STATEMENT: Senate Republican leader lauds new laws related to safety of indigenous people

CENTRALIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered this statement about legislation signed today that focuses more attention and resources on the safety of indigenous people.

“Some issues, like human trafficking and domestic violence, transcend partisan differences – and today’s signing of House Bill 1571 and House Bill 1725 makes it clear the safety of indigenous people is also on that list, as both were passed unanimously in each legislative chamber. When a loved one goes missing, it shouldn’t matter who or where or why.

“Representative Mosbrucker, a Republican who represents members of the Yakama Nation, filed one of these new laws, which is culturally responsive and may answer families’ questions; the second comes from Representative Lekanoff, a Democrat who is the Legislature’s only Native member, and creates an alert for missing indigenous people similar to the Silver Alert or Amber Alert we all know. Both build on the law created in 2019 by a Mosbrucker bill that really put the spotlight on the issue of missing indigenous women.

“One of the Republican priorities for the 2022 session was to reestablish public safety across our state. That was not limited to restoring some of the law-enforcement tools the majority took away in 2021; we are equally concerned about the wave of mysterious disappearances of our tribal neighbors, and the other safety issues they face. I am glad to see these new laws, which take effect in June, and will be looking to see how we might improve on them in 2023.”