House passes two bills sponsored by Holy
Victims’ rights, McNeil Island restrictions legislation adopted unanimously
Two measures sponsored by Rep. Jeff Holy, R-Cheney, passed the House of Representatives today. These are the first bills sponsored by Holy to pass the House during his first term as a 6th District state representative.
The first measure, House Bill 1352, would extend the time victims of sex crimes as children have to bring a predator to justice. It passed the House unanimously. If signed into law, victims who were children when the crime occurred could prosecute a suspect up until 10 years after the abuse, or until their 30th birthday, whichever is later. Currently, a statute of limitations for sex crimes with a minor may only allow prosecution until the victim’s 21st birthday.
“Having worked in law enforcement as a police officer and detective, I have witnessed the devastation experienced by victims of sexual abuse and the horrific aftermath it has on victims’ lives,” Holy said. “The importance of House Bill 1352 is that it allows those affected by sex crimes to come forward in their own time, but within a reasonable timeframe. Giving victims until they are thirty years-old to report the person who, in many cases, changed their lives for the worse is the right thing to do.”
Former State Rep. John Ahern, victims and victims’ families testified in favor of House Bill 1352 on Feb. 5, saying children of repeated abuse often repress the memories or suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.
Holy’s second measure is House Bill 1836, which would provide the same rules and penalties for secure facilities like McNeil Island Special Commitment Center regarding prohibited drugs and weapons that exist for state prisons. The bill passed the House unanimously. If signed into law, it would make bringing contraband to McNeil Island a misdemeanor or felony violation subject to penalties dependent on the type of banned substance or weapon, and the intent behind bringing the items into the facility.
“Issues of contraband in McNeil Island have arisen over the years and it is time to put some teeth in the laws that address punishment for the possession of dangerous drugs and weapons,” Holy said. “This is not just for the protection of the sex offenders, who are civilly committed, but for our corrections officers who work tirelessly to protect themselves, those housed in the facility and fellow staff from dangerous situations. It’s a common-sense measure that would lead to better safety and security for everyone at McNeil.”
Both House Bill 1352 and House Bill 1836 will head to the Senate for further consideration. The 105-day legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 28.
###Washington State House Republican Communications