Bill heads next to Governor's desk
Marlene Feist, Communications, (509) 625-6505
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 5:35 p.m.
Updated April 17, 2019
Washington Senate Bill 5492, which would authorize a Pilot Program of Supervision for Motor Vehicle-Related Felonies, has passed both houses of the Washington State Legislature and will head next to the Governor for consideration.
The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Senators Andy Billig, Mike Padden, Jamie Pedersen, Jeff Holy and Manka Dhingra, passed 96-2 in the state House of Representatives today. The bill would allow for community supervision for offenders who commit motor vehicle-related felonies. The Mayor, City Council, and Spokane Police Department, along with partners at Spokane County and the Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council, have been working with state legislators on this priority.
Officials provided these reactions after learning the bill passed the House:
“This bill will improve public safety and help individuals to more successfully re-integrate into society after leaving prison,” said Sen. Billig. “I appreciate City of Spokane’s support on this important bill.”
“We’ve been working on this for several years now, because we have had a horrific outbreak of auto thefts in Spokane County,” says Sen. Padden. “Virtually everyone has been victimized in this epidemic, or knows somebody who has been victimized. Under this legislation, more felons upon their release from prison will be placed under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, and this should reduce the rate of recidivism.”
“My thanks go out to Senators Andy Billig and Mike Padden for their efforts on this important bill and to our larger group of partners,” said Mayor David Condon. “Working together, we are making our community safer. In our joint Administration-City Council Strategic Plan, we have set a goal of becoming the safest city of our size. This program move us closer to that goal, helping to break the cycle of re-offending.”
“When Spokane leads, the State of Washington follows,” said Council Member Breean Beggs. I am so pleased that the Washington Legislature has adopted Spokane’s proposal to resume supervising property crime offenders when they return to our community. Providing re-entry services and accountability will reduce crime and save money for all taxpayers.”
“Washington can now rejoin the rest of the nation in protecting our property against car break-ins and auto theft,” Council Member Candace Mumm said. “Criminals can once again have supervision upon release, which helps them stay accountable, provides them services, and hopefully keeps them from returning to the car theft business. This is good news for neighborhoods, property crime victims, our hard-working police, jail and judicial staff, who will hopefully have some relief form this cycle of ‘crime-arrest-release’ and reoffend.”
“I am extremely pleased by this outcome,” said Council Member Lori Kinnear. “I spearheaded the first efforts by the City of Spokane and our regional partners to create a property crime supervision pilot project for Spokane County, which began nearly three years ago. Now we will have a state-wide property crime supervision program, and it will have a huge impact on reducing property crime here in Spokane and across the state. I am very proud of our efforts to lobby for this program in the state legislature and am gratified to see such broad, bipartisan support.”
Washington is the only state that does not have supervision for property crimes. Community supervision can add structure for offenders re-entering the system and connect them with services including drug treatment, education and job training.