protecting the vulnerable

Bailey water-storage and family-caregiver planning bills become law

By Barbara Bailey - Majority Whip | Published on April 04, 2016
After the conclusion of a 20-day special session, two bills sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey, R- Oak Harbor, were signed in a formal ceremony Friday morning. Senate Bill 6589, which was approved near-unanimously, directs state agencies in charge of water management to study the feasibility of water storage to recharge the Skagit River basin so that users... Read More

‘Aiden’s Act’ now law

By Steve O'Ban | Published on May 19, 2015
O’Ban says reform will better protect children when abuse is suspected Sen. Steve O’Ban’s effort to bring about swifter government intervention in cases of suspected child abuse culminated Monday with the signing of “Aiden’s Act.” O’Ban, chair of the Senate human-services committee, named the law created by Senate Bill 5888 for Aiden Barnum, a Port... Read More

Governor signs array of O’Ban social justice reforms

By Steve O'Ban | Published on May 14, 2015
In a formal ceremony today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed three landmark pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County. The first law empowers families seeking mental-health treatment for loved ones, known as “Joel’s Law.” The second ground-breaking reform increases fairness for juvenile offenders in the criminal justice system by changing requirements for sealing... Read More

Governor signs O’Ban human-trafficking bill

By Steve O'Ban | Published on April 28, 2015
Measure supports new training for law enforcement to protect vulnerable populations Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5933 Friday, sponsored by Sen. Steve O’Ban. The new law establishes a statewide training program for those who work on the front line to combat human trafficking. “This law is a needed tool for law enforcement to deal... Read More

O’Ban homeless youth prevention bill now law

By Steve O'Ban | Published on April 28, 2015
Bipartisan efforts boost resources to combat youth homelessness Gov. Jay Inslee signed the Homeless Youth Prevention Act into law Friday. Sponsored by state Sen. Steve O’Ban, Senate Bill 5404 boosts resources to homeless youth and aims to decrease homelessness with greater data and prevention efforts. “This is one of the most important pieces of legislation... Read More

Senate adopts Padden resolution honoring those with Down syndrome

By Mike Padden | Published on April 10, 2015
Today the Senate adopted a resolution sponsored by Sen. Mike Padden, honoring people with Down syndrome and recognizing the efforts of people and organizations working on behalf of those with developmental disabilities. Padden shared his personal commitment to policies that recognize the rights of those with Down syndrome. “As a Legislature and as individuals we... Read More

VIDEO: Senate honors those with Down syndrome

By Mike Padden | Published on April 10, 2015
Watch a video featuring comments from Sen. Padden and some of the Down syndrome self-advocates who attended today’s reading of Senate Resolution 8657, honoring those with Down syndrome and recognizing those individuals and organizations who advocate on their behalf. Read More

O’Ban’s Homeless Youth Act clears Senate

By Steve O'Ban | Published on March 10, 2015
On any given night in the state, there are over 20,000 people who are homeless, with half of those being families. Sen. Steve O’Ban has sponsored Senate Bill 5404, the Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Act, ensuring that homeless youth and adults have support they need to thrive and avoid human trafficking, the criminal justice... Read More

Senate approves O’Ban mental-health reform bills

By Steve O'Ban | Published on March 04, 2015
The Senate dedicated Wednesday afternoon to addressing reforms to the state’s mental-health system. Sen. Steve O’Ban, chair of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health, and Housing Committee has been working to change the way the state delivers essential services and provides mental he-lth treatment. With strong bipartisan support the Senate approved two of his reform... Read More

‘Joel’s Law’ voted out of Senate

By Steve O'Ban | Published on March 04, 2015
The Senate approved Senate Bill 5269, known as ‘Joel’s Law’ with strong bipartisan support. The law is named for Joel Reuter, a severely mentally-ill man who was shot and killed by police in Seattle in July 2013. Sponsor of the bill, Senator Steve O’Ban, chair of the Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee,... Read More

‘Aiden’s Act’ scheduled for public hearing Tuesday

By Steve O'Ban | Published on February 16, 2015
Sen. Steve O’Ban’s effort to bring about swifter intervention in cases of suspected child abuse will come before the Senate Human Services, Mental Health and Housing Committee next week. Senate Bill 5888, known as “Aiden’s Act,” is scheduled for a public hearing at 10 a.m.Tuesday.  The bill is named for Aiden Barnum, a Port Orchard... Read More

Bailey reintroduces Silver Alert providing more public awareness for missing adults

By Barbara Bailey - Majority Whip | Published on January 21, 2015
Sen. Barbara Bailey reintroduced legislation that creates another alert system in Washington State, called the Silver Alert. Similar to the Amber Alert, this legislation aims to address increasing instances of missing, often elderly adults with mental impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Up to 60 percent of persons with a dementia-related disease will wander... Read More

O’Ban introduces ‘Joel’s Law’ to empower families of mentally ill seeking treatment

By Steve O'Ban | Published on January 15, 2015
Public hearing set Monday Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County, today introduced Senate Bill 5269, to be known as “Joel’s Law,” and has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Monday. The bill is named for Joel Reuter, a severely mentally-ill man who was shot and killed by police in Seattle in July 2013. Numerous... Read More