A measure to create a workplace domestic violence task force was among 147 bills and supplemental budget appropriations Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed Friday in an effort to save money to address COVID-19 repercussions in Washington state.
“While it’s disappointing, the governor’s veto is very understandable and I support it, because we will need to look through the operating budget for any available funds to save lives in this coronavirus crisis,” said Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale, who authored the legislation.
The 14th District lawmaker worked last year for successful passage of House Bill 1533 (domestic violence resources in the workplace) and House Bill 1532 (traumatic brain injury information for domestic violence victims). Both measures were signed into law.
This year, House Bill 1056, a third domestic violence bill Mosbrucker authored, passed the House and Senate unanimously. It would have created a task force on domestic violence and workplace resources to identify the role of the workplace in helping to curb domestic violence.
“Here in Washington state, about 41 percent of women and 32 percent of men have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Often, the workplace is the only safe place for these victims,” said Mosbrucker.
The state Department of Commerce estimated the task force would cost $45,567 in the current budget cycle and the same amount in the 2021-23 fiscal year. The measure called for the task force to submit a report to the Legislature by Dec. 1. 2021. It was vetoed Friday as part of the governor’s budget vetoes.
“Once we get through this coronavirus crisis, I will introduce this legislation again next year so we can provide further resources in the workplace to help domestic violence victims. Right now, we need to concentrate on the immediate virus issue before us — and save lives,” noted Mosbrucker.
Although numerous sections of the supplemental operating budget were vetoed, along with 24 bills, the supplemental capital construction budget remains untouched. That budget includes $250,000 for a new domestic violence shelter in Goldendale.
“I’m very glad we have the funding to get this shelter started and help domestic violence survivors in our local area,” added Mosbrucker.
Three other Mosbrucker bills were signed March 18. They include:
- House Bill 2792 (also known as “Cody’s Law”) – Requires law enforcement or other investigating agency to enter a missing persons case into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system within 30 days. It also requires a county coroner or county medical examiner investigating the death to submit information regarding the body or remains to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons (NamUs) System. The bill is named after Cody Turner, who has been missing from his Yakima home since July 26, 2015, when he was 24 years old.
- House Bill 2819 – Designates the proposed Goldendale Pumped Storage Project as a “project of statewide significance,” which will expedite permitting. The privately funded project involves construction of a hydropower project that uses wind and solar power to pump water to a reservoir on the hill above the former Goldendale aluminum smelter along the Columbia River. Water would be released through turbines when power is needed. The project will clean up the former smelter site, create about 3,000 local jobs and infuse more than $2 billion into the state’s economy.
- House Bill 1750 – Expands the list of people eligible to fill county sheriff’s office vacancies.
The legislative session ended March 12.