Since he’s been back Goldy has, rightly, taken The Seattle Times’ editorial board to task for all sorts of nonsense. It’s a target rich environment, and it’s the largest paper in the state. But there are other editorial boards spewing other nonsense. And I think it does the Trib a disservice not to mention things like this.
Governor should veto overreaching drone bill
No, he should sign it into law.
Precious little got done in Olympia this past session on some truly important, much-needed issues, from transportation funding to teacher evaluations.
We’re $2 Billion short on McCleary, and the state only managed to pass a tiny addition to that in the supplemental budget, but teacher evaluations is the education thing they’re pissed off about? That isn’t even the main thrust of the piece, and I agree with them that the session was pretty well wasted. But holy shit. Anyway:
But somehow legislators found time to pass House Bill 2789, an overreaching mishmash of several measures. It would regulate drone use by state and local agencies in a way that could have unforeseen effects on public access to government documents.
All regulation “could have unforeseen effects.” That’s why we have a process to repeal laws. If this is too restrictive, future legislatures can revisit it. I realize this legislature is pretty dysfunctional, but it doesn’t have to be that way in the future. But the idea that law enforcement, or other government agencies, should have a blank check with this type of surveillance until we have the perfect plan seems unhelpful.
The issues at stake are too complicated to address without more study, and Gov. Jay Inslee should veto HB 2789. What’s needed is a task force composed of stakeholders to recommend a clear and more comprehensive proposal that would address all future uses of drones, from private to regulatory and law enforcement.
Governor Inslee could sign the law into place and then we could still have that task force. But it would be coming from a place where our rights not to be watched by state and local governments is the default position. I mean unless you think the drone issue requires immediate action.
It’s not as if this is an issue requiring immediate action. State and local governments have no plans in the near future to use drones, but this highly restrictive bill threatens their ability to someday take advantage of an important emerging technology.
So, OK. There’s more, it’s mostly just a list of stuff the government could theoretically do with drones. If local governments want to do that in the future, I’m sure future legislators will take it up, task force or no task force.