Special Reports

Legislature: Bill that requires police domestic violence policies OK'd by House, sent to Locke

The Legislature on Tuesday sent Gov. Gary Locke a bill that would make Washington the first state to require law enforcement agencies to enact policies for dealing with domestic violence by their own officers.

Spurred by Tacoma Police Chief David Brame's fatal shooting of his wife and himself last April, Senate Bill 6161 sets minimum standards for a domestic violence policy to be adopted by local, county and state law enforcement agencies, though it allows the agencies to go further.

"This is a bill that shows that we in the state can learn from tragedy," state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle) said in a brief floor speech. "And we have learned from the Crystal Brame tragedy."

Her colleagues in the state House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass the bill.

Locke has five days to act on the bill, which would require police agencies to have policies in place by June 2005. A Locke spokeswoman said she didn't know if the governor has decided to sign the bill into law.

Sen. Debbie Regala (D-Tacoma) and Rep. Patricia Lantz (D-Gig Harbor), who sponsored a similar bill, believe he will. Regala said they called Locke's office Tuesday to set up a signing ceremony.

In other legislative business Tuesday:

•The House passed a measure that would restart a state treatment program for problem gamblers that ended last year due to lack of funding. House Bill 2776 would provide one-year's worth of funding and create a task force representing private, state and tribal gambling interests to look at more permanent sources of funding.

It heads to the Senate, which gutted, then killed a similar bill earlier this session.

•The House passed a measure that would prohibit employers from making workers or job applicants submit personal genetic information as a condition of employment. Sen. Rosa Franklin (D-Tacoma) had been working on the measure for seven years. SB 6180 goes to the governor.

•The House passed SB 6494, a measure that would prohibit health insurance carriers from putting Social Security numbers on a person's health insurance card. The bill is intended to help prevent identity theft. Companies don't have to comply until Jan. 1, 2006.

•The Senate passed its version of the supplemental transportation budget, HB 2474, setting the stage for formal negotiations with the House over the $4.35 billion spending plan. The Senate plan cuts $1 million from the passenger-only ferry service between Vashon Island and downtown Seattle.

•The Senate passed a measure that would raise licensing and other fees to cover the cost of issuing them. SB 6710 would raise the cost of replacing license plates to $10 from $3, the cost of a driver's instruction application to $20 from $10, and the cost of an occupational driver's license to $100 from $25.

On the other hand, the bill also would lower the cost of registering a personal trailer from $30 a year to $15.

•The Legislature gave final approval to HB 3158, which expands a tax break for manufacturing equipment to include computer equipment used primarily in the printing or publishing of printed material, including newspapers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

How to get involved

For information or to contact legislators, call the legislative hot line at 1-800-562-6000 or visit www.leg.wa.gov.