Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber votes against public safety legislation, says bills ‘don’t go far enough’

Two critical policies in the Legislature passed the Washington State House of Representatives late into the night on Monday and Tuesday.

Senate Bill 5352, involving law enforcement vehicular pursuits, and Senate Bill 5536, addressing state drug possession and treatment, are both in response to controversial measures passed in the 2021 legislative session that have made communities less safe.

Police reform policies from 2021 changed vehicular pursuit standards from reasonable suspicion to probable cause. Since this change, police officers have been limited in pursuing suspected criminals. Many believe this has increased crime in communities, and communities are calling for action.

“These policies single-handedly destroyed the ability of law enforcement to protect people,” said Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic.

Senate Bill 5352, which passed on a 57-40 vote late Monday night, would modify the evidentiary threshold required for engaging in a vehicular pursuit. It would allow a police officer to conduct a vehicular pursuit if the officer has reasonable suspicion a person has committed or is committing a violent offense, a sex offense, a vehicular assault offense, an escape offense, a driving under the influence offense, or a domestic violence assault offense.

Maycumber voted “no” on the legislation — saying it’s not enough.

“This is about protecting people’s lives and livelihoods. We must allow our police officers to do their jobs and protect our communities. Law enforcement, local elected officials, businesses and concerned constituents from across our state are asking for these changes,” said Maycumber, who serves as House Republican Floor Leader. “We had a strong, bipartisan solution in the House that would have brought back reasonable suspicion, but it did not advance. Senate Bill 5352 does not go far enough.”

Senate Bill 5536, which passed on a 54-41 vote late Tuesday night, is the Legislature’s latest attempt to address the state’s failing drug possession and treatment laws following the Washington State Supreme Court’s surprising Blake decision in 2021.

Under the bill, possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance would be a misdemeanor. A gross misdemeanor had been called for by Republicans, including Maycumber, who introduced House Bill 1415 as a solution. Senate Bill 5536 would also make changes related to drug paraphernalia, pretrial diversion, substance use disorder evaluations, and other issues.

House Republicans offered several amendments to improve the legislation, but the majority party only adopted some of them.

Maycumber voted “no” on the bill.

“Our state is in this situation today due to broken promises by the Legislature. We have people dying on our streets from drug overdoses. The status quo is failing and we are seeing the tragic consequences,” said Maycumber. “With this bill, we are not doing enough. We need a fix that will actually help our communities and those in the grip of addiction.”

Both bills were amended in the House, so they will return to the Senate for further consideration. The debate on these critical issues will continue.

Learn more:

  • Watch Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber’s floor speech on Senate Bill 5352 here.
  • Watch Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber’s floor speech on Senate Bill 5536 here.


Washington State House Republican Communications