Bill requiring state employees to be truthful heads to Senate floor
Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn expects a measure that she's sponsored requiring that state employees tell the truth to be voted on by the full Senate next week, her office announced Thursday.
“I decided to introduce this measure after evidence surfaced indicating that Child Protective Services workers were lying in a court of law in an effort to remove a child from the care of her grandparents,” said Roach. “That kind of behavior among public servants is despicable and the state of Washington shouldn’t tolerate it.”
Senate Bill 5504 would require all state employees to be truthful and forthright when providing information or answering questions relating to the scope of their employment.
The proposal is modeled after a similar policy in the Washington State Patrol which states that all officers must comply with agency policies and adhere to their duty to be truthful and honest in the conduct of their official duties.
“If an officer is untruthful, they lose their job,” Roach said. “An officer would no longer be able to testify in court. That level of truthfulness should be the standard. As public servants, we all need to be held to a higher level of truthfulness.”
Dahlquist statement on Supreme Court ruling tossing out voter-approved taxpayer protections
The requirement of a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to increase taxes included in Initiative 1053 was deemed unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court Thursday. A supermajority, or two-thirds, vote of the Legislature to pass tax increases has been supported by voters five times, including the recently-passed Initiative 1185, which passed with 64 percent voter support statewide and 73 percent support in the 31st Legislative District.
Rep. Cathy Dahlquist, R-Enumclaw and lead Republican on the House Education Committee, expressed her concern that today’s ruling would sideline any work on prioritizing state spending and encourage House Democrats to go straight for the wallets of struggling taxpayers. She issued the following comments after today’s ruling:
“As someone who has fought for prioritized spending, particularly funding education first, the state Supreme Court ruling today virtually ensures that every program other than education will be funded first, then the majority party in the House will decry that tax increases are necessary ‘for the children.’ Tax collections are growing at a rate of roughly seven percent each budget cycle, or about $2 billion dollars. I think Olympia is already taking enough from citizens.
“It’s clear a majority of taxpayers understand the concept of restraining government spending and taxes and that they believe education and other priorities of government, such as public safety and services for the most vulnerable, can be funded within current tax collections. Taxpayers agree with House Republicans – they want a state government that spends every dollar wisely before demanding more of their hard-earned paychecks. Now, the only way taxpayers will get their wish going forward is if the supermajority vote provision for tax increases is put in the state constitution.”
To read more about House Republicans’ proposal to put the two-thirds requirement in the House rules, visit: www.houserepublicans.wa.gov/news/legislature/amending-rules-for-the-people.