Tribal legal rights, prison justice reform on AG Ferguson’s 2021 legislative agenda

Jan. 26—Tribal legal rights and felony justice reform are large on Washington Legal professional Standard Bob Ferguson’s agenda for this legislative agenda.


Ferguson’s legislative slate, which was announced Friday, consists of a invoice to enshrine in point out legislation the Lawyer General’s Office’s initial-of-its-kind coverage that necessitates the business office to acquire educated consent from Washington’s 29 federally recognized tribes before initiating a plan or undertaking that impacts tribes, tribal rights, tribal lands and sacred internet sites.

Alongside with his tribal agenda, Ferguson is re-introducing his legislation abolishing the demise penalty and limiting high-capacity publications.

HIs agenda also includes a new bill necessitating the assortment and publication of facts on the use of deadly force by regulation enforcement, which previously has passed out of committee with bipartisan assist, and an additional prohibiting cost gouging throughout emergencies.

“My office environment enforces and defends point out regulation — and we also operate to improve condition regulation to gain Washingtonians,” Ferguson stated in a assertion.

Below are some of the important concerns on his agenda:

General public safety and felony justice reform

Use of lethal drive knowledge collection: Ferguson is proposing laws to produce a centralized, publicly accessible databases containing all incidents of law enforcement use of fatal power in Washington state. Presently, there is no single spot where the community and lawmakers can acquire data about the use of fatal force by legislation enforcement officers.

Superior-ability journal limits: Ferguson is reintroducing laws to prohibit the sale or possession of significant-capability magazines keeping a lot more than 10 rounds. The invoice consists of exceptions for grandfathered publications, legislation enforcement, navy personnel and leisure capturing ranges. A number of federal courts have upheld these general public basic safety bans as constitutional.

Banning assault weapons: The Attorney Basic is reintroducing laws in 2021 to ban the sale of army-design assault weapons in Washington condition. The invoice contains exceptions for grandfathered weapons, legislation enforcement, military staff and leisure shooting ranges. Seven states already have a equivalent ban that federal courts have upheld.

Repealing the death penalty: For the fifth session, Ferguson is requesting a invoice to repeal Washington’s dying penalty. In 2018, the point out Supreme Court docket observed that Washington’s use of the demise penalty is “racially biased,” “arbitrary” and “lacks fundamental fairness,” but the ruling did not repeal the legislation. Ferguson’s monthly bill handed the Senate last yr, but not the Home.

Respecting tribal treaty rights

Totally free, prior and educated consent from tribes: This legislative session, Ferguson is requesting legislation that would codify this coverage, making sure it simply cannot be unilaterally eradicated by potential Lawyers Typical. As section of the laws, the Lawyer General’s Office would be essential to chorus from submitting any litigation versus a tribal governing administration or tribal-owned company without the need of 1st engaging in meaningful consultation to take care of the dispute.

Defending off-reservation treaty legal rights and state-tribal cooperative agreements: Ferguson and the point out Division of Fish & Wildlife are jointly proposing laws to repeal a 1984 unenforceable, anti-tribal statute codified in condition regulation as RCW 77.110. The regulation casts a shadow over treaty fishing legal rights and the state’s nicely-established cooperative fisheries management agreements with tribes, Ferguson contends.

Consumer protections

Price tag gouging: The Legal professional General’s Business office has gained far more than 1,300 complaints from residents about excessive price tag will increase on objects like face masks or hand sanitizer during the pandemic. But Washington does not have a unique legislation to prohibit cost gouging in the course of a point out of unexpected emergency. Ferguson is proposing a monthly bill that provides a apparent and unambiguous definition of selling price gouging and establishes civil penalties for violations.

Strengthening the Consumer Protection Act: The condition Client Defense Act at this time allows up to $2,000 in penalties for every violation. These penalties have not greater considering the fact that they have been adopted in 1970. Ferguson’s laws would modify the penalties to $13,350 for every every unfair or misleading exercise that violates the act.

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