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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Legislation has passed the state Senate to eliminate the death penalty. If you recall, Gov. Inslee issued an executive order a few years ago to stop the death penalty. In October of last year, the state Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional in its application; but the law itself wasn't unconstitutional.

Normally, in a case like this, the Legislature would then work to fix the statute. Instead, Senate Democrats introduced Senate Bill 5339 to completely do away with the death penalty in state law.

But what's really disturbing is the next bill they're pushing. Senate Bill 5819 would eliminate the next highest punishment, “life without the possibility of parole.” This means the maximum sentence violent sexual predators and murderers could receive would be life in prison with parole, which is equal to about 15-20 years with good behavior.

I have serious concerns about this push to reduce sentences for violent offenders. We're seeing violent sexual predators being released in Spokane right now. What will happen when these types of offenders are only serving 8-12 years after plea bargain deals?

What do you think? Do you support efforts to reduce sentences for violent sexual predators? Take my violent crime sentencing survey here and let me know what you think.

Gun legislation
As I've sent to you before, you can access a list of House gun bills moving through the Legislature here. Legislation to overturn I-1639 was recently introduced as well. I'd like to know what you think about this idea. Should lawmakers work to overturn I-1639? Take my gun control online survey here.

Public Option health care plan
I have serious concerns about the governor's public option health care plan. There are costs associated with the plan, but there are also cost shifts. I believe his plan will make it harder to find care, especially in rural areas. What people sometimes fail to realize is that insurance does not equal care. You can watch my short video on my concerns with his plan here.

Stay tuned for an announcement about our upcoming 9th Legislative District telephone town hall with my seatmate, Rep. Mary Dye. We hope to have that locked down shortly.

Thank you for reading my email update and for giving me your feedback on these important issues. It is an honor to serve you in Olympia.


Joe Schmick

State Representative Joe Schmick, 9th Legislative District
426B Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7844 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000