ATTORNEY GENERAL OF WASHINGTON
1125 Washington Street SE · PO Box 40100 · Olympia WA 98504-0100
April 29, 2013
Legislature approves new courthouse protections at AG Ferguson’s request
OLYMPIA…The Legislature has approved a bipartisan measure proposed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson to extend current courthouse protections to all residents accessing the courts.
“I’d like to thank all the legislators who voted to add new protections for the thousands of jurors, crime victims, defendants and family members across our state who access Washington courts,” Ferguson said. “People should feel safe when they access the courts—no matter whether they are a judge or a juror.”
Ferguson recognized the measure’s prime sponsor, Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, for sponsoring the bill and helping it move forward.
“Courthouses by their very nature attract conflict—and angry, disgruntled and desperate people often resort to violence when faced with conflict,” Kline said. “People should feel safe when they enter the halls of justice.”
Senate Floor Leader and sponsor of the measure, Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, played an important role in moving this legislation forward as well, Ferguson said. Earlier this year, a man assaulted a plainclothes detective at the Kent courthouse after the detective asked him to stop intimidating witnesses. The assailant claimed he did not know he was assaulting a detective. He just thought he was attacking “some guy in a suit.”
“It shouldn’t matter if you’re a detective, judge or a family member supporting a crime victim. Everyone who accesses our courts should be protected from violence,” said Fain, whose 47th District includes Kent. “This is a common-sense measure designed to safeguard those taking part in our judicial process, which is part of the foundation of our society and should be safe for all.”
Senate Bill 5484 extends protections currently granted to some courthouse, legal and law enforcement personnel to all visitors to Washington courthouses. The bill:
· Increases the penalty for misdemeanor assault in and around a courthouse to a felony – regardless of the victim; and
· Makes committing a felony in and around a courthouse – regardless of the victim – an aggravating factor for a judge to consider during sentencing.
It garnered wide support from law enforcement, prosecutors and victims’ advocates.
ESB 5484 was amended in the House of Representatives to clarify exactly when and where the protections apply and to increase notice to the public.
“Public order is founded on the rule of law,” said Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), prime sponsor of the House version of the bill and chair of the House Public Safety Committee. “Our courthouses are sanctuaries of the rule of law and must therefore be kept safe and secure for our citizens who seek justice there. This new measure will ensure that anyone violating the sanctity of the courthouse will be properly held accountable.”
“As a former judge, I’ve seen firsthand the anxiety and stress people experience when they must testify in a criminal case or engage in a contested small-claims case,” said Sen. Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley), chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee. “I’m proud we were able to work in a bi-partisan manner to protect everyone who accesses our courts.”
“As a lawyer who has spent significant time in courthouses around the state, I know it is not easy to help regular people feel comfortable in a court of law,” said Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle), another key sponsor of the bill. “This bill is an important step toward reassuring these people and others they will be safe.”
The measure is sponsored by Sens. Kline, Frockt, Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island), Christine Rolfes, D- Bainbridge Island, Padden, Fain and Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Belltown).
It originally passed the Senate 40-9. It was amended in the House of Representatives and passed 83-10 with five excused. The Senate agreed to the amendments and passed the bill 35-9 with five excused.
ESB 5484 was delivered to the Governor on Sunday. The Governor has 20 days after adjournment to act. After this deadline, if he has not signed the bill, it will become law without his signature.
Contact: Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, 360-586-0725
| Office of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
1125 Washington Street SE | PO Box 40100 | Olympia | WA | 98504-0100
For the latest news from the AG’s office, visit our Web site at www.atg.wa.gov or follow us on: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, the All Consuming blog, and the In General blog!
House Bill 1840, sponsored by Rep. Roger Goodman and approved 61-37 in the House last week, would bar gun ownership for many people under restraining orders keeping them away from spouses or partners.
|Bill would allow guns to be taken from owners judged a threat to spouse||Fox 13||May 02, 2013|
|A Long But Interesting Piece About Gun Laws in Washington State||The New York Times||March 17, 2013|
|After Boeing objects, lawmakers put drone bill on hold||The Seattle Times||March 15, 2013|
|Boeing complaint sidelines Moxee legislator’s drone bill||Yakima Herald Republic||March 15, 2013|
|Lawmakers eye gun surrender for restraining order||Komo News||March 13, 2013|
|Abandoned bill would have required wider background checks for gun purchases||The Spokesman Review||March 13, 2013|
March 13, 2013
In a largely bipartisan vote, lawmakers decided to make it less likely people will lose their drivers licenses over the inability to pay a traffic fine.
State Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland
By Tom James
House lawmakers did the kind of thing Tuesday that politicians like to talk about in their speeches: They reached across the aisle (mostly) to move a bill making life easier on the poor while cutting state workloads.
The bill, HB 1601, proposes requiring Washington courts to offer a payment plan to people who are too poor to pay traffic fines all at once, with the aim of keeping minor offenders out of criminal court. Of the 98 legislators in the House, 73 voted in favor of the measure.
The bill’s sponsor, Kirkland Democratic Rep. Roger Goodman, said of those the bill aims to help: “They’re not habitual traffic offenders, they weren’t driving impaired, they just weren’t able to pay the fines.”
Poor people, Goodman said, risk falling into a legal trap after even one traffic ticket. Now when they aren’t able to pay, Goodman said, their licenses are suspended.
