Members of the state Senate Law and Justice Committee will take up a mix of criminal-justice and business-law issues – and revisit a constitutional question – when they come to Spokane Valley for an afternoon work session Oct. 2.
“It isn’t easy for people from our area to travel to the Capitol, so this is a way to bring state government to them,” said Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, who is committee chairman. “The issues on our agenda should be of interest not only locally but to property owners, families, employers and others statewide.”
Subjects slated for the 1-3 p.m. work session at Spokane Valley City Hall are:
- Electronic monitoring/home detention;
- Habitual property offenders – the subject of legislation Padden introduced earlier this year;
- Sentencing options related to mental health/illness, such as the possibility of treatment in lieu of jail (similar to how drug courts operate);
- Patent “trolling” – an evolving problem, especially in the technology sector, which makes it especially important to Washington;
- Proposed revisions to state law concerning Limited Liability Companies (LLCs); and
- The constitutional separation of powers between the legislative, judicial and executive branches of state government.
At its June meeting the committee discussed how the state Supreme Court’s decisions in the McCleary education-funding case have raised separation-of-powers questions. After the justices earlier this month found lawmakers guilty of contempt, for not doing exactly as the court demanded, Padden added that subject to the agenda for next week’s session.
Padden said Dean Grafos, Spokane Valley mayor, will welcome the members of his committee to City Hall, 11707 East Sprague Ave. It will be the Senate panel’s second Spokane County meeting in less than a year; the law and justice committee gathered at Gonzaga Law School in November 2013 for a session that featured a discussion about the state’s battle against sex traffickers and Padden’s acceptance of a national honor for the work he and other lawmakers had done to make Washington an anti-trafficking leader.