Rep. Dave Hayes’ bills to aid veteran employment, protect children, and fight meth contamination signed into law

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed three bills into law authored by 10th District State Rep. Dave Hayes.

House Bill 1369 will help veterans become eligible for hiring benefits immediately upon honorable discharge from the military. House Bill 1757 adds transient accommodations to the list of properties subject to inspection, condemnation and decontamination by certain hazardous chemicals. House Bill 1931 seeks to improve mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect, including sex crimes against children.

Hayes, R-Camano Island, says there’s a time lag in the transition period for veterans between the time of honorable discharge from service and entering into civilian employment. Under current law, those veterans in that transition period and using the last of their accrued leave from the military are unable to claim hiring preference points for the purpose of applying for civil service employment.

House Bill 1369 expands the definition of “veteran” in state law as a person who is in receipt of separation orders or certain documents that characterize his or her service as “honorable.” The definition of “veteran” is used as an eligibility requirement for various benefits, including free license plate decals, license plates for disabled veterans and prisoners of war, admission to state soldiers’ and veterans’ homes, veterans’ scoring preference on civil service exams, and veteran homeownership down-payment assistance programs.

“This bill will help those military members who are transitioning off their active military duty and to their private lives by allowing them to claim their veterans’ preference points for civil service tests” said Hayes. “This legislation would fix the gap and help our veterans who are returning to civilian status to secure gainful employment sooner.”

Hayes said the concept for the bill was brought to him by Josh Dugan, code enforcement division manager for Snohomish County, who is a retired Navy command master chief. Dugan joined Hayes at the bill signing ceremony.

“The best ideas for legislation come directly from our citizens. As a result of this suggestion, we now have a change in the law that will benefit veterans who are finishing their service and returning to civilian life,” added Hayes.

Gov. Inslee has also approved House Bill 1757. The measure will allow officials to take action when transient accommodations are contaminated by hazardous chemicals. Hayes says the bill was prompted by the inability under state law for the city of Burlington to evict residents from a local motel that was severely contaminated by methamphetamine.

“There had been nearly 600 calls to local law enforcement about this motel. Of the 42 rooms, 40 were severely contaminated by meth,” said Hayes. “Unfortunately, the city’s hands were tied by the law. City officials wanted to move the people out, but they were told by the Skagit County prosecutor’s office they couldn’t legally do it based on the law’s current definition of hazardous chemicals. That definition requires manufacture on site for officials to act, not just presence. This bill would fix that problem should it happen again.”

A third bill signed into law seeks to improve mandatory reporting of child abuse and sex crimes against children.

“Some of our detectives who investigate abuse against children discovered crimes unreported by mandatory reporters,” said Hayes. “It may have been these reporters were unclear whether it was their responsibility to report the incidents.”

House Bill 1931 requires that the Department of Social and Health Services make available on its website a downloadable, printable that clearly includes requirements for mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. Mandatory reporters under state law include: practitioners, medical examiners, law enforcement officers, professional school personnel, registered or licensed nurses, social service counselors, psychologists, pharmacists, licensed or certified child care providers, DSHS employees, among others.

Hayes is awaiting gubernatorial action on two additional bills he sponsored that passed the Legislature. House Bill 1481 would create uniformity in driver training education provided by school districts and commercial driver training schools. Senate Bill 5346 would create the Gina Grant Bull Memorial Legislative Page Scholarship Program. Hayes sponsored the House version of the scholarship measure (House Bill 1194).

Under state law, the governor has 20 days after the Legislature has adjourned Sine Die to sign or veto bills, or they become law by default. The regular session adjourned April 23, but Inslee immediately called the Legislature into special session because an agreement has not yet been reached on a state operating budget.

# # #

Suggested photo caption: Rep. Dave Hayes was joined by supporters of House Bill 1369 as Gov. Jay Inslee signed the measure. The bill will help veterans become eligible for hiring benefits immediately upon honorable discharge from the military. From left: Mitchel Chitwood, aide to Rep. Hayes; Ted Wicorek and Heinz Haskins, both from Washington Department of Veterans Affairs; Gov. Jay Inslee; Rep. Dave Hayes; Josh Dugan, retired Navy master command chief; and Shelly Helder, representing Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs. Photo courtesy of Washington State House of Representatives.


Washington State House Republican Communications