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Legislative Actions

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Sheri Pewitt is a Co-Chair of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' Legislative Committee. The committee develops recommendations for association legislative priorities, reviews legislation, sets legislative policy, and meets with key lawmakers. The committee meets weekly during the legislative session, and less often during the remainder of the year, with a number of members participating by conference call. This is a joint committee with the Washington Defender Association.

The Legislature is the branch of government that makes new laws and changes old ones. Our State Legislature makes laws only for Washington. The Washington State Legislature is also responsible for imposing taxes, writing the state's budget, and regulating other state agencies. Like almost every other state in the country, Washington has a bicameral Legislature. This means it has two chambers— the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Our State Constitution says that the Legislature will hold regular sessions every year, beginning on the second Monday of January. The Legislature has committees, or small groups of Senators or Representatives who review proposed laws and study issues. Many bills introduced in the Legislature will receive a public hearing, where citizens are given a chance to present their opinions on proposed legislation. Bills are often considered by the Legislature for several years before they are passed into law, and many bills will never become law! If you would like to follow this years' legislative session, simply click here to review bills and the legislative hearing schedule.

The videos below are examples of Attorney Pewitt testifying on proposed bills before legislative committees.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.