Politics & Government

Sentencing reform dies in Legislature

A plan to address Washington’s highest-in-the-nation levels of property crime likely won’t move forward before lawmakers leave Olympia for the year, two supporters said.

Both competing versions of the state budget included the proposal, and a police group that opposed it predicted a week ago it was sure to pass.

But the plan became tangled up with other crime and justice issues, notably a proposal to make a fourth DUI a felony, said Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, and Rep. Zack Hudgins, D-Tukwila.

“It just got heavier and heavier,” Hudgins said.

The property-crime proposal emerged from a bipartisan task force and was backed by Gov. Jay Inslee. It would have reduced jail and prison sentences while adding probation time.

Hargrove said the Senate wanted to do both the property-crime and driving-while-impaired measures. The House saw the tougher DUI penalties as too costly.