Two bills sponsored by Holy headed to governor’s desk
The Washington State Senate recently approved two bills sponsored by Rep. Jeff Holy, R-Cheney. Both were approved unanimously and one is scheduled to be signed by the governor April 18. House Bill 1352 would increase the amount of time victims of sexual abuse as children have to prosecute offenders and was passed by the Senate April 9. Victims would have up to 10 years after the abuse, or until their 30th birthday, whichever is later. Currently, the statute of limitations for sex crimes with a minor may only allow prosecution until the victim’s 21st birthday.
“All too often we see victims bravely come forward to share the truth about awful things done to them. Allowing them more time to come to grips with reality and get their lives in order before facing court will not only allow them to seek justice, but could also empower other victims to come forward,” Holy said. “This legislation was needed not only to provide consistency under the law, but also to give closure to victims who might otherwise not share their stories. I’m pleased we were able to work across the aisle to find a common ground to make the law better for victims while ensuring effective prosecution.”
Former Rep. John Ahern, who sponsored previous proposals to extend the statute of limitations, plans to attend the bill signing, as well as Jenny Graham, a victim advocate of the legislation. Holy is an attorney and former Spokane police officer who said he saw many cases where children could not share the truth about abuse. House Bill 1836 passed the Senate April 12. It would ban drugs and weapons from entering McNeil Island, which was recently reclassified as a special commitment housing facility for sex offenders.
“This bill ensures our laws stay current with changes made at McNeil Island to keep contraband out of these secure facilities for everyone’s safety,” Holy said.
The bill is headed to the governor’s desk for his consideration. The governor has five days to sign or veto a bill after it has passed both chambers in the Legislature during session. If the session has adjourned as scheduled April 28, the governor has 20 days after adjournment to take action on bills or allow them to automatically become law.
###Washington State House Republican Communications