Sen. Jim McCune, R-Graham, prefiled a bill on Tuesday, Jan. 5, that would make it a class C felony to intentionally inflict damage to a state or federal monument, memorial or statue during a protest or riot.
McCune, the 2nd Legislative District’s newest lawmaker who replaces Randi Becker, prefiled the bill the week before the 105-day legislative session was set to convene. It’s his first bill filed this session.
The proposed legislation, prefiled as SB 5059, specifically amends RCW 9A.48.120. Under that law, it’s currently a misdemeanor to deface state monuments.
McCune’s law would not only extend the scope of objects covered under the law to include federal property, but would also harshen the punishment; a misdemeanor conviction currently carries with it a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail, while a class C felony carries up to a $10,000 fine and five years in a state correctional facility.
More information on the bill can be found at the following link: https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?billnumber=5059&year=2021.
Washington state’s regular 2021 legislative session started Monday.