Heated debate in House illustrates importance of roll call vote
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There was dissention in the state House as lawmakers looked at a bill on body cameras (Mon). Not only was there disagreement about the underlying focus of the bill, the big question: should the measure become law at all. And the action on the floor demonstrated the need for the roll call vote. Ruth Johnson reports from Olympia.
Johnson: House Bill 2362 targets the use of body cameras. It addresses questions about who can access the video, and how those on tape would be protected.
It arrived on the floor with numerous amendments and little agreement. Lawmakers all wanted their voice heard.
Speaker Pro Tem: “As many in favor say aye.” “AYE.” “As many opposed say NO.” “NO.” (yelling). “Division.”
Johnson: Unsatisfied with a voice vote, lawmakers demanded a roll call on several key revisions.
Young: “We lined up a number of amendments to help protect personal privacy rights, and reined back and put some sideboards on it to move the bill forward.”
Johnson: Representative Jesse Young's amendment 775 was a close call.
Young: “We called division and asked for a roll call vote, and wouldn't you go figure that after we roll called that vote a number of democrats sided with us and the amendment passed.”
Johnson: It would require officers entering a home where no crime is taking place to turn off their cameras to protect the privacy of those inside.
Young: “It's the first surprised amendment that's passed this entire session. It was a major victory for personal privacy rights, for sure, but another one for the House Republican party.”
Johnson: House Bill 2362 passed after extensive debate, with votes mixed on both sides of the aisle. It now goes to the Senate.
Ruth Johnson, Olympia.
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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