OLYMPIA, Wash.— Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday vetoed a bill that would have placed new regulations on police use of drones in Washington state.
Inslee also announced that he will prevent state agencies from buying or using drones for 15 months and is asking police to hold off buying drones for that same amount of time.
Inslee said he chose to veto the bill partly because he was worried it would restrict public access to government data.
The bill had overwhelming support in the House and Senate. It would require law enforcement agencies to obtain search warrants to use drones in criminal investigations, unless it was an emergency.
State agencies would need permission from lawmakers before purchasing drones, under the legislation.
Personal information gathered by drone cameras drones would have to be destroyed.
The American Civil Liberties Union would have liked more protections for the public’s privacy, but ACLU lobbyist Shankar Narayan backed the bill.
It passed with a 77-21 majority in the House and a 46-1 majority in the Senate.