Governor signs three Mosbrucker bills, including missing Indigenous people ‘Bring them home bill’

Three bills authored by Rep. Gina Mosbrucker were signed into law this week by Gov. Jay Inslee.

During ceremonies Thursday morning at a Snohomish County tribal casino resort in Tulalip, Gov. Inslee signed legislation authored by Mosbrucker that continues efforts to help tribal and law enforcement authorities work together to solve cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people.

House Bill 1571, the “Bring them home bill,” passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. The measure requires county coroners to identify and notify the family of a deceased Indigenous person, allowing them to access the remains to conduct spiritual practices or ceremonies.

“It allows tribal members to pray over a deceased Indigenous person without compromising the scene before an autopsy is conducted. Law enforcement would work with them to allow the ceremonies to be performed in accordance with tribal tradition. It is important to respect their tribal cultures,” said Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale.

The measure would also require the Washington state jail booking system to be checked during investigations seeking missing Indigenous people. Plus, it would create a pilot program and set aside funds to provide a receiving shelter that would take in as many as 50 trafficked victims. In addition to shelter, Indigenous trafficking survivors would be able to receive mental health counseling, medical care and legal services.

“Sadly, some of these tribal families don’t have the resources to be able to help their loved ones if they’ve been in horrific situations, such as prostitution or drug crimes. They also don’t have the skill set to help these victims heal their addiction or provide the mental health counseling they need,” noted Mosbrucker. “This program would bring these victims to a facility to provide temporary shelter and connect them to services that could help them get their lives back.”

In addition, the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy is directed under the bill to award up to 10 state-funded grants to local agencies, federally-recognized tribes, nonprofit community groups, and nonprofit treatment providers to increase the visibility and accessibility of services and resources for Indigenous trafficking survivors. The grants will be divided — five on the east side of the Cascades and five on the west side, becoming available Sept. 1.

On Wednesday, March 2, the governor affixed his signature to two Mosbrucker bills.

House Bill 1357 requires county auditors to mail a statewide and local voters’ pamphlet to registered Washington voters overseas, including military voters.

“This bill was suggested to me by a soldier from overseas who receives his election ballot while serving our country, but he doesn’t get a voters’ pamphlet with it. Without that information, he has to spend valuable time trying to look up candidates online. That’s time he could be spending talking to or FaceTiming his family or loved ones,” said Mosbrucker.

Mosbrucker says the measure will ensure all voters, including those overseas, have equal access to voter pamphlets so they can make an informed choice on their ballots.

The governor also signed House Bill 1497, a measure Mosbrucker authored to further regulate and reduce annoying commercial telephone solicitation calls.

“Unwanted calls can be disruptive to people’s lives, especially when those calls are made during hours when people are asleep. I am also very concerned about fraudulent callers who target and take advantage of senior citizens and people with disabilities,” said Mosbrucker. “This legislation will provide additional tools to help consumers stop these calls.”

Under the bill, telephone solicitation is restricted to between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Telephone solicitors will now be required to identify themselves within the first 30 seconds of a call, and to end the call within 10 seconds if the called party indicates they no longer wish the call to continue. In addition, the bill requires removal of the called party from the solicitor’s list upon request, and no further calls could be made within at least one year after the request to be removed from the list. Violations are subject to a $1,000 fine for each call.

Four of the five Mosbrucker bills approved by the Legislature have now been signed by the governor, including House Bill 1622, which expands training of sexual assault nurse examiners into Eastern Washington. The fifth bill awaiting the governor’s action, House Bill 1623, would ensure the state continually addresses plans to help avoid energy blackouts, brownouts or other inadequacies of the electric grid.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov