Three Mosbrucker bills receive governor’s signature

During a private bill signing event Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee affixed his signature on three bills authored by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker that would help family members find their missing loved ones, designate state significance for a major hydro-pump project near Goldendale, and make it easier to fill vacancies in county sheriff's offices.

House Bill 2792, also known as “Cody's Law,” requires law enforcement or other investigating agency to enter a missing persons case into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system within 30 days. It also requires a county coroner or county medical examiner investigating the death to submit information regarding the body or remains to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons (NamUs) System.

The bill is named after Cody Turner, who has been missing from his Yakima home since July 26, 2015, when he was 24 years old.

“Cody's mother, Michelle Joe, brought this idea to me. She's been looking for her son night and day for the past four years. She walked me through the journey from the Yakima area on how the state could do a better job to help find missing people,” said Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale.

Under the bill, information submitted to the NamUs system must include, to the extent information is available, a detailed personal description, DNA information, copies of fingerprints on standardized 8-inch by 8-inch fingerprint cards or the equivalent digital image, forensic dental examination records, and other identifying data, including date and place of death. Mosbrucker says DNA kits with return postage are available from the National Institute of Justice, so there will be no additional costs to local investigating authorities.

“There are nearly 2,000 unresolved missing persons cases in Washington and 172 records of full or partial unidentified remains. Matching DNA through a national database could help resolve many of these cases,” Mosbrucker added. “Because one missing child, one missing family member, is one too many.”

House Bill 2819 designates the proposed Goldendale Pumped Storage Project as a “project of statewide significance.”

“With this designation, it will help to prioritize this project for expedited permitting and multi-level collaboration with the Governor's Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance,” said Mosbrucker. “This bill also requires cities and counties with development projects of statewide significance to include a plan for consultation with affected tribes.”

The Goldendale project, which is privately funded, would involve construction of a hydropower project eight miles south of Goldendale at the former aluminum smelter along the Columbia River. During periods of excess energy generated by wind and solar, water would be pumped from a lower reservoir near the river to an upper reservoir on the bluff about 2,400 feet above.

“It's like a giant battery. When electricity is needed, water is released through three hydro turbine generators to produce power on demand. The project will not only help to clean up the former smelter site, but it will create about 3,000 local jobs over the next four years and infuse more than $2 billion into our state's economy,” said Mosbrucker. “As our state faces uncertain economic times with the devastation of the coronavirus crisis, this could potentially be one of the projects to help in our economic recovery process.”

Finally, House Bill 1750 will expand the list of people eligible to fill vacant positions within a county sheriff's office.

“Especially in rural counties, sheriff's offices are having a hard time filing vacancies. The existing law only allows the Civil Service Commission to certify the names of the three highest persons on the eligibility list for consideration to fill a vacancy in the sheriff's office. That limits the hiring pool,” said Mosbrucker. “This legislation would expand that list of highly capable candidates to five people.”

Normally, Mosbrucker would be present at bill signing ceremonies. However, because of the coronavirus crisis, Inslee is signing all bills sent to him by the Legislature in isolation, with no public ceremonies. Lawmakers have been asked not to attend unless under strict circumstances.

All three bills become effective June 10, 2020.

Mosbrucker has one more bill awaiting the governor's signature. House Bill 1056 creates a new Joint Legislative Task Force to identify the role of the workplace in helping to curb domestic violence. 

The legislative session adjourned March 12.


Washington State House Republican Communications