Sen. Roach named to task force on drones; first meeting Monday

Pam Roach - Courtesy photo
Pam Roach
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the Reporter

Sen. Pam Roach (R-rural Auburn) joins three other lawmakers Monday at the Capitol for the first meeting of a task force on drones – or "unmanned aerial systems," as the governor's office officially calls them.

Gov. Jay Inslee created the task force after vetoing a bill to put limits on the use of drones by state agencies and local governments, including law-enforcement agencies.

"The questions surrounding government's use of drones are high on my list of concerns as a legislator: personal privacy, government transparency and public safety," said Roach, who is chair of the Senate Governmental Operations Committee. "I have been addressing these issues for years and will be glad to share my experience as part of this group."

The bill Inslee vetoed had received a nearly unanimous vote in the Senate after changes were made, including some by the Senate Law and Justice Committee on which Roach serves. The House of Representatives, where it was introduced, then easily approved the measure.

"The bipartisan support was there all along from the Legislature," said Roach, who recently topped all Washington legislators in a study of state lawmakers' effectiveness and bipartisanship. "The governor saw things differently, however. I want to fully understand why, then we can work on crafting something that can become law in 2015."

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