The bill, SSB 5573, increases membership of the State Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) to a membership of up to 22 rather than 15. The SIEC, administered by Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO),  includes state agencies, local and state law enforcement, fire departments, state and local emergency management directors, state and local government and tribes. The legislation also adopts the federal “P25” standard to ensure radios used by first responders can communicate with each other during a major incident such as a school shooting, mudslide, terrorist attack, earthquake, wildfire or any other situation that requires a multi-agency response.

Senator John McCoy and Representative Sherry Appleton were the prime sponsors of the Senate and House of Representatives versions of the bills, each of which received received bipartisan support in both chambers.

“A big shout out goes to the team that provided support and testimony during the committee hearings including members of the SIEC,” said Connie Michener, WaTech’s director for government affairs and policy who served as OCIO’s lead on the legislation. She said team members include Shelley Westall, Washington OneNet project manager; Rob St. John, deputy director of OCIO; Michael Marusich and Minette Knotts in OCIO; and Deborah Ramos in Government Affairs;

The team is already gearing up for Session 2018.  Shelley and Connie are working with the Legislative Com.mittee Chairs to schedule public safety interoperability work sessions during the interim.

Minette Knotts