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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2008
Attorney General’s identity theft, consumer protection and community safety legislation moves past cut-off

OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that several of his legislative priorities have survived the Feb. 19 legislative cut-off for bills to pass from their house of origin.

Highlights:

Community Safety:
McKenna’s internet safety legislation to protect Washington children continues to make its way through the Legislature as does his proposed legislation to expand the state employees’ shared leave program to include victims of domestic violence.

  • House Bill 2565, sponsored by Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, would allow non-commissioned law enforcement officials the authority to view child pornography as part of their investigation.  McKenna anticipates compromise language regarding new penalties for viewing child pornography will be added to this bill, keeping the intent of HB 2566 alive. HB 2565 passed the House of Representatives unanimously and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • Substitute Senate Bill 6500, sponsored by Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to qualify for the state employee shared leave program. It is scheduled for a public hearing today at 1:30 p.m. in the House Committee on State Government and Tribal Affairs.

Identity Theft:
McKenna’s two bills fighting identity theft in Washington have passed the House of Representatives. A third bill was attached as an amendment to another piece of legislation. All three House Bills are prime-sponsored by Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe.

  • House Bill 2636 will create a statutory requirement for police to take reports from identity theft victims. It passed the House unanimously and was referred to the Senate Judiciary  Committee. 
  • House Bill 2637 allows records provided by out-of-state businesses to be authenticated  by affidavit rather than in person in criminal cases. The bill passed the House unanimously and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 
  • Substitute House Bill 2638 would have allowed prosecutors to bring separate charges against an accused identity thief for each use of a particular piece of someone’s personal information. SHB 2638 was attached to SB 5878 as an amendment in the House and was scheduled to be heard in the House Committee on Public Safety today at 8:00 a.m.

Mortgage foreclosure fraud:House Bill 2791, helps reduce foreclosure rescue schemes that include an option to allow the original homeowner to buy or lease back the property. The bill is prime-sponsored by Rep. Patricia Lantz, D-Gig Harbor. The bill passed the House unanimously and is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Consumer Protection and Housing Committee on Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Third-party marketing of cell phone numbers:
Second Substitute House Bill 2479, prime sponsored by Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup, incorporates McKenna’s proposed legislation (House Bill 2702) and requires any person in the business of compiling, marketing or selling phone numbers for commercial purposes to obtain a consumer’s express opt-in consent before publishing his or her wireless phone number in a directory. The bill passed the House 92-3 and the Senate Consumer Protection and Housing Committee has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Spyware: 
Substitute House Bill 2879, corrects loopholes and weaknesses in Washington’s Computer Spyware Statute, RCW 19.270 . The bill is prime-sponsored by Speaker Pro Tempore Jeff Morris, D-Anacortes.  The bill passed the House 95-0 yesterday.

Eminent Domain: 
House Bill 2920, prime-sponsored by Rep. Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, requires the Attorney General's Office to develop an eminent domain brochure, explaining eminent domain law, the authority of government agencies to use the law and rights of landowners affected by the law.  Government staff will be required to mail a copy of the brochure with each notice of planned final action in condemnation proceedings. The bill passed the House unanimously and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

All other open government and eminent domain bills requested by McKenna are dead for this session.

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Contact:  J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager – Headquarters, (360) 753-2727

 

 

 

 

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