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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

There’s been a lot going on since my last email update in mid-July, so I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know what I’ve been up to.

Participating in the NCSL Child Welfare Fiscal Policy Leaders Roundtable

Last week, I attended the National Conference of State Legislatures summit in Seattle, and took part in the Child Welfare Fiscal Policy Leaders Roundtable.

Discussions included:

  • Examining foster care data indicators in each participating state.
  • A review of evidence-based practices, approaches and strategies that states are implementing to improve results for children and families.
  • National, state and local trends and initiatives in financing child welfare.

As part of the roundtable, my goal was to learn from other legislators and help develop new ideas and policy options to implement. I was glad to have the opportunity to take part and exchange ideas and solutions, as well as connect with other legislators. There was a lot of practical information shared, which was very helpful as I continue to advocate for stronger foster care reform and overall child welfare.

Appointed to the Early Learning Advisory Council

I am excited to announce that I’ve been appointed to the Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) by House Speaker Frank Chopp. Children are our most precious natural resource, so it is a great honor to have the opportunity to serve on the Early Learning Advisory Council to make a positive difference in their lives as they prepare for a successful future. I am one of three legislators serving on the council, and I look forward to working with my fellow members on the council to provide ideas and solutions to the Department of Early Learning that will help strengthen the quality of care and early learning for our young people.

I attended my first meeting of the ELAC on Monday, August 10. The meeting was very informative and I was impressed with the level of passion and knowledge from the other members. I am most certainly looking forward to subsequent meetings.

Washington Pest Control Tour

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2015 Washington Pest Control Tour hosted by the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration. The tour focused on pesticide use and how it impacts agriculture in Western Washington and throughout our state. Water and the need to use water efficiently is a most prevalent issue wherever we go. While the need to maintain minimum flows is important, balancing the need for agriculture and other uses, as well as water’s importance to agriculture and food production, must be revisited. In this time of extreme drought, we cannot overlook our own food supply.

Another issue discussed was pesticide registration for minor crops. Often a product will not be registered because the manufacturer cannot recoup their investment when registering a particular chemical for a minor crop; it leaves little to no return on investment for the manufacturer. Looking at the EPA registration process may provide new ideas for future registration of pesticides for minor crops.

The tour was most educational and I am very happy I was able to participate. Thanks to all who put in countless hours organizing and making the tour a success.

Photo: Rep. Dent, Executive Director of Washington Friends of Farms and Forest Heather Hanson, Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture Derek Sandison

Dent, Hanson, Sandison

Bureau of Reclamation and East Columbia Basin Irrigation District of the Lind Coulee Siphon Construction Site

Recently I was pleased to take a tour of the construction site of the Lind Coulee Siphon in the Columbia Basin. The Odessa aquifer is an area that will be served by the expansion of the project, and with the declining aquifer it is a very important link to keep our producers in business. It is important we all remember that the most inexpensive, nutritional and safest food supply the world has ever known is produced here in the United States, and we in Washington and the 13th District play a major role in its production.

Water is the key to our economic success here in the Columbia Basin, and is something all living creatures on the planet have in common and need for survival. Having lived in the Columbia Basin almost all my life, the tour brought back many memories of the early years in the Basin. The desert has truly bloomed!

Odessa Ground Water Replacement Program Implementation Briefing before the tour.


Aircraft hangar under construction at the Grant County International Airport

It’s a very exciting time for Moses Lake and, as a 40-year career aviator, I am very excited for Mitsubishi to move into a new 65,000 square foot aircraft hangar that is being constructed at the Grant County International Airport to house the 70-seat Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ-70). Construction is expected to be complete sometime this fall, and planes will likely begin arriving next spring for testing. As it stands right now, Mitsubishi plans to flight test four MRJs at Grant County International Airport.

Along with joining Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC) executives on a tour of the hangar, I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening event of the company’s new engineering center in Seattle. At the event, I spoke with MAC President Hiromichi Morimoto and wished him the best of luck with the MRJ program.


Second annual Cle Elum Roundup a big success

I had a great time at the second annual Cle Elum Roundup, which was even bigger than last year. More competitors and more spectators was an exciting thing to see. I was proud to be a sponsor of the event, and I want to acknowledge all the volunteers who contributed to the success of the rodeo. Putting on a rodeo is a huge endeavor that takes many hours of hard work. A tip of the Stetson to the Cle Elum Roundup rodeo committee! I’m already looking forward to the third annual Roundup next year.

To see some photos of the Roundup, click here.

Contacting me

Please continue to contact me with any comments, questions or concerns you have. My email address is tom.dent@leg.wa.gov and my phone number is (509) 766-6682 at my district office in Moses Lake. Please feel free to share my email updates with your family, friends and neighbors, and encourage them to subscribe. They can do so by clicking here.

It is an honor to serve you as your representative.


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