Update on Washington state's plan to reopen

Legislative update from Olympia

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Dear Neighbor,

As the legislature continues to work remotely, I wanted to update you on some of the bills I’ve sponsored this session, legislation that’s been heard in the Law & Justice Committee and provide a video update on our state’s reopening plan.

Senate Bill 5081, which I’m sponsoring, would place the legal burden of proof on certain state agencies when there are disputes about agency enforcement actions against private citizens. This bill would ensure that people who are subject to enforcement actions have a level playing field and are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise. After all, property rights should have some meaning other than “you have the right to pay your property taxes.” This bill received a hearing in the Senate’s Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee.

Another bill I’ve sponsored and shared with you in previous newsletters, Senate Bill 5074, would expand on a successful pilot program that allows some fire stations to serve as safe fire stations. These safe fire stations provide an alternative to emergency rooms where individuals can go to receive services like substance abuse treatment, medical attention and peer support, as well as connections to community resources. This legislation will not interfere with the current services firefighters provide and no funds will come out of their budget for this program. This bill was passed out of the Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee and was heard in the Senate Ways and Means Committee this week.

Please remember that I am here to serve you. Although we may not be able to meet face to face, I encourage you to reach out to my office and to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns on matters of importance to you. And please, if you don’t already, follow me on Facebook. My contact information can be found on the right sidebar. Now, more than ever, it is vital that you are connected with the decisions being made in Olympia. I look forward to hearing from you.






Reopening Washington’s economy


Watch my latest video update where I share the latest on what’s being done to reopen Washington’s economy.


Law and Justice bills

This is my first year serving on the Senate Law and Justice Committee and we have been very busy looking at legislation dealing with your 2nd Amendment Rights as well as police accountability bills. I wanted to share some of the legislation that has me deeply concerned.

  • Senate Bill 5078 would limit magazine capacity to 10 rounds. Individuals with firearms that possess more than this would be allowed to keep their magazines but must prove they had possession prior to the date this law goes into effect – if it is passed. This would affect thousands of everyday self-defense and hunting firearms and do nothing to prevent criminals from flaunting the law. It is just the latest in gradual but unrelenting erosion of a constitutional right.
  • Senate Bill 5038 would prohibit open carry in public spaces during any demonstration. We have seen protests spin out of control and erupt into violence time after time this past year; property was destroyed and lives were lost. Washington state has always been an open carry state; that fact provides safety to the weak and the outnumbered and acts as a deterrent to harm. This bill would criminalize a perfectly legal practice that allows citizens to protect themselves and their property.  Furthermore, a demonstration in this bill is loosely defined as one or more individuals. Even if they come to you (or within 250 feet of you), under this bill, you would be the violator.   
  • I have again  introduced Senate Bill 5099, which would require a death penalty review for incarcerated individuals who commit aggravated murder. This bill is named in honor of corrections officer Jayme Biendl, who was brutally murdered by an inmate in 2011.

This issue is very personal as Officer Biendl served our state here in the 39th Legislative District. Justice was not served in this case and it is my intention to introduce this bill every year not only to ensure we honor Officer Biendl’s memory but in hopes that we continue to have conversations about reasonable consequences for inmates who commit murder while incarcerated

  • Additionally, the House of Representatives heard House Bill 1054, which would, among other things, ban the use of police dogs and take away other important tools our officers use when apprehending criminals. While I believe that we must continue to have an open dialogue on police and community relationships, this bill severely limits the ability of our officers to perform their duties and protect our communities. I have heard from hundreds of people with concerns about this bill and the impact it could have on our police officers. I don’t believe that this type of legislation is the right way to address perceived tensions around policing in our state.
February 5, 2021



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Email: Keith.Wagoner@leg.wa.gov

Phone: 360-545-2820.


Auditor's Office Breach

We recently learned of a data breach within the State Auditor’s Office. Some of these data files contained personal information of Washington state residents who filed unemployment insurance claims in 2020. The compromised files may also include the personal information of other Washington residents who have not yet been identified but whose information could be in a state agency or local government files under review by the Auditor’s Office. If you think your information may have been compromised, please go to their website to learn more.