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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for subscribing to my email updates! We’re now in the sixth week of the legislative session, and have begun voting on dozens of bills that have come to the House floor. Many have passed overwhelmingly, while others have been more contentious. I remain focused on finding solutions to our state’s problems, and will be voting in accordance with that principle. I will not support any legislation that unnecessarily adds to the size of government or falls outside the scope of what state government should be involved in.

An update on bills I’m sponsoring

House Bill 1527 passed unanimously out of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee last week. The bill would provide a more efficient way for pesticide licensees to become recertified and for the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to conduct licensing recertification. HB 1527 has been referred to the Rules Committee.

House Bill 1888 would transfer all of the responsibilities regarding certification of chemical dependency treatment from the Department of Social and Health Services to the Department of Health. The bill was heard in the Early Learning and Human Services Committee last week, and is now scheduled for an executive session today, where the committee will decide if it will move the bill forward or not.

House Bill 1989 and House Bill 2046 were both passed out of the House Local Government Committee on Wednesday. HB 1989 authorizes a municipality or water district to negotiate a fair and reasonable water storage asset management service contract that includes inspection, cleaning, maintenance, repair, and testing services. HB 2046 simply adds a definition of “streams” to the Shoreline Management Act to better clarify what falls under the jurisdiction of the SMA.

Meeting with young people who are making a difference

I meet with a variety of people in my office, but I especially enjoy meeting with young people who are passionate about impacting their communities in positive ways. This week, I had the privilege of meeting with students from 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands and Health) and from TAPS (Teens Against Pot Smoking).

Rep. Tom Dent with members of the Grant County 4-H group4-H provides youth development and mentoring programs for young people to prepare them for making a positive impact in their communities. The organization teaches good morals and values, as well as leadership skills and personal responsibility — all of which are important for personal development. The students I met with were here for “Know Your Government” week, and it was great to see them engaged in the process of learning how state government works. I was able to take the students out on the House floor and show them the voting process, and then answer a variety of questions about bills I’m supporting and the issues I’m most passionate about. I had a great time conversing with them, and thank them for taking the time to meet with me.Rep. Tom Dent with members of the Kittitas County Youth Experience's TAPS program

TAPS is a program of the Kittitas County Youth Experience (KCYE) group, which is comprised of young people from Ellensburg dedicated to influencing their peers to abstain from smoking marijuana. I was happy to host some of the TAPS members in my office to learn about the program and discuss what I could do to help them.  I am passionate about young people staying in school and away from drugs, so I plan on reaching out to some folks that may be able to provide some private funding to keep the TAPS program running. I thank KCYE for what it’s doing.

House Page Program

Last week, I had the privilege of sponsoring Moses Lake High School freshman Dylan O’Brien to serve as a page in the House of Representatives. I’ve known Dylan for all of Rep. Tom Dent and Dylan O'Brienhis life, so it was a joy for me to get to spend some time with him at the Capitol.

During his time as a page, Dylan attended page school every day to understand how the Legislature operates. He also learned to navigate the many buildings on the Capitol campus, and delivered messages and documents to legislators and staff. His time at the Capitol culminated with his presentation of a mock bill he drafted about school safety. His bill would allow teachers to carry weapons to defend themselves and their students in case of an emergency.

To become a page, applicants must have a legislative sponsor, be between the ages of 14 and 16, and obtain written permission from their parents and school. For more information about the House Page Program, click here.

Capitol Report

Every week, I record three-minute ‘Capitol Report’ segments that are broadcast on radio stations in 13th District. In the latest edition, I introduce my legislative page, Dylan, talk about the West Coast ports slowdown, and discuss my life-changing meeting with Joel and Nancy Reuter. Take a listen to my latest report here.

Video Update

In my latest video update, which I recorded earlier this week, I discuss meeting with representatives from the Port of Moses Lake and from the Washington State Potato Commission to discuss the West Coast ports slowdown. Last weekend, the ports were completely closed, but have since reopened. This slowdown has been very damaging to our state, so I am hoping a settlement between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union happens soon.

Additionally in the video, I discuss meeting with several other individuals and groups to discuss their ideas for our state. Finally, I give an update on some of the bills I’m sponsoring and how they’re progressing through the legislative process.

You can watch the video update here.

Contact me

Please keep the phone calls, letters and emails coming! I want to hear your ideas, thoughts and concerns about our district and state. You can email me anytime at tom.dent@leg.wa.gov or give me a call at (360) 786-7932.


Tom Dent

State Representative Tom Dent, 13th Legislative District
437 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(509) 941-2346 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000