Historic day! Prisoners testify in WA legislature

Sen. Darneille’s committee heard live testimony on Feb 7 from prisoners–a first! Watch online in the TVW archives at https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2019021111.

Who’s eligible for review? We have been concerned that the current version of Darneille’s bill, 5819, seems to exclude those convicted of aggravated murder. But according to Sen. Darneille’s office, that was not her intention and should be corrected in a revised version due out in the next day or so. The revised bill should also include the edits from the CLO, BPC, and DRW.

SENATE HEARING on Valentine’s Day. The bill (5819) has ended up in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, and the revised version is scheduled for a hearing there at 1:30 on the 14th. However, that committee has an extremely full agenda that day. We’re working with Sen. Darneille’s and Sen. Pedersen’s offices to figure out what specific testimony is needed and will let you know.

ACTION in the House! Representative Frame has told us that she intends to be the prime sponsor for both the Emerging Adult Bill and the companion bill to the Senate’s 5819–wonderful news! (A “companion bill” is an identical bill introduced simultaneously in the other chamber. That means both bills can progress to Floor votes at the same time, speeding up the process.) Unfortunately, Rep. Pettigrew, who had originally agreed to prime the Elderly Prisoners bill, decided to not to include everyone, removing agg murder from his draft. We have told him that we simply can’t support that, so it remains to be seen whether anything will happen with that bill.

Carol Estes
Prison Voice Washington

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