Reps. Drew Stokesbary and Eric Robertson release statement on Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto of budget proviso restricting placement of sexually violent predators in communities like Enumclaw

House Republican Leader Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, and Caucus Vice Chair Eric Robertson, R-Sumner, released the following statement today regarding Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto of language requiring notice before sexually violent predators could be placed in local communities and near Tribal reservations:

“After a sexually violent predator was placed in our district without advance notice to the community or the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, whose reservation is less than one mile away, we introduced budget language requiring DSHS to provide local government officials with notice and an opportunity to comment before placing a sexually violent predator within their communities. The same notice and opportunity for comment would also have been extended to federally recognized Indian Tribes before a sexually violent predator could be placed within one mile of their reservation.

“It is unconscionable that DSHS isn’t already doing this, considering the public safety implications of placing sexually violent predators in established neighborhoods, often near school bus stops and other community amenities. And with alarming rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women, DSHS should be going out of its way to consult with Tribes that worry about the safety of their members.

“So it is appalling that the governor chose to veto this common-sense reform, claiming simple notice requirements are somehow ‘administratively burdensome.’ Though perhaps it should be of little surprise that he would find basic notice requirements too ‘burdensome’ for an agency with a legacy of failure, staffed by his appointees, which has seen the loss of federal certification at multiple state institutions, from Rainier School to Western State Hospital. It is also deeply unsettling that the governor’s own veto letter says he intends to continue prioritizing the ease of placing sexually violent predators in our communities above the safety of our communities. This stubborn approach to governing is exactly why so many of our constituents on the Enumclaw Plateau were thrilled to hear this would be Governor Inslee’s final term.

“Ironically, the governor vetoed this proviso with no notice to us or the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Our communities deserve better. Washington’s sovereign Tribes deserve better. We will continue fighting to keep sexually violent predators from being placed in Enumclaw or any other neighborhood across the state without notice, collaboration, and meaningful participation from local officials, Tribal governments, and community members. This veto is not the end. It is just the beginning of our efforts to hold DSHS and the governor accountable for their mismanagement of this issue.”

###

Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov