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January 16, 2006
AG presents “Operation: Allied Against Meth” bill to legislative committee - (Radio Version)

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today presented legislation recommended by his “Operation: Allied Against Meth” task force to the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee in Olympia.

He started his testimony by emphasizing the need for additional resources for local communities in the war against meth.

ACTUALITY: “Early in 2005 we added two full-time litigators in our criminal litigation unit just to handle meth cases brought to us from around the state by county prosecutors. Those two individuals were on board by the middle of the summer and by Labor Day had full caseloads of meth prosecutions to handle from counties throughout Washington particularly from some of the rural counties. (23.4 seconds)

He also discussed the impact of the drug on children.

ACTUALITY: “We’ve seen a tremendous impact on our office in terms of foster care cases. In my Bellingham office, Spokane, Vancouver, Kennewick and elsewhere, 80 to 100 percent of the new dependency and new termination cases that we’re handling involve children whose parents use meth.” (17.5 seconds)

Senate Bill 6239 includes additional funding to help local governments fight the meth epidemic, tools for effective meth lab cleanup and more effective treatment, public education and criminal penalties.

ACTUALITY: “This bill is balanced in that it recognizes the paramount importance of both drug treatment and of law enforcement to fighting this problem. The substance abuse treatment community, the law enforcement community– each recognize you need substance abuse treatment which is effective and available and you need law enforcement for those individuals who break the law and end up in jail, but you have to have both.” (24.6 seconds)

The bill now awaits committee approval.

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Contact: Janelle Guthrie, AG Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725

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