Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am sending this email update to acknowledge those who protect us each and every day, remind you of the town hall meetings coming up this weekend, and provide you an update on my bills that have made their way out of the House and over to the Senate.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this email update or any other state issue.
Honoring a fallen hero
It is with a heavy heart I write this. On Tuesday night, Kittitas County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Thompson was shot and killed in the line of duty. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fellow law enforcement colleagues. Ryan was a great person, officer and family man.
We also wish Kittitas Police Officer Benito Chavez a quick recovery. We pray he will be back on his feet in no time. Get well, Officer Chavez.
Town hall meetings
Reminder: Sen. Judy Warnick, Rep. Alex Ybarra and I will be hosting town hall meetings this weekend. Here are the details:
Friday, March 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Ellensburg City Hall, 501 N. Anderson, Ellensburg
Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to noon
Lincoln County Courthouse, 450 Logan, Davenport
(Parking is available on the west side of the entrance. When you enter the building, go to the lower level.)
Saturday, March 23 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Big Bend Community College, ATEC Building 1800
7662 Chanute St. NE, Moses Lake
We look forward to seeing you there.
My bills that are still alive
House Bill 1187 would eliminate the requirement that eligible conservation district-sponsored fish habitat enhancement projects follow design standards established by the Washington Conservation Commission through an interagency agreement with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Instead, conservation districts would approve the fish habitat enhancement projects. The bill is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee.
House Bill 1725 is the result of the pesticide application safety work group I co-chaired during the interim. This legislation implements the recommendations of the work group, including establishing how state agencies collect and track data, and considering the feasibility and requirements of developing a shared database. It also creates an advisory work group to collect information and make recommendations to the committee. It is in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.
House Bill 1561 would increase the presence of Eastern Washington in the state Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Oversight Board. It requires at least five of the board members reside east of the Cascade Mountain range. The Senate Human Services, Reentry and Rehabilitation Committee (HSRRC) is expected to vote on the bill soon.
House Bill 1605 would require traumatic brain injury screenings for children entering the foster care system. The DCYF must evaluate traumatic brain injury screening tools, options for including those tools in existing screenings for children in out-of-home care, and treatment actions following identification of traumatic brain injury. The Senate HSRRC is also expected to vote on this legislation in the near future.
House Bill 1866 gives child care centers until August 1, 2024, to comply with changes to professional development requirements. Child care centers provide early learning services, and it is important to support them. There is a public hearing scheduled for the bill in the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee on Friday, March 22.
Two other bills I am still working on:
House Bill 1456 would establish a community aviation revitalization loan program.
The program is aimed at improving Washington's smaller airports by funding needed capital and preservation projects. The bill would also establish a task force to oversee the program.
House Bill 1457 would change current distribution of the aircraft fuel retail tax and reallocate one percent of the total tax revenue to the state aeronautics account.
Both of these bills may be considered “necessary to implement the budget” or NTIB. So, while they are not in the Senate, they are still alive as we work on our three budgets – operating, capital and transportation.
If you have any questions about the bills/issues mentioned in this email update, please do not hesitate to contact me.
We hope to see you at the town hall.