McCabe bills clear committee hurdles in the House

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McCabe bills clear committee hurdles in the House

Two bills prime-sponsored by Rep. Gina McCabe that would increase veteran employment and a measure that would strengthen laws related to voyeurism passed their respective policy committees this week.

House Bill 2040 directs the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA), Employment Security, and Department of Commerce to consult with local chambers of commerce, associate development organizations and businesses to initiate a campaign resulting in an increase in veteran employment in Washington. The DVA would maintain a database of those participating and share percentages of cities, counties and districts that employ at least one veteran.

“I had the veterans in my office, and they told me the only thing they really want when they have returned from serving their country is a job. They want to work,” said McCabe, R-Goldendale. “This is the least we can do for those who have served our country. We know they have a great work ethic and many of them have diverse and valuable skills that could be used in a number of jobs.

“There is no mandate on business, and agencies are to use existing resources. It is a 'One Business, One Vet,' type of campaign.”

House Bill 2040 was voted out of the House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee unanimously this week. It could be voted on by the full House of Representatives in the next few weeks.

McCabe's measure to crack down on voyeurism crime, House Bill 2042, was passed by the House Public Safety Committee on Friday.

She introduced the legislation after she heard about the voyeuristic practice of “up-skirting” – where someone takes a cell phone camera or uses a video feature to record under the skirts of unknown victims.

“I am a varsity coach and a performing arts studio owner. I became aware the girls were apprehensive about wearing dresses on game days or studio events because of up-skirting,” said McCabe. “After talking with law enforcement, not only was I informed about what a problem this had become, but I learned how difficult it was to prosecute a person for the crime of voyeurism.”

Under current law, it has to be proven a person was in engaged in voyeurism for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person. House Bill 2042 would eliminate that provision of law and create a crime of voyeurism in the second degree.

“Voyeurism has changed over the last decade. People now use these photos to post them on social media, make money, anger someone, seek revenge, or just make fun of hapless victims,” said McCabe. “I am hopeful this legislation will be able to address these issues.”

McCabe also pointed out that voyeurism crimes could also lead to more serious sexual offenses in the future and this legislation may prevent that from happening.

House Bill 2042 could be considered for a vote by the full House of Representatives in the next few weeks.


PHOTO CAPTION: Rep. Gina McCabe testifies on House Bill 2042 before the House Public Safety Committee.



Washington State House Republican Communications