HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PHOTOGRAPH USAGEHouse photographs, including digital images, are provided as a courtesy or, where applicable, pursuant to Washington’s Public Disclosure Act (RCW 42.17). Where attribution is appropriate, credit may be given as, “Photo courtesy of the Washington State House of Representatives.” The House maintains photographs as historical records and, as such,
has a policy prohibiting their alteration or manipulation.
In addition, you are authorized to make or have prints made from this file.
The House of Representatives today passed the Lakewood Police Officers Memorial Act, a state constitutional amendment to change bail provisions in Washington.
House Joint Resolution 4220, as amended on the floor today, would give a judge discretion to deny bail in cases in which a suspect is charged with a class A felony or is facing a possible life sentence. Currently in the state constitution, only first-degree aggravated murder can result in a denial of bail.
Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, sponsored the constitutional amendment.
“After the immediate shock and frustration of the Lakewood shootings, I looked into how this tragedy could have occurred. When I learned Maurice Clemmons received bail when he was being charged with his third-strike felony offense, I realized we could have stopped these murders,” Hope said. “The system failed these officers, and it failed the public. Today the House corrected that injustice, and I’m optimistic about the measure passing in the Senate as well.”
The House passed the measure 80-17, enough for the two-thirds requirement of 66 votes to amend the state constitution. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. If passed by two-thirds of that chamber, or 33 votes, the resolution will go to the voters, who would need to approve the constitutional amendment by a simple majority.
Wednesday, the House honored six murdered police officers in the Puget Sound area late last year. Hope gave an emotional speech about the real dangers law enforcement willingly face.
“The work they do is often times overlooked, as they prepare for their shifts, they are unaware of what awaits them. Many of us enjoy the work we do because it changes from day to day. We do not do it because of the pay and the benefits, many of us do it because we care and we want to help people. Often times, seeing people at their worst is mind-boggling and mind-numbing. No matter how mind-boggling or dangerous the call, officers will always respond,” Hope told colleagues on the House floor.
That same day, the House passed two measures Hope co-sponsored.
House Bill 1679, passed unanimously, would provide continued medical benefits for officers who are catastrophically injured and can no longer work. Currently, it would help just one police officer nearly beaten to death when he responded to a call.
“Jason McKissack put his life on the line to save a stranger’s life. He had our back, and now we need to have his,” Hope said. “This is a minimal cost that will make a big difference in his life.”
House Bill 2519 would expand death benefits for family members when a public safety employee is killed in the line of duty. It passed the House 93-3.
“Police officers need to know their families will be fully taken care of when they put themselves in harm’s way. This measure would ensure widows and widowers do not have to choose between financial support and moving on with their lives,” Hope said. “It would also take care of the children, whom we should be most concerned about, to ensure they have higher education opportunities.”