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  • Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Gregoire signs legislation to enhance safety for communities, law enforcement officers

For Immediate Release: March 31, 2010

LAKEWOOD – To “fulfill a pledge we made to grieving law enforcement families,” Gov. Chris Gregoire today signed into law a number of bills to enhance protection for both communities, and the law enforcement officers that serve them.

“Following the tragic murders of our law enforcement officers, we said we would support their families and all our men and women in uniform,” Gregoire said. “I asked representatives from law enforcement organizations across Washington state to take a close look at our public safety system, and make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent another tragedy. I am proud to sign this legislation that honors the lives of our fallen officers – and ensures that some good comes out of a tragic situation.”

“We are very pleased with the leadership shown by Governor Gregoire and the Legislature,” said Don Pierce, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. “They have taken our recommendations from the review of the tragedy in Lakewood and transformed them into statute. As a result our communities will be safer.”

Gregoire today signed legislation that sets new requirements that judges must consider when making bail determinations, as well as legislation that improves the supervision of offenders in Washington state here under the Interstate Compact.

Additionally, Gregoire signed a bill that removes the 10-year service requirement in Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement Plan 2 (LEOFF 2) and the Washington State Patrol Retirement System Plan 2 (WSPRS 2) for survivors of duty-related deaths to
qualify for survivor benefits.

“Whether an officer has served for one year or 20, when they make the ultimate sacrifice, their family should receive the benefits they deserve,” Gregoire said. “We need to honor such tremendous sacrifices, as well as those officers who have been totally disabled in the line of duty.”

To recognize law enforcement officers who can no longer work due to injuries suffered while on duty, Gregoire signed SHB 1679, known as the “Jason McKissack Act.” The legislation ensures officers who suffer catastrophic injuries that force an early retirement receive health insurance to cover the costs of their recovery.

In total, Gregoire signed the following bills into law:

• Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill No. 1317, relating to disclosure of public records containing information used to locate or identify employees of criminal justice agencies.

• Substitute House Bill No. 1679, relating to access to catastrophic disability medical insurance under plan 2 of the law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system.

• Substitute House Bill No. 2196, relating to including service credit transferred from the law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system plan 1 in the determination of eligibility for military service credit.

•Substitute House Bill No. 2226, relating to issuing firearms certificates to retired law enforcement officers.

•Substitute House Bill No. 2466, relating to the regulation of ignition interlock devices.

•Engrossed House Bill No. 2519, relating to duty-related death benefits for public safety employees.

•Substitute House Bill No. 2534, relating to establishing a program to verify the address of registered sex offenders and kidnapping offenders.

•House Bill No. 2625, relating to bail for felony offenses.

•Substitute House Bill No. 2717, relating to restricting outings from state facilities.

•Second Substitute House Bill No. 2742, relating to accountability for persons driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

•Second Engrossed Senate Bill No. 6221, relating to the clarifying and expanding participation in the Washington state local government investment pool.

•Substitute Senate Bill No. 6293, relating to rendering criminal assistance in the first degree.

•Substitute Senate Bill No. 6361, relating to a person's identifying information submitted in the course of using the electronic statewide unified sex offender notification and registration program for the purpose of receiving notification regarding registered sex offenders.

•Substitute Senate Bill No. 6414, relating to improving the administration and efficiency of sex and kidnapping offender registration.

•Substitute Senate Bill No. 6548, relating to offenders on parole or probation.

•Engrossed Senate Bill No. 6610, relating to improving procedures relating to the commitment of persons found not guilty by reason of insanity.

•Substitute Senate Bill No. 6673, relating to bail practices and procedures.

•Substitute Senate Bill No. 6712, relating to extending expiring tax incentives for certain clean alternative fuel vehicles, producers of certain biofuels, and federal aviation regulation part 145 certificated repair stations.

•Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill No. 6737, relating to providing an exemption from property tax for aircraft used to provide air ambulance services.