Last year, Rep. Troy Kelley (D-Tacoma) sponsored legislation to improve the way bail is administered in Washington. Today, he testified on behalf of his House Bill 1194 to continue limiting the number of dangerous offenders roaming our streets. “We’ve taken a clear step forward in protecting our families and law enforcement officers,” Kelley said. “Let’s continue those efforts.”
Kelley’s HB 1194 permanently ends the practice of booking bail, which allowed the shooter in the tragic November 2009 Lakewood officer shootings to post bail on the weekend without seeing a judge. Under current state law, the use of booking bail is suspended until Aug. 1, 2011. Kelley’s bill removes that expiration date and requires that bail continue to be determined by a judge.
Prior to the suspension, approximately seven counties used booking bail and released felons according to a formula, without seeing a judge at all.
“We’re not talking about clogging up courts, we’re talking about saving lives,” Kelley said.
Please click here to watch public testimony on HB 1194 in today’s House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee hearing.