Two Wins for Rolfes

A bill to let crime victims weigh in when the criminal is eligible for work release passed both houses of the Legislature. So did a bill that would make National Guard members deployed overseas eligible for county benefits they currently don’t get. Both bills were sponsored in the House by state Rep. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island.

The work release bill was one she tried during the last session. It sailed through the House but never made it to the Senate floor for a vote. This time she got state Sen. Phil Rockefeller, D-Bainbridge Island, to sponsor a companion bill in the Senate. Rolfes’ bill passed 96-0 in the House and Thursday it made it to the Senate floor, where it received a 45-0 vote.

The bill was written at the request of a constituent who had been a crime victim. The constituent didn’t like that she didn’t have any formal way of noting her objection when someone who had been convicted of a crime was eligible for work release and was going to be working close to the constituent’s home. Rolfes’ bill was given more detail between the time it died in the Legislature and when it was written this time around.

The National Guard bill had a similar history. It sailed through the House in 2008, but didn’t get a vote in the Senate. Rolfes got state Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, to sponsor a companion bill. In the House her bill received a 96-0 vote, then passed 48-0 in the Senate Tuesday.

The National Guard bill, which also applies to reserves, is a reflection of our modern wars. The bill expands the definition of the term “veteran,” which previously didn’t include guard are reserves.

Both bills await the governor’s signature, which isn’t likely to happen in any hurry.

7 thoughts on “Two Wins for Rolfes

  1. With a $9.3 Billion deficit new legislation isn’t a “win” for anyone but the special interest group who lobbied the legislator to push it. Here’s a thought: stop characterizing new laws as “wins”. Give me a legislator who’ll take something off the books (I know, I know… you can’t build a legacy THAT way!). Remember: a government’s level of corruption is DIRECTLY proportional to the number of laws it has on the books.

  2. Neither of these bills have a fiscal impact at all. Thank you Chris Rolfes for great legislation that will help so many at 0 cost.

  3. “Both bills await the governor’s signature, which isn’t likely to happen in any hurry.”

    She can’t take two minutes to sign two bills? Probably trying to figure out what the best political angle to take.

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