State Rep. Valdez fought false police reports in 2020 legislative session

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Rep. Javier Valdez D-46
By Evan Smith

State Rep Javier Valdez said Thursday that his work during the recent legislative session focused on increasing penalties for making false police reports and on limiting the capacity of the magazines on firearms.

Valdez is a member of the committee on civil rights and the judiciary in the state House of Representatives, the Transportation Committee and the Education Committee.

He is a Democrat representing Lake Forest Park and the rest of the 46th Legislative District.

As second vice chairman of the Transportation Committee, he saw the saving of a transportation project in Lake Forest Park.

His bill on false police reports (HB 2632) targets a practice called swatting, in which hate groups make false reports to divert police while they harass someone. The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Pollet D-46, and Reps Ryu and Davis both D-32.

Washington state members of a neo-Nazi group have been charged with using swatting to harass journalists as recently as this year,” he said. 
“By increasing punishments for these irresponsible actions, HB 2632 will save innocent people from trauma, injury, and death. Now that the Governor has signed this bill into law, I hope that swatting is no longer used as an act of hate against marginalized communities.”

His bill to limit high capacity magazines was passed out of committee, but, he said, “After HB 2240, my bill to limit high capacity magazines, was passed out of committee, House Republicans submitted over 100 amendments to the bill. The time needed to consider all 122 amendments prevented this bill from having a fair debate on the House floor.

“I sponsored another bill, HB 2947, in another attempt to continue to improve public safety in Washington state. Unfortunately, we ran out of time before we could get a vote out of committee. I will sponsor this common-sense gun-safety measure again next year.”

Valdez noted that the transportation project -- the Lake Forest Park roundabout at Ballinger Way and 40th Place, which was paused at the beginning of session, is now back on track to move forward.

He said, “Despite the challenges of I-976, we still put the people of Washington first as we created our transportation budget.”

Initiative I-976, passed in the November, 2019, elections capped taxes on cars tabs at $30, reducing the amount of revenue available for transportation projects.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com



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