McKenna and Ross: Gang prevention funding - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

McKenna and Ross: Gang prevention funding

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and Rep. Charles Ross, R-Naches, announced Monday a proposal to fund gang prevention programs.

In the proposal, portions of money from consumer protection settlements, about $1 million per year, would be set aside for the programs.

"Our proposal to generate investments in prevention programs will pay off in years to come, while our anti-gang protection order and other measures will provide immediate tools for communities seeking to make their neighborhoods safer," McKenna said in a written statement.

The new fund would also accept private donations.

"We're mindful of incredible budget challenges the Legislature faces this year and put our heads together to find a solution that balances the fiscal challenges and the public safety crisis in many of our state's cities," Ross said. "In good faith, my colleagues have requested more emphasis on gang prevention and intervention, and asked us to find a way to pay for it."

Ross also explained that their proposal addresses those concerns. "I look forward to the passage of this critical bill for communities like mine, victimized by criminal gangs," Ross said.

HB 1126 awaits action by the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee.