Perhaps some of the legislators who were leaning more towards defunding law enforcement are taking notice.

  SB (senate bill) 5361 passes committee with Bi-Partisan support

A Republican-sponsored WA State Senate Bill has passed the major hurdle by making it out of the Senate Justice and Law Committee last Tuesday.

According to information from Tracy Ellis, GOP Republican Senate Communications Coordinator, SB 5361 would accomplish the following (from the text summary of the bill):

"Authorizes cities and counties to impose a sales and use tax at a rate of 0.10 percent for employing additional commissioned law enforcement officers and funding criminal justice purposes.

• Eliminates the 25 percent cost-sharing requirement by the Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) for law enforcement training.

• Requires the CJTC to provide up to 25 basic law enforcement training classes per fiscal year beginning in fiscal year 2023."

GOP 6th District Senator Jeff Holy (Cheney) said the following about the state of law enforcement in our state:

"Washington now has fewer law-enforcement officers per capita than any state. This decrease in officers, combined with the sharp increase in crime, is making communities less safe. restoring public safety is one of the main priorities for our Senate Republican Caucus this session. This bill would help cities and counties hire more officers, which can only help reduce crime.”

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The bill would also direct some of the state's existing sales tax immediately to help communities with law enforcement. According to information provided by Tracy Ellis:

( the bill would direct) 0.1% of the current state sales tax to local governments to let them hire more law-enforcement personnel. The bill is expected to produce about $250 million a year to help cities and counties hire more officers"

It now moves on to the Senate Ways and Means Committee for more consideration.

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