Washington State House committee debates paying for & providing court security

There has been a great deal of attention paid in the last several legislative sessions on the subject of courthouse security. Of particular note in Washington State has been the question of who pays for the security and what level of security is sufficient. Into this was placed HB 1365 / SB 5240 of the 2013 session. The bills required counties to provide security to district courts and for county legislative authorities to specifically furnish secure courthouses for district courts. The bills further provided municipalities, regardless of population size, to provide security to municipal courts.

A hearing before the House Local Government Committee was held on February 12, 2013. Proponents noted the shootings of judges and court staff in Delaware and Texas that had taken place in the days leading up to the hearing. Opponents noted the limited and finite resources available at the local level.

Ultimately the bill was held in the committee and died when the legislature adjourned for the year.