OLYMPIA, Wash.— A bill to restrict use of drones in Washington had overwhelming support in the House and Senate.
It’s not getting a rubber stamp from Governor Jay Inslee, D-Washington.
”It’s a very broad-ranging bill and we’re looking at it very carefully,” said Inslee.
Inslee would not say if he would sign it into law or what parts, if any, he might veto.
”The way it was drafted, it does raise some issues,” said Inslee.
The bill would require law enforcement agencies to obtain search warrants to use drones in criminal investigations, unless it was an emergency.
State agencies would need permission from lawmakers before purchasing drones, under the legislation.
Personal information gathered by drone cameras drones would have to be destroyed.
The American Civil Liberties Union would have liked more protections for the public’s privacy, but ACLU lobbyist Shankar Narayan backed the bill.
It passed with a 77-21 majority in the House and a 46-1 majority in the Senate.
Representative Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, who voted against it, said the bill was too broad.
”What problem are you fixing?’ asked Hurst, who is a former police officer.
Hurst said police departments do not need search warrants to use helicopters and doesn’t think drones should require the same permission from the court.
He has encouraged the governor to veto it.