Bill Title: Incentivizing cities and counties to increase employment of commissioned law enforcement officers.
Committee: Ways and Means
Companion Bill: 1446
AN ACT Relating to incentivizing cities and counties to increase employment of commissioned law enforcement officers; reenacting and amending RCW 43.101.200; adding a new section to chapter 82.14 RCW; and creating a new section.
What the Bill says:
It amends prior law affording an “additional tax” specified tax WITHOUT a vote of the people, on sales taxes for the express purposes of hiring additional laws enforcement officers to provide more safety to people and property. It adds more state certification training classes.
What the bill means:
This bill was initially a strongly supported bi-partisan bill until the committee modified it and the Senate Republicans in the committee voted against advancing it. It was advanced and is now in the Senate Was and Means for funding and approval before it goes to the floor for a vote. The house version had a hearing and has not advanced from there. While this is MOSTLY a good bill which structures the funds strictly for the hiring of peace officers at the county or city level based upon population and federal standards of officers per capita it does allow the use of the funds (once achieved) to go toward “other justice related purposes”. These purposes are defined as community advocates, legal advocates, domestic violence services, behavioral health and homelessness etc. This tax does NOT sunset. The local cities and counties must contribute 25% of the funding for the certification of officers training.