Update: Olympia hearing on “Jason McKissack Act” (and more)

(Photo added 5:20 pm – those here for previous bills have left, public safety folks now seated for 1679)
3:47 PM, ORIGINAL NOTE: We are in Olympia for the State Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing that will include EHB 1679, to remedy the situation that has left former SPD Officer Jason McKissack and his family losing health coverage because a 2008 attack in West Seattle left him unable to work. Public testimony is expected. The state House already passed the bill, but the Senate is where it stalled last year.

4:43 PM: 1679 hasn’t come up yet – 6851, the Clean Water bill, was up first … 39 witnesses. (Added 5:25 pm – among them, speaking in the photo above, West Seattle resident Martha Kongsgaard, on behalf of the Puget Sound Partnership, one of the supporters.) It was preceded by testimony on a few others including one that Sen. Joe McDermott (who is on this committee and here at the hearing) tells us can affect financing for the Fauntleroy Community Services Agency and Fauntleroy Schoolhouse’s future.

5:27 PM: 1679 is up. Looks like they are running out of time and may not have any public testimony – Sen. McDermott tells us a Senate floor session is coming up at 5:45 to take up amendments to the bill that suspends I-960, a hot topic at the Town Hall in West Seattle last Saturday. The legislative staffer who is speaking about 1679 now says it would cost the state about $800,000.

5:48 PM: The committee meeting is adjourned. They did wind up hearing very quickly from six people – including Jason McKissack’s wife Kim McKissack, and two Seattle Police Guild leaders, Sgts. Rich O’Neill and Ty Elster. Sgt. Elster read a statement from Jason, who did not feel well enough to be here. Next up – this committee will decide whether to advance the bill to the full Senate.

9:31 PM: Adding video — first, Kim McKissack and Renee Maher, the law-enforcement advocate who is also the widow of Federal Way Officer Patrick Maher, killed in the line of duty in 2003:

And the Seattle Police Guild leaders who spoke before them – Sgt. O’Neill is first, with the “help the officer” message he also gave the House Ways and Means Committee; Sgt. Elster, second.

No one signed up to testify against 1679. If you want to contact Ways and Means members about the bill, their names and contact info can be found here.

4 Replies to "Update: Olympia hearing on "Jason McKissack Act" (and more)"

  • Sen Joe McDermott February 22, 2010 (7:08 pm)

    The testimony — Jason’s fellow officer’s and especially Kim’s — was very compelling this afternoon. I’ll be working to advance this bill out of the Ways & Means Committee and through the full Senate.

  • WMF February 22, 2010 (11:46 pm)

    Before I start writing emails… basically, I should ask everyone on Ways & Means to support this? I’m still a newbie to this whole being active thing :P

    • WSB February 23, 2010 (12:00 am)

      They are the ones who must vote on it next. If it doesn’t get out of their committee, it doesn’t get to all the other senators. The only senator who represents our area is Sen. McDermott, who as you see here in comments, is promising to do what he can to move it along.

  • Kelly Fox February 23, 2010 (2:31 pm)

    WMF, et al,

    Please ask every member of the Senate Ways & Means to vote “do pass” and move the bill to the Senate Rules committee for second reading. (Simply stated, pass the bill out of committee as soon as possible, so the rest of the Senators can pass the bill on the Senate floor)

    There are 22 members of this committee and at least 6 of them have some piece of the City of Seattle in their district.

    Contact them all, every legislator has police officers or firefighters who work in their district and will be protected by this bill.

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