Friends and Neighbors,
SAVE THE DATE – 18th District Town Hall Meetings
Saturday, Feb. 20th
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Woodland Church of the Nazarene, 2000 Lewis River Rd.
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM – Battle Ground City Hall, 109 SW First St.
We're already one-third of the way through the 60-day 2010 session and things are happening fast. I'm always amazed that so much can be packed into such a small amount of time. That being said, I want to again encourage your participation in the legislative process. I'm here for you – call, write or visit if you can. I'll do my best to make time for you and your concerns whenever possible.
I'm always pleased to sponsor Legislative Pages during session. Each member of the House and Senate is allowed to sponsor a few students to come to Olympia to learn about state government while delivering mail, serving as flag bearers, and staffing the House and Senate floor during debate. It is a great opportunity for students to get first-hand experience about our legislative process and oftentimes leads to future internships and even careers. Civic involvement is something in which I strongly believe, and I'm grateful for the continued involvement of parents, teachers and students from our district.
I had the pleasure of meeting and working with two Pages the past few weeks. Robert Tissot is the son of Susan and Brian Tissot from Ridgefield. He is an eighth grader from View Ridge Middle School.
Kelci Holten is the daughter of Jason and Laurie Holten from Castle Rock. She is a Junior at Castle Rock High School and is hoping to attend the University of Washington. She is active in her community theater, knowledge bowl and a member of her school's cross country team.
Thanks to both Robert and Kelci. They did a great job serving as Pages and I know they'll remember this experience for years to come. Thanks, guys!
For more information on the Legislative Page program, click here.
LARCH CORRECTIONS CENTER
I'm working with Rep. Jaime Herrera and Sen. Joe Zarelli (your other 18th District legislators) along with other Southwest Washington legislators to keep Larch Corrections Center from falling victim to a politically-motivated closure. As I told both the Columbian and the Daily News, I believe state government needs to consolidate in order to save money. But that consolidation has to create actual savings, not just perceived savings. Or, as is possible with the Larch closing, an actual increase in overall costs.
Jaime, Joe and I met in Olympia with several staff from Larch and listened to their concerns and poured over the financial facts surrounding the potential closure of Larch. The meeting with staff served to strengthened our case and our resolve to keep Larch open. Our bipartisan group of legislators met with the Governor Gregoire on Monday and found her resistance to be discouraging. She claimed to have information to refute our claims as to why Larch should be kept open. Despite our constant requests for information on how the decision was made and upon what data, we still don't know what her “data” is.
To read our press release on the issue, click here.
STREAMLINING NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
This year, I've introduced House Bill 3090 which would limit the number of people involved in the administration of environmental regulations by limiting permitting to a single agency. Ultimately, I want to find cost savings for the state and streamline the permit process for the private sector. I believe we can accomplish this while maintaining the safeguards and integrity of our state's environmental protections.
For more information on this legislation, click here.
Hey – did you know…
The Legislature maintains a very helpful and user-friendly website for public use (www.leg.wa.gov). You can research legislation, find contact information for elected officials and state agencies, and look up committee hearings. You can even track a certain bill by clicking on the Bill Search tab and entering the 4-digit bill number. This website has the most up-to-date legislative information and is updated almost instantly to reflect when a bill passes a committee or floor vote. It is basically the same website used by legislators and legislative staffers.
You can also visit TVW's website (www.tvw.org) and watch live or archived floor debates, public hearings and press conferences. These are just some of the ways technology helps you stay involved.
Thanks for reading my e-newsletter. Stay tuned for further updates throughout session.