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Griffey lays out 2023 session goals

Public safety remains legislator’s top priority

Editor’s Note: A story in the Jan. 11 issue of local legislators and the current session stated that the Journal did not receive questionnaire responses from Rep. Dan Griffey, and his responses came after the Journal went to press. Here they are:

1. Are you introducing any bills?

We want to do something right and real about sexually violent predators (SVPs) that are being released into our communities with virtually no notice to less restrictive alternatives (LRAs) that in many cases are not operated by or overseen by the state. These are just two of the problems in the current system the state uses for this process. My seatmate Rep. Couture and I have sponsored multiple pieces of legislation to address the wide-ranging issues in this system after meeting with those operating the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island and other stakeholders during the interim and I am hopeful these bills get hearings during the 2024 session. I have also introduced – at the request of Mason County – a bill to allow counties more time to turn in their comprehensive plans under the Growth Management Act. We passed legislation that adds two more elements to this last year, but the Department of Commerce has not yet provided enough guidance for our local communities.

2. What are your top priorities during the session?

Public safety has been and remains a top priority, addressing property crime, increasing the number of police officers on our streets as Washington state continues to lag far behind other states in the number of officers it has per capita, and of course doing everything we can to fight the devastating fentanyl crisis in our communities. Our state has emboldened criminals and that will only continue until we do something to deter or stop that behavior. The people of Washington state need to feel safe and secure in their communities. Boosting our supply of affordable housing is also a top priority.

3. What projects in the district are you seeking funding for?

Requests are still coming in. We should have them all by tomorrow (Jan. 12). We expect there to be a water utility request from Mason County. We also expect a small request from the Mason County Food Bank and another very small request to improve some parking around The HUB Senior Center in Belfair. The city of Shelton has some infrastructure requests to help leverage our new developments in the area. We’ve tailored our member requests to those things that provide maximum benefit into the future – so infrastructure development but also community clubs, places where meetings are held and places that can also be used for safety and security such as emergency shelter and that sort of thing. We can provide a full list once we have all requests in on (Jan. 12).

4. Do you have any overall predictions on the outcome of the session?

It will be a short session that will go by fast. I am encouraged by the fact that there is an appetite to do something right and real about public safety, but I am very concerned that we are going to go the wrong way on public safety.

Author Bio

Gordon Weeks, Reporter

Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald


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