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HB 2464 (Goodman): Creating a Stalking Civil Protection Order (pdf)
Tacoma special education teacher Jennifer Paulson was shot and killed in 2010 as she walked to work. Her killer was a man she met in college, but with whom she never had a romantic relationship. He stalked Jennifer since 2003, contacting her 10 to 15 times on some days. In another case, a woman and her family members – including young children at one point – were stalked for 17 years by a former classmate from Renton’s Hazen High School. Other cases have involved police and prosecutors stalked by criminals they’ve tried to bring to justice — even jurors targeted by those they voted to convict. Read more.
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HB 2406 (Takko)/SB 6109 (Pridemore): Public Records: Recording Executive Sessions (pdf)
In 2008, the Attorney General and the state Auditor introduced legislation requiring elected officials to record executive sessions and making those recordings a public record subject to disclosure only under court order. That legislation faced heavy opposition from some elected officials.
Allowing—rather than requiring -- government to record executive sessions without fear those recordings will be automatically subject to the PRA creates several benefits:
- It creates a historical record that may be used by members to understand the basis of a prior decision.
- It provides greater accountability for advice received by an attorney in executive session.
- It allows a governing body to review and refute an allegation of a violation of the OPMA during an executive session.
- It allows a governing body to correct mistakes and be more accountable.
- It allows Washington to join other states that allow and protect recordings of executive sessions.
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HB 2741 (Rodne)/SB 6187 (Pflug): Reducing Lawsuit Costs for Public Hospitals (pdf)
The Legislature’s 2006 enactment of Chapter 7.70 RCW and its related 2009 amendment to Chapters 4.92 and 4.96 RCW have resulted in confusion as to the pre-filing notice of claim requirements for bringing suit against public hospitals.
At least one Superior Court Judge has held, in McDevitt v. Harborview Medical Center, et. al., that plaintiffs who assert healthcare claims against a public hospital are not subject to any pre-filing notice requirements. Under this decision, the first notice public hospitals receive of a lawsuit is after it has been filed.
These changes in the law have led to costly uncertainties that are within the Legislature’s power to repair. This is especially important because of the millions in recent budget cuts that affect critical public health services provided by U.W. Medicine at Harborview Medical Center, U.W. Medical Center and U.W. Neighborhood Clinics. Other State colleges and universities with student health clinics, and other State agencies such as the Department of Corrections, also deliver health care.
Reinstating the requirements of Chapters 4.92 and 4.96 RCW, as were in effect between 1963 and 2006, will result in cost savings to the state and to publicly funded hospitals without negatively impacting a person’s ability to press a valid claim against hospitals and medical providers. Read more.
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