- Created on Monday, 30 April 2012 20:00
While the rhetoric was plentiful and the legislative session undoubtedly had its share of ups and downs, the final outcome of the 2012 session had far less impact on law enforcement and public employees than previously expected. With a once-a-decade redistricting requirement at play, the legislature adjourned March 9 after having convened in early January.
The focus of most legislators was on the redistricting process itself, which was one of only two requirements of the House and Senate (the other is the budget, which is required to pass annually). A number of harmful bills were filed and we are happy to report that none were successfully passed. Everything from more local and state pension cutting efforts to proposals to hinder our fight during impasse all died on the calendar when session adjourned. There were a couple of small helpful bills that passed, including one measure that protects the birthdate of a law enforcement officer from becoming a public record. The bill HB 629 passed overwhelmingly and also covers the spouse and children of a LEO as well. Thanks to Representative Ed Hooper and Senator Steve Oelrich for shepherding this legislation through to fruition.
Also passing was HB 947 a bill allowing judges the ability to sentence criminal offenders who use a firearm in the commission of a crime to terms greater than the previous 10-year prison limit. This legislation was sponsored by Representative Jim Boyd and Senator Jack Latvala specifically for the purpose of punishing those who fire a weapon at a police officer. The bill passed unanimously.