“Then the downward spiral begins,” Goodman said, when those same people have to choose between not driving and keeping their jobs. Those who choose to drive to work despite having suspended licenses are then often caught and arrested at some point.
By creating a payment plan, Goodman said, the bill would keep those minor offenders out of the criminal system and save criminal justice resources.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where it must work its way through committees before any final vote.
At Home in the Community - Keeping in Touch with Our Values and Our Priorities
Opportunities for Higher Education
|Roger and his seatmate, Larry Springer, celebrating their re-election at the victory party in Kirkland on election night.|
The Washington Secretary of State has now certified the results of the November 6th general election, so we can now say officially that WE WON!!
Our margin of victory was 13 percentage points, the largest margin in my entire career, as we garnered 56.4% of the vote in this tough “swing” district. We worked very hard and it paid off!
It is difficult to express in words how grateful I am to all of you for your ongoing support and friendship. Thanks SO much for the countless hours you devoted to volunteer work, addressing postcards, canvassing the neighborhoods, waving signs on the roadside and making thousands of get-out-the-vote telephone calls at the end of the race. Thanks also for your very generous monetary contributions that made it all possible.
Now comes the hard work in the State Legislature, as we face another budget deficit and an urgent need to increase funding for our public schools. Count on me to stand up and speak up for our public education system, and to continue my work to foster justice in our society and to protect individual rights and the most vulnerable among us.
Thanks again to each of you for your support, inspiration and friendship. We did it and it feels great! Now let’s get to work on the people’s business.
With deep appreciation,
OLYMPIA – Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) has been picked to chair the House Public Safety Committee.
“In a heartbeat, a violent crime or a natural disaster can take away everything — your home, your family, your life,” Goodman said. “Our state laws must do whatever is possible to prevent crime and respond to floods, wildfires and earthquakes, because lives are literally at stake.”
Goodman, an attorney and criminal justice expert, has served as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee for the last six years, which handles non-criminal issues involving the law and courts.
“It’s important to protect citizens from crime while safeguarding individual liberties,” Goodman said. “What’s great about Washington state is that police, prosecutors, citizens and prison officials have all worked together to do things that don’t just sound tough, but actually work.”
Washington’s criminal justice laws and programs are often picked for review by the state’s Institute for Public Policy, which looks at whether new laws and programs actually reduce crime and whether reforms are cost-effective.
“We’ve learned that some things that sound great on TV or in the newspaper actually cost a lot of money and don’t prevent crime at all,” Goodman said. “And we’ve found that things that don’t get the big headlines actually work well to stop crime and save taxpayer dollars. So it’s important to keep trying different options and testing them rigorously, because in the end, we should do what works, not just what sounds good.”
When he first arrived in the House of Representatives and got assigned to the Public Safety Committee, Goodman asked policy staff and police officers what two issues consumed most of their time and resources. They said drunk driving and domestic violence. Since then he’s worked with police, prosecutors, crime victim advocates and other lawmakers on ways to prevent domestic violence and drunk driving, and he’s won national awards for his work in this area.
“Criminals should be punished, but if that’s all you focus on, you’re missing the point,” Goodman said. “The best way to tackle crime is to prevent it from happening at all. Police officers and prosecutors like solving a case — but they like it better when they can prevent a bad situation, actually stop crime before it happens, so there’s no crime victim who got hurt or killed.”
Goodman said he appreciates hearing the stories and ideas of citizens, local police officers, sheriff deputies, prosecutors and crime victims.
“The biggest part of this job is listening,” Goodman said. “Republican or Democrat, prosecutor or defense lawyer, big city detective or small-town sheriff — everybody has stories to tell and ideas on how to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. I look forward to hearing from you, and working with you, to make Washington state an even safer place for our families and our communities.”
# # #
Rep. Roger Goodman
District office: 425-739-1810
|Goodman Named Chair of House Public Safety Committee||Redmond Reporter||December 11, 2012|
|House Bill 1108 Will Right a Legislative Wrong||HorsesAss.org||January 30, 2013|
|Roger with Sheriff Rahr ( Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission) and the CJTC senior staff at a gathering of sheriffs and police chiefs from across the state.|
|House Approves Anti-stalking Bill||The News Tribune||March 11, 2013|
By Bill McKee | March 12, 2013 | copied from The Capitol Record
Victims of stalkers may may soon have a new law to protect them, with the approval of bills in both the Senate and the House that would create a new kind of civil protection order for stalking.
The legislation comes in response to the murder of Jennifer Paulson in 2010. Paulson was an elementary school teacher in Tacoma who was killed by a former co-worker who had stalked her for seven years.
“If we had had further protection for someone like Jennifer through the court system, we could have prevented her death,” said sponsor Rep. Roger Goodman (D – Kirkland) during a floor session in the House on Monday.
Goodman’s bill expands the behaviors that qualify as felony stalking and increases criminal penalties for the crime.
The law currently allows people to get no-contact orders or protection orders for domestic violence or harassment. Both of the new bills would create another type of protection order specifically for cases of stalking.
“It is obvious that we need more protection for those who are stalked,” said Sen. Steve Conway (D – Tacoma) as he introduced a similar bill on the Senate floor on Tuesday.
Conway’s bill doesn’t go quite as far in increasing penalties for stalking as Goodman’s, but it too would create a new anti-stalking protection order.
Both bills received unanimous approval in their respective chambers.