Public-safety bills becoming laws

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106 Newhouse Building ● P.O. Box 40404 ● Olympia WA 98504-0404

Report from Olympia |  April 3, 2018

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

A week ago I traveled to Olympia for the signing of two bills I sponsored. One bill concerned the use of body cameras for law enforcement and the other dealt with pretrial release conditions that trial court judges may impose. There are additional details about both bills later in this e-newsletter.

If there is anything I can do for you, or if you have questions about anything in this e-newsletter, please give me a call or send me an e-mail. Also, my legislative office is open in our district until the 2019 legislative session begins in January. It’s at 408 N. Mullan Rd., Suite 106, and our number is 509-921-2460. My legislative assistant, Janet, will be here Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are here to serve!


Senator Mike Padden

Chamber President Katherine Morgan honored with joint proclamation

Left to Right: Kelly Fukai of Schweitzer Engineering, Sen. Padden and Katherine Morgan, formerly of the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.

On March 27, the cities of Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley approved a joint proclamation honoring Katherine Morgan, outgoing president and CEO of the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, for her dedication and leadership to our community.

As the proclamation points out, “Katherine joined the Chamber in September 2014 and went right to work in regard to building community partnerships and expanding Chamber membership. Thanks to her energy, enthusiasm, marketing expertise and visionary leadership, the Chamber is currently 750-members strong and growing by the day.”

Katherine stepped down from the chamber last month to accept a position as senior vice president and local market manager for Spokane/Boise with Bank of America. 

Chamber Board Chair Erica Young announced the move in a letter to chamber members. In it, she wrote: “Katherine has taken this organization to new heights and inspired many community members and leaders to their next level of capabilities, all to the elevation of this business community and greater Spokane Valley as a whole.”

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Katherine and her family for quite a while, and I have to agree. She is hard-working, intelligent and a persistent advocate for our local businesses and region. It has been great to work with her over the past four years.

We wish her all the best in this new role.

Click here to read watch video of the proclamation reading.

VIDEO: Right of initiative under attack

As seen on Facebook

Click here to watch my video on protecting your right of initiative.

The people’s right to make their own laws by passing initiatives is guaranteed by the state constitution. But this right is under attack in the Legislature. In this video I explain the threat and what we are doing about it.


In The News: Central Valley girls finish historic run with win in GEICO Nationals championship game

Central Valley coach Freddie Rehkow holds the GEICO Nationals championship trophy after the Bears’ 66-61 win over Hamilton Heights on Saturday at Christ the King HS in New York (via screencap). (Dave Nichols / The Spokesman-Review)

By Dave Nichols, in The Spokesman-Review | March 31, 2018

Following a rough third quarter which saw a 10-point halftime lead evaporate, Lexie Hull scored 13 of her 26 points in the fourth and Central Valley beat Hamilton Heights of Tennessee 66-61 to win the GEICO Nationals title game at Christ the King HS in New York on Saturday.

...Central Valley had a rough trip just getting to New York for the tournament with scheduling and travel delays. Once at the hotel, they heard some comments in the lobby about the little team from the West Coast.

“It lit a fire under our girls to pull it together and bring it home,” Rehkow said. “Winning was validation against such strong national competition.”

Click here to read the full story.

Governor signs bills on police body cameras, public safety

bill signing

Last Tuesday I attended a ceremony at the Capitol where two of my measures were signed by the governor.

Senate Bill 6408 clarifies the rules surrounding the use of police body cameras. The new law will make permanent the existing requirements and Public Records Act provisions governing body-worn cameras and apply them to all law-enforcement and corrections agencies deploying body-worn cameras. It also strengthens privacy protections for intimate images in such recordings, and clarifies record-retention requirements for body-worn camera recordings.

The Governor also signed Senate Bill 5987, which will restore authority to trial court judges to impose on defendants, charged with driving while impaired, pretrial conditions such as random drug and alcohol testing.

