Shin introduces trio of ‘common sense’ reform bills
Three bills introduced by Sen. Paull Shin propose what he says are “common sense reforms” to higher education and DUI policies.
Shin, D-Mukilteo, said the measures will help veterans and people with disabilities attend higher education institutions and will clarify state laws on DUI offenders. He said it is important to keep an eye on legislation already on the books – and continually pass reforms and make changes as necessary.
The first bill, SB 5179, would allow veterans who are honorably discharged, as well as their spouses and children, to qualify for in-state tuition rates at postsecondary institutions in Washington State within one year of their separation from military service.
“Service members come from across the country to Washington’s military bases to serve,” said Shin, who serves in the Senate as vice president pro tem. “This bill will make it easier for them get a higher education degree to help them transition into civilian life.”
“They’ve been here in Washington, they’ve served us honorably and they should be able to get their education here.”
Shin also introduced SB 5180, a bill that would assemble a taskforce of stakeholders from K-12 and postsecondary institutions with the objective of making the transition more seamless and successful for students with disabilities.
The task force would develop a method of sharing and implementing best practices, improving outreach to students and parents, and investigating the creation of a statewide database of disability accommodation equipment, software and resources.
“I’ve spent a lot of time talking with my constituents and hearing the heartbreaking challenges faced by disabled students trying to access postsecondary education,” Shin said.
“We have a moral imperative to find ways to make it easier for them to live normal lives. It’s not their fault that they’re disabled. They’re our family members and friends and they deserve the same opportunities to access higher education as anyone else.”
Shin’s third bill, SB 5229, would clarify additional penalties placed upon DUI offenders who have children younger than 16 years old in the car while driving under the influence.
“I don’t need to remind people how terrible of a crime driving while intoxicated is, but it’s even worse that someone would put children in danger by driving drunk with kids in the car,” Shin said.
“This bill would clarify that the extra penalties we levy in these cases aren’t replacing the usual penalties for DUI but are in addition to them.”
-Edited by Beacon staff