Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Lakewood shootings

March
31st

Criminal-supervision group hears Washington proposals

Washington officials say they’re making progress in efforts to change how criminals like Maurice Clemmons who move from state to state are handled.

The Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision will form a committee to consider Washington’s requests: that states receiving paroled offenders have information about their history and authority to send them back.

The executive committee of the board agreed unanimously today to form the committee, Washington Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail said today after meeting with the board in Lexington, Ky. Gov. Chris Gregoire also sat in on the discussion by phone and Web camera.

The full commission could

Read more »

March
25th

Lakewood police shootings prompt bill in Congress

FROM LES BLUMENTHAL IN D.C.:

WASHINGTON – Legislation aimed at fixing problems with interstate transfers of convicted felons like the one who gunned down four Lakewood police officers was introduced in Congress on Thursday by four Washington state lawmakers.

Two bills, crafted in coordination with Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and law enforcement and federal agencies, would require that the Justice Department review existing rules covering such transfers and that improvements be made in the sharing of prisoner information between federal, state and local police and the criminal justice system.

“We honor the memories of our fallen officers by learning tough lessons and making sure it will never happen again,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who introduced the bills in the Senate.

The bill introductions come as Washington has refused to accept the transfer of three more Arkansas parolees and decided to ignore a formal opinion from the Interstate Compact on Adult Supervision that its refusal was unlawful.

Below are more details in a press release from Rep. Jay Inslee:

Read more »

March
16th

Bail campaign moves to voters

The campaign has begun for November’s first ballot measure.

A Web site, rememberlakewood.com, is up and running to advocate for limiting the constitutional right to bail. Supporters call it the Lakewood Law Enforcement Memorial Act after the police officers killed by Maurice Clemmons.

At the Web site, you can find the text of the proposed state constitutional amendment,  some pictures of the politicians who pushed it through the Legislature and are promoting it to voters, and an address to send checks. There’s also a Facebook page.

The group’s director is Reagan Dunn, a King County councilman.

Dunn, Gov.

Read more »

March
10th

Morning update: Day 59

Good morning. The clock is ticking down to the Legislature’s adjournment and a special session is looking more and more likely.

  • With a tax plan approved by the House, talks are under way, but House and Senate members are finding it hard to even speak the same language. Sen. Rodney Tom said the House is using “Monopoly money” to set its spending and revenue targets. Some legislators, meanwhile, think the Senate has its own counting problems with its projected savings from closing McNeil Island prison. And that’s before they even get to the big question of which

Read more »

March
9th

No money for remarried police widows

Police groups will have to wait at least another year to get the benefits they want for officers’ widows who remarry.

The House today agreed to the Senate version of a bill that expands benefits for families of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty. It does not contain a change the House and Gov. Chris Gregoire wanted that would allow spouses to keep collecting workers’-compensation benefits even if they find a new husband or wife.

Gregoire told reporters today she urged the House to accept the scaled-back version, not wanting to stall the bill with

Read more »

March
8th

Bail limit gets final OK

It’s official: Voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to limit suspects’ right to bail.

The idea of allowing judges to deny bail in more than simply capital murder cases emerged from the finger-pointing over the Lakewood police officer killings. It put House and Senate members at loggerheads before they reached a deal last week.

The deal won final legislative approval with a House vote a few minutes ago. Senators were unanimous in support of the final deal and just four House members opposed it: Reps. Dennis Flannigan, Bob Hasegawa, Dave Upthegrove and Brendan Williams.

March
5th

Morning update: Day 54

Good morning. The latest from Olympia:

  • Republicans want to reopen contract agreements with state workers to tackle exploding health care costs and the budget shortfall. Good luck convincing the unions to make concessions: They feel they’ve sacrificed enough.
  • Just because there’s a week left doesn’t mean there isn’t time for new ideas on taxes. The latest: Ask voters if they’d like to get a sales tax break while slapping an income tax on the rich.
  • With a deal hashed out on how to limit bail for violent suspects, the House could take a final vote on

Read more »

March
4th

Bail limit passes Senate

The Senate has again passed a constitutional amendment on bail, this time in a form agreed to by lawmakers from both chambers.

Hours after reaching a deal, senators approved the amendment unanimously. The House could vote Sunday, Rep. Mike Hope said. Police groups are on board with the deal, Hope said.

There were handshakes all around as the vote went through, after remarks from senators that had more thank-yous than an award acceptance speech.

Sen. Adam Kline said: “What we have done is to balance two very important considerations: the safety and security of Washington citizens, and

Read more »