The measure is a product of a legislative work session that included judges and prosecutors. Both the Washington District and Municipal Court Judges' Association and the Washington State Superior Court Judges' Association testified in support of the bill.

The laws created by these two bills, which passed the Legislature with near-unanimous support, will go into effect June 7.

Click here to read more.

Budget updates signed into law


Also this past Tuesday (March 27), Governor Inslee signed into law this year’s updates to the  operating, transportation and capital budgets.

I voted against the supplemental operating budget because of its misplaced priorities and the total amount of money spent. 

The new legislative majority ignored the advice of our State Treasurer, by raiding money that was supposed to go into our state’s saving account. That money was used to pay for additional spending in the supplemental operating budget and to give some meager property tax relief.

School-safety funding in operating budget
Although I am disappointed with the budget in general, we were able to secure a few significant wins, including a proviso to fund my school-safety proposal.

Senate Bill 6410 would have required first responders to notify both public and private schools to any situation that could require an evacuation or lockdown. The bill would have also established one school-safety center for each side of the state.

While the bill itself stalled in the House after passing unanimously in the Senate, I was able to accomplish the same policies through the budget process.

Capital budget contains major wins for the 4th District

The $4.2 billion capital budget adopted back in January provides nearly $38.65 million in funding for several 4th District priorities, including:

  • $816,00 for the HUB Sports Center Capital Campaign;
  • $556,000 for the Appleway Trail Amenities;
  • $100,000 for the Honor Point Military and Aerospace Museum;
  • $581,000 for CHAS Health Spokane Valley Dental Clinic;
  • $2.18 million for Mount Spokane - Maintenance Facility Relocation from Harms Way; and
  • $83,000 for the Pinecroft Natural Area Aridland Forest Restoration.

There is also more than $30 million for new school construction in the Central Valley School District.

In the supplemental capital budget adopted last month, we were able to secure an additional $309,000 for improvements to the Mt. Spokane Guest Services Center and another $106,000 for the relocation of the Mt. Spokane maintenance facility from Harms Way.

Supplemental transportation budget funds district priorities

The supplemental transportation budget that was signed into law last month reauthorizes nearly $1.5 billion for projects in our region. It has money to widen the Interstate 90 corridor in the Spokane area, begin replacing the East Trent Bridge over the Spokane River and add a passing lane on U.S. Highway 195. The I-90/Barker to Harvard Road project will receive $500,000 in funding to advance the construction schedule.

    Local students to compete in state round of national geography bee

    geography bee

    Two local middle-school students are slated to participate in Washington’s state-level National Geographic Bee, having won out in their school bees and the qualifying test that followed. Eighth-grader Kevin Hill from Centennial Middle School and seventh-grader Zach Thompson from St. Mary’s Catholic School will be competing against students from all over the state at the Washington State Bee, which will take place at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma this Friday. 

    The state champion will receive $100 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent our state in the national championship: the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, which will be at National Geographic Society headquarters from May 20-23. The national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship. Good luck Kevin and Zach!

    Click here to learn more. 

    Washington: A destination state

    In run-up to the 2020 Census, research shows growing popularity of Washington

    population map

    As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, America gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment) and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

    The next Census in 2020 will require counting a growing population of around 330 million people in more than 140 million households. To get an accurate count, the Census Bureau is currently conducting research.

    One of the emerging stories is Washington’s remarkable population growth.

    According to the Census Bureau, last year Washington:

    • Ranked 4th in overall population change, growing by just shy of 125,000 people (trailing just Texas, Florida, and California);
    • Added more people than the entire Northeast states combined; and
    • Also ranked 4th in domestic net migration, which measures U.S. residents’ moves from one state to another, growing by 65,000 (trailing just Florida, Texas, and North Carolina).

    By comparison, California lost 138,000 people, as people left the Golden State for other states. New York and Illinois also lost more than 100,000 each.


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