Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We have completed the first week of the 2014 legislative session, which began Monday, Jan. 13, and have already made our way through the middle of the second week. It's been an interesting and busy time at the Legislature. This is the first of several e-mail updates I plan to provide to you over the next 50 days (March 13 is the final scheduled day of the session) and beyond. I invite you to share these updates with your friends and neighbors. Better yet, encourage them to go to my website at www.representativedavehayes.com and sign up for this newsletter.
On Jan. 8, I had an opportunity to travel throughout the 10th District on a “media tour,” where I met with reporters of our local newspapers to provide them a preview of the upcoming session. As reporters will do, several of them focused exclusively what they considered my most newsworthy measure, House Bill 2289, which would remove the exemption of legislators to receive traffic tickets during and just prior to a legislative session. You can read the details of this measure here. However, I have introduced several public safety bills to further help law enforcement officers to do their jobs and get criminals off our streets. While these bills may not have made the headlines, they are still important to help keep our streets and neighborhoods safe. Please read on for details of these and other bills.
Public service has been the highest calling of my life, from my service in the U.S. Navy to my role as a sergeant in the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. However, it is my greatest honor to serve as your state representative. Please feel free to call my office in Olympia at any time: (360) 786-7914. You may also e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for allowing me to serve you!
On Day Two of the legislative session, the House Public Safety Committee held a hearing on House Bill 2057. This is a measure I introduced that would make a small, but significant word change to the state's Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Currently, state law says an officer must witness a misdemeanor to make an arrest for it. The bill I am proposing would change one word, so that a suspect can be arrested without a warrant when the misdemeanor is witnessed by “an” officer, not only “the” arresting officer.
This measure results from a case in Seattle in which one officer at a crime scene looked down from a multi-story building and witnessed a misdemeanor drug deal on the street. He radioed another officer on the street to apprehend the suspect and make the arrest. Because the other officer did not actually witness the crime, the case was thrown out of court. This set a precedent for future court cases. So my bill would allow law enforcement officers to conduct arrests in these cases just as they have in the past. However, now it clarifies that it doesn't have to be the witnessing officer that must make the arrest.
I testified in favor of the measure in front of the committee (see photo at right). Several other law enforcement officers also voiced their support during the hearing. The committee is expected to take action on the bill this Friday morning.
Another measure I sponsored, House Bill 2235, would allow law enforcement officers to obtain search warrants from any magistrate judge in the state. Under current law, only a magistrate judge in the county where the warrant would be served can issue the warrant. That often ties the hands of law enforcement officers who are conducting criminal investigations. This measure would give law enforcement a needed tool in their investigations. A public hearing is scheduled on the bill for tomorrow, Jan. 23, at 8 a.m. in the House Judiciary Committee.
Go here to see a list of all of my bills.
It was a great honor to be recognized by the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS) as its 2013 Legislator of the Year. I was presented the award last Wednesday during the group's Winter Membership Meeting in Olympia.
Serving as assistant ranking member of the House Public Safety Committee, I have focused on advancing legislation that will assist law enforcement officers in doing their jobs, help to protect citizens and keep our streets and neighborhoods safe. WACOPS cited those efforts as among the reasons why they chose me for the award. Three other legislators also were given the award.
If you'd like to read comments by WACOPS President Craig Bulkley, go here to see my press release.
Supreme Court attempts to legislate budget
Two years ago, the high court ruled in the “McCleary Decision” that the Legislature has not met its “paramount duty” for funding education. During the last session, the Legislature made a good-faith effort, which I supported, to increase education funding by more than $1 billion. On Jan. 9, the court issued another edict. In an 8-1 decision, it said the Legislature must come up with — by April 30 — “a complete plan for fully implementing its program of basic education for each school year between now and the 2017-18 school year.” The court also spelled out specific funding levels of how the Legislature fell short for education in the current biennial budget. It threatened to hold the Legislature in contempt if it does not issue this plan by the specified date.
The three branches of government; executive, legislative and judicial, all have their own individual and separate duties as spelled out in the state constitution. It is the Legislature's job to appropriate public monies. It is the court's job to interpret the constitution. Many lawmakers from both parties are concerned the Supreme Court is trying to write the state budget – which is not its job – just the same as it is not our job to tell a court how it should rule in a specific case.
As a member of the House Education Committee, my record is clear that I fully support funding education first in the budget. However, it is up to us to make those decisions, not the Supreme Court.
I represent you in Olympia. As I take votes on your behalf, it is important to know your viewpoints on the issues affecting our state and the 10th District. That's why I am always seeking your input. It is also why I am holding a telephone town hall meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
I invite you to participate by calling toll-free: 1-800-213-7860.
You can do this from the comfort of your home. Bring your questions and let's have a great conversation!
I would like to thank Greta Satterfield for serving last week as a page in the House of Representatives. I was honored to be her sponsor.
We have an outstanding page program in the Legislature in which young people from all over the state who are between the ages of 14 and 16 come to serve for a week. Their duties vary from ceremonial tasks, such as presenting the flags, to operational chores like distributing amendments during legislative sessions. They also attend page school and learn about the legislative process.
Greta is a student at Stanwood Middle School, where she is in the High Honors Club, and the advanced and jazz bands. She also is active in volleyball, basketball and track, and runs cross-country. Greta is the 14-year-old daughter of John and Jennifer Satterfield of Camano Island. If you would like to learn more about the page program or know of someone who might like to participate in it, go here for more information.
Listen to my weekly podcast and radio reports
Each week during the session, I record a legislative podcast called “Capitol Report,” which provides updates of my work during the week. Every two weeks, the program is aired on KSVR 91.7 FM in Mount Vernon. However, you can listen and subscribe to my program through my audio podcast RSS page. I invite you to listen to this week's program here. In addition, my program can be found in the iTunes store here.