patient choice being compromised.”

As the bill proceeds to its second reading, we urge you to call, email or write to lawmakers on the House Rules Committee to voice your opposition for this unethical law that violates God’s plan for life.

 

Read More