Governor signs Parker’s escape notify bill
The governor signed Rep. Kevin Parker's bill to expand notification for disappearances from state facilities today. The 6th District lawmaker sponsored the bill in response to the escape of Phillip Paul from the care of Eastern State Hospital late last summer.
“It's important that various agencies communicate better in these circumstances, especially when the public is at risk,” said Parker, R-Spokane.
House Bill 2422, which goes into effect 90 days from today, will require administrators of state facilities to notify:
- any victims of the person escaped;
- family members of the person;
- witnesses to a crime committed by the person; and
- local and state law enforcement when a person under the state's care escapes or disappears from a state facility.
Shortly before the bill passed the House, Parker was contacted by the daughter of the woman murdered by Phillip Paul, and asked him to ensure the measure passed.
“Perhaps the most tragic story from Paul's escape was when this woman had to find out from the national news her mother's killer had escaped and was headed toward her area,” Parker said. “This measure is not only about communication between state and local authorities, it's about the public's safety.”
The legislation sailed through the Legislature, passing the House and Senate unanimously.
Contact: Sarah Lamb, public information officer, (360) 786-7720
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