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Plans to house sex offenders in Tenino canceled

Lawmakers are now taking action, by working to prevent this from happening again.

THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. — Plans to house six registered sex offenders at a residence near Tenino were canceled Tuesday. 

Supreme Living, a residential care service that has a contract with the Washington State Department of Corrections and was supposed to be operating the home known as a Less Restrictive Alternative (LRA), posted on its website Tuesday saying that “due to resources and expenses associated with land use requirements” it would no longer be housing sex offenders at the Tenino property.

The post further says that Supreme Living “values its relationship with the Department of Social and Health Services” and “appreciates the courtesy and professionalism of DHS and Thurston County staff in connection with this matter.”

The plan, announced back in January, was placed on hold after Thurston County officials said that some of the required water permits were out of order. This delay also came after huge protests from the community who said that they were concerned about safety and upset over the lack of warning they received about the state's plans.

Lawmakers from the 35th District verified the cancellation in a statement. Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Shelton, said that he is “pleased that predators will not be placed in the Tenino community” and that he is “grateful for the quick action by Thurston County.”

Other lawmakers from the 35th District joined MacEwan in expressing their relief. Now those lawmakers want to prevent this from happening in another community.

MacEwan introduced bill SB 5544 in hopes of improving procedures for notifying communities, as many residents who live near the Tenino property felt blindsided by the plans, originally getting three weeks' notice.

“It is imperative that we put a moratorium in place and create a task force to find the best path forward,” said Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn.

Rep. Travis Couture, R-Allyn introduced companion bill HB 1734 in the House.

Couture and Griffey additionally introduced HB 1813 to end the placement of registered sexually violent predators in LRA group homes.

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