April 29, 2016
Greetings Friends and Neighbors,
Now that the legislative session is over, I am back in district meeting with constituents and gathering input on issues facing our community. This is an important time to prepare for the upcoming legislative session where we will be focusing on building a new state budget for the next two years.
I will be holding town hall meetings in Lincoln County May 2 and I hope you will be able to attend.
Harrington Opera House – on the corner of Willis and South Third Streets
Enter on the South side of the City Hall Building,
19 S. Third Street, Harrington
Wilbur Community Center
Recently, my colleague, the Senate Majority Leader, requested that I be appointed to the Washington State Blue Ribbon Commission on the Delivery of Services to Children and Families, as referenced in Executive Order 16-03 by Governor Inslee.
I am honored to be nominated for this opportunity to work to improve the lives of children and families in our state.
During the interim I am keeping busy. I am a member of numerous committees and boards that meet when the Legislature is not in session. I recently met with those on the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System, (LEOFF) 2 Board. This group sets policy for the first responders’ benefits in that system. I sponsored a bill this session that became law, Senate Bill 6263 that allows members to receive full retirement benefits for injuries that are currently considered non-duty related, such as responding to federally declared emergencies.
I also serve on the Community and Economic Revitalization Board. It provides funding to local governments for public infrastructure to support private business growth and expansion. This program is critical to rural economic development and many jurisdictions in our district have successfully used these funds to improve their communities.
I continue working with constituents and state agencies such as the state Departments of Natural Resources, Ecology, and Fish and Wildlife to ensure that solutions are found for issues that have been brought to my attention, including:
These executive agencies need to be aware of the impacts their regulations have so that rules won’t negatively affect our local businesses and communities. For example, the state Department of Ecology is drafting a rule regarding the rail transport of biological oil, such as canola. Currently, those types of biological oils are considered the same as crude oil for emergency planning purposes. Unfortunately, legislation that I sponsored to change that was not adopted. Senate Bill 6576 would have not required the same kind of planning for biological oil as is required when transporting crude oil by rail.
Although the Legislature is not in session, I am busy working on issues that affect our community. I look forward to connecting with you while I am back in district and getting your insights on how we can improve our state and community.
It is an honor to serve as your state Senator. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions regarding your state government.
13th District Senator
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103 Irv Newhouse Bldg.
P.O. Box 40410
Olympia, WA 98504