Senator Manka Dhingra attempts to escape responsibility for banning police from pursuing suspected criminals, which most WA law enforcement agencies blame for skyrocketing crime rates.
Was Democrat Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins attempting to be humorous when she claimed the legislature did “our job to govern” when everyone knows that the Democrat lawmakers allowed Governor Inslee to eliminate the co-equal powers of the legislative branch as he has abused “emergency” powers for more than 800 days? The speaker made this absurd claim in a Tacoma News Tribune op-ed published this week. Of course, Speaker Jinkins never explains in the article how removing the legislature from the lawmaking process is actually fulfilling her claim that the legislature did “our job to govern.” While Speaker Jinkins extols the virtues of how the Democrats gave away a record-breaking $15 billion in surplus taxpayer funds funding projects making state government permanently bigger and more expensive, she fails to mention that the Democrat-controlled Washington Legislature was one of a very few in the country which failed to provide any type of tax relief to low- and middle- income households financially struggling due to inflation caused by liberal economic policies. (Click to read full Shift Article)
Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center clears up the controversy surrounding the Pew Research’s data showing that Washington State does not have enough money in a protected “Rainy Day Fund” to last even one day. The Daily Briefing carried yesterday the Pew Research graphic revealing that Washington was the only state in the country which failed to set aside money for an emergency. Evidently several Democrat lawmakers took exception to the map, but the confusion is the result of their failure to act responsibly during the 2022 session by placing reserve funds back into a protected account.
We must go back to 2007 when Washington State voters passed a constitutional amendment to place money into a “Rainy Day Fund” (called the Budget Stabilization Account or BSA). Legislators could spend money from the BSA with a three-fifths vote or with a simple majority vote if one of the following two conditions was met;
- State employment growth is forecasted to be less than 1%, or
- The governor declares an emergency
Since Governor Inslee declared an emergency due to the COVID pandemic on February 29, 2020 (804 days ago), a simple majority of the legislature in 2021 moved the funds from the BSA into a new “shadow” account (the “Washington Rescue Plan Transition Account”) that allowed lawmakers to spend the money as if it were a part of the state’s General Fund account. And, even after these funds were not spent, the Democrat legislators chose during the 2022 session not to transfer the money out of the slush fund they created and return it to the constitutionally protected BSA – likely because this transfer would be yet another indication that an “emergency” no longer existed, and that the governor should end his undemocratic and divisive abuse of “emergency” powers.
So while current Democrat lawmakers contend that the Pew Research map is incorrect and that there really is money in the state’s “Rainy Day Account,” they should look in the mirror for not protecting this money in a secure account to make sure it is not part of the next effort by Democrat lawmakers to increase the cost and size of state government. (Washington Policy Center blog post, May 12th Daily Briefing, and Pew Research map)
Democrat State Senator Manka Dhingra (Redmond) actually attempts in a Seattle Times’ op-ed to defend the criminal-friendly ban on police pursuits featured in the Democrats’ 2021 anti-police package. This mistake has allowed hundreds, if not thousands, of criminals avoid police detention by simply driving away from police officers. Nearly all Washington State law enforcement agencies assert that the no-pursuit policy is a major factor in the dramatic increase in crime in Washington State.
But not Senator Dhingra, who worked in a prosecutorial position earlier in her career, though that element of her past is overshadowed by her coddling criminals since joining the legislature.
It is well known among criminals in Washington State, especially car thieves, that police are prohibited in nearly all situations from pursuing suspected criminals even if an officer sees them driving in a vehicle which is known to be stolen. Thus, when criminals encounter police officers, they simply speed up a little and the officer must stop the pursuit.
Senator Dhingra attempts to portray the Democrats’ legislation as preventing all of these situations from escalating into full high-speed chases which endanger people’s lives. Yet police say that most of these leaving-the-scene incidents are now the result of criminals knowing they can flee without consequence due to the Democrats’ laws, and so they do. Police contend that, in the past generally criminals didn’t want to risk serious injuries by attempting to out-run well-trained police officers, and they would simply pull over. Senator Dhingra also contends that “good old-fashioned investigative work” finally led to the arrest of some of these criminals, yet she fails to consider that this police work could have been spent tracking down criminals in other cases if police didn’t have spend extra time working on cases where the Democrats’ legislation first allows a criminal to go free. (Seattle Times and Washington Association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs)
The Washington State Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a blood level measurement is allowed to determine if a driver is illegally under the influence of marijuana. A driver who was pulled over by a Washington State Patrol officer for speeding and “weeding” (pun intended) through traffic in 2017, contended that the state’s 5ng/ml limit of THC blood concentration was arbitrary and did not take into consideration factors such as body fat or frequency of cannabis use. The justices ruled unanimously against the defendant, stating that while the limit may be arbitrary, it serves the legal purpose to discourage driving after using cannabis. (Seattle Times)
Speaking of marijuana, it is still illegal to grow the plant without a state I-502 license, and on Thursday multiple law enforcement agencies busted up a pot-growing operation in Mason and Thurston counties operated by “Chinese nationals.” The cannabis was being grown to sell illegally on the East Coast. Large growing operations like these often are located in converted residential homes, posing several health and safety threats due to the chemicals used to grow the plants being dumped into the sewer system and the amount of electricity it takes to power grow lamps and heaters. (The Olympian)
Incredibly, more than 22,000 Washington residents are still waiting to receive rulings on their appeals involving payments from Governor Jay Inslee’s Employment Security Department (ESD). Many of these appeals involve the ESD claiming that some recipients received overpayments while others should not have received payments at all. The two-year process has caused undue stress on many Washington residents, since they no longer have the money being demanded by the state after using it to pay rent and other bills while they were not allowed to work. (Q13 Fox News)
A rival school transportation company contends that the Seattle School District improperly evaluated proposals before it once again awarded its lucrative three-year bus contract to the same bus company the district has used for 30 years. California bus company Zum Services contends the district failed to consider that its proposal included the extra expense of providing buses which allow access for those in wheelchairs, while the proposal from the First Student company did not include this extra expense. Zum argues that if the extra expense had been added to the First Student proposal that Zum’s bid would have scored higher in the district’s own ranking system. School district officials refused to comment on Zum’s argument. (MyNorthwest)
Three Richland School Board members who voted to make wearing a face mask optional in classrooms have said they will appeal to the Washington State Supreme Court the decision by a Benton County Superior Court judge to allow a recall campaign against them to proceed. While most of the charges against the three board members involve allegations regarding open public meetings laws and ethics violations, the attorney for the three members contend the charges are primarily related to their decision to allow students to choose whether they wanted to wear a mask. The school board members contend their actions were supported by the Benton Franklin Health District and came after Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal stated it was time for students to take off their masks. It’s worth noting that the court decision is not based on whether the three school board members broke any law, but on whether the recall charges made against them are “sufficiently supported.” (Tri-Cities Herald)
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