Backers of vehicle pursuit law may hit a wall in the Senate

It is Day 10 in the Legislature. A wealth tax arrives and debate on lawmakers’ records continues

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112

2023 Washington Legislature, Day 10 of 105

Everett Herald political reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com | @dospueblos

Want this in your inbox Monday-Wednesday-Friday? Subscribe here.

OLYMPIA, Jan. 18, 2023 — Good afternoon. Just like that, 10 percent of the 2023 session is gone.

So too might be a priority of many Democrats and pretty much every Republican. I’m talking about a rewriting of the state’s vehicle pursuit law.

Sen. Manka Dhingra made it clear Tuesday she’s not interested in retooling the language. At least not in ways now being proposed.

That’s a big deal because she is chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee through which any proposal must eventually pass.

“It is so politicized that I don’t believe the Legislature is the best body to now make changes on this,” she told reporters Tuesday.

A quick recap. Used to be cops could initiate a chase with “reasonable suspicion” if they believed a person in a vehicle had committed a crime. Now they need “probable cause” and a supervisor’s OK before launching a pursuit.

Concern that suspected wrongdoers are fleeing from those with a badge has incited mayors and law enforcement officials to pressure state lawmakers to reinstate the former language.

Bills to do that have been introduced with bipartisan support in the House and the Senate. Forty lawmakers have already signed onto the House version.

Dhingra said she’s not hearing the Senate bill and will wait to see what the House sends over.

“I think that language is problematic because it takes us backwards to a time when we had innocent people dying because they just happened to be at the wrong place the wrong time,” she said.

The Washington Coalition for Police Accountability said this week there’s been fewer deaths with the new standard: 11 in the year before the change and 3 after.

When lives of innocent people are saved “it is very hard” to change the policy, Dhingra said.

Taxing billionaires

A group of Democratic lawmakers will unveil their newest tax proposal at lunchtime Thursday. Dubbed a wealth tax, it takes aim at Washington residents with the deepest pockets.

It will “create a narrowly tailored property tax on extreme wealth derived from the ownership of stocks, bonds, and other financial assets,” according to a release. It will exempt the first $250 million of assessed value as well.

Similar bills will be introduced Thursday in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, and New York, the Washington Post reports.

When asked about the wealth tax earlier this week, Republican leaders said Democrats introducing new taxes is not very newsworthy.

To redact or not to redact

Lawmakers are learning what city, county and school leaders have known for awhile: Complying with the Public Records Act isn’t easy. There are no short cuts.

Roughly three years ago the state Supreme Court concluded legislators were not exempt from the law, clearing the way for their emails and other records to be made available for those who want to request them.

Then a few started asserting something called “legislative privilege” to block out stuff they didn’t want everyone to read. Shauna Sowersby of McClatchy got on this first and Joseph O’Sullivan of Crosscut has been digging into it deeply of late.

A court will decide if such constitutional protection exists. What’s clear is the process employed in the two chambers invited overuse. That process is changing.

Before, lawmakers would be told if material in a record might be covered by legislative privilege and asked if they wanted to assert it. If a week or so passed without a response, the silence was interpreted as a ‘yes’ to assert.

No more. Lawmakers must own it. If they are silent, material will get released. As O’Sullivan reported, previously redacted records are about to get unredacted as lawmakers look to erase the privilege that had been asserted in their name.

Stay tuned.

To subscribe to the Cornfield Report, go to www.heraldnet.com/newsletters. | Previous Cornfield Reports here.

News clippings

Compiled by: House Democrats | House Republicans

On TV

Non-profit TVW covers state government in Olympia and selected events statewide. Programs are available for replay on the internet, and the channel is widely available on Washington cable systems.

TVW schedule | Current and recent video | Shows

Links

Contact your legislator | District lookup | Bill lookup

Legislature home | House | Senate

Caucuses: House Democrats | House Republicans | Senate Democrats | Senate Republicans

Office of the Governor

Laws and agency rules

Beat reporters: Jerry Cornfield (Everett Herald) | Tom Banse (NW News Network) | Jim Brunner (Seattle Times) | Laurel Demkovich (Spokesman-Review) | Joseph O’Sullivan (Crosscut) | Melissa Santos (Axios) | Shauna Sowersby (McClatchy newspapers) | Claire Withycombe (Times)

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Oso man gets 1 year of probation for killing abusive father

Prosecutors and defense agreed on zero days in jail, citing documented abuse Garner Melum suffered at his father’s hands.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin steps back and takes in a standing ovation after delivering the State of the City Address on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at the Everett Mall in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
In meeting, Everett mayor confirms Topgolf, Chicken N Pickle rumors

This month, the mayor confirmed she was hopeful Topgolf “would be a fantastic new entertainment partner located right next to the cinemas.”

Alan Edward Dean, convicted of the 1993 murder of Melissa Lee, professes his innocence in the courtroom during his sentencing Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Bothell man gets 26 years in cold case murder of Melissa Lee, 15

“I’m innocent, not guilty. … They planted that DNA. I’ve been framed,” said Alan Edward Dean, as he was sentenced for the 1993 murder.

FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Sept. 30, 2020. Boeing said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, that it took more than 200 net orders for passenger airplanes in December and finished 2022 with its best year since 2018, which was before two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jet and a pandemic that choked off demand for new planes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Boeing’s $3.9B cash burn adds urgency to revival plan

Boeing’s first three months of the year have been overshadowed by the fallout from a near-catastrophic incident in January.

Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)
Bail set at $2M in wrong-way crash that killed Lynnwood woman, 83

The Kenmore man, 37, fled police, crashed into a GMC Yukon and killed Trudy Slanger on Highway 525, according to court papers.

A voter turns in a ballot on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, outside the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
On fourth try, Arlington Heights voters overwhelmingly pass fire levy

Meanwhile, in another ballot that gave North County voters deja vu, Lakewood voters appeared to pass two levies for school funding.

Judge Whitney Rivera, who begins her appointment to Snohomish County Superior Court in May, stands in the Edmonds Municipal Court on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge thought her clerk ‘needed more challenge’; now, she’s her successor

Whitney Rivera will be the first judge of Pacific Islander descent to serve on the Snohomish County Superior Court bench.

In this Jan. 4, 2019 photo, workers and other officials gather outside the Sky Valley Education Center school in Monroe, Wash., before going inside to collect samples for testing. The samples were tested for PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as dioxins and furans. A lawsuit filed on behalf of several families and teachers claims that officials failed to adequately respond to PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, in the school. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Judge halves $784M for women exposed to Monsanto chemicals at Monroe school

Monsanto lawyers argued “arbitrary and excessive” damages in the Sky Valley Education Center case “cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Mukilteo Police Chief Andy Illyn and the graphic he created. He is currently attending the 10-week FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. (Photo provided by Andy Illyn)
Help wanted: Unicorns for ‘pure magic’ career with Mukilteo police

“There’s a whole population who would be amazing police officers” but never considered it, the police chief said.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.