OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee said activating members of the Washington National Guard to assist the Washington State Patrol in securing the state Capitol building has been the "right response."
"We follow the intelligence and frankly it has been disturbing in a number of degrees," said Inslee, D-Washington.
Chain link fences were put up around the legislative building Friday, Jan. 8. The National Guard arrived on campus that weekend and both will remain in place at least through the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.
"The FBI and other intelligence agencies, unfortunately, have seen considerable threats that still exist, both on the 17th and on Inauguration Day," said Inslee.
The first week of the 2021 legislative session began with two people getting arrested.
The state patrol said a woman insisted on driving her RV onto the Capitol campus, which had been closed to the public under security measures.
Another man was arrested as he tried walking through the entrance reserved for legislative members, staffers and a limited number of media members.
Bills on police policy reform, making Juneteenth a state holiday, and creating a new capital gains tax all had public hearings before legislators.
Inslee said only the top 2% of the state’s investment earners will be impacted by the new tax, which he said would benefit the entire state.
Opponents testified the tax would hurt the economy, and others said it would be an income tax, something that is unconstitutional in the state.
Instead of in-person testimony, all public input this year will occur over online hearings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sonia Joseph testified in favor of the police reform bill. On the Zoom call she told lawmakers about the 2017 death of her son, Giovonn Joseph-McDade.
A Kent police officer shot and killed Joseph-McDade after a police chase.
Despite not being in the room with lawmakers, Joseph said she felt she got her point across over the video.
"I spoke my truth and the message of change," said Joseph.