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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Vetting the veterans…

Saying they're tired of street-corner panhandlers falsely claiming to be veterans, lawmakers in the Republican-controlled state Senate on Monday unanimously passed a bill that makes it a crime to impersonate a veteran for personal gain.

The penalty, under Substitute Senate Bill 5861, would be the same as for people caught impersonating a cop: up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

"The word `veteran' is, to me, a statement that someone has risked their life in protection of the people of the United States," said bill sponsor Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn. "To demean that word is wrong."

The same bill passed the Senate unanimously last year, only to quietly die in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.