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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It has been an incredibly busy interim. I have met with hundreds of folks throughout the 13th District. I have participated in tours, attended meetings, worked on legislative task forces, and much more. My schedule is always full, but I enjoy every minute of it. I truly enjoy the work I do on your behalf and I appreciate you sending me back to Olympia for a third term.

The 2019 legislative session started this week, (Monday, Jan. 14). We will have many high priority issues before us in the coming session. I will be working on legislation related to wildfires, mental health, aviation infrastructure funding and much more. I will share more about my proposed legislation in future updates. In this email update I want to share just a few of the many people and places I visited, and issues I researched this interim.

Around the district

I participated in a ride-along with the Washington State Patrol. It was a great opportunity to see our state troopers at work to ensure our safety on our highways. I was very impressed with their professionalism.

Rep. Tom Dent with Washington State Trooper Spike Unruh

At the request of Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, I attended her press conference where she announced her budget plan includes $55 million for wildfires and forest management.

I met with the Fostering Change group to discuss how we are going to build upon my Foster Parent and Caregiver Bill of Rights that passed the Legislature last year. I will continue to advocate for foster children and families across Washington state in the upcoming session. You can watch my interview with Fostering Change Secretary Brittany Clark by clicking here.

I was co-chair of the Pesticide Application Safety Workgroup. The workgroup traveled around the state to learn about new pesticide application technology so we can develop recommendations for improving the safety of pesticide applications.

Rep. Dent and Sen. Rebecca Saldana check out a spray plane during a pesticide application workgroup tour.

In December I went to Washington D.C. with Sen. Judy Warnick, Rep. Mary Dye and Derek Sandison of the Department of Ecology to meet with federal government officials to try and secure funding for water infrastructure projects. It was a productive trip and at the same time it was a very special trip. We had the opportunity to see so much of the amazing history of our country.

Rep. Dent, Rep. Mary Dye, Sen. Judy Warnick and Derek Sandison of the Dept. of Ecology in front of the White House.

Committees

I will be serving on three committees this year. I will be serving as the ranking Republican on the House Human Services and Learning Committee. As the “ranking Republican” I am the lead voice for the caucus on the committee and I will work with the chair on the committee agenda. The committee reviews legislation and issues relating to early learning, as well as a broad range of issues affecting children and families, including foster care, children's mental health, child welfare services, at-risk youth, juvenile justice and much more. I have served on this committee since I was elected to the Legislature. I have a passion to work on behalf of all our young people. I look forward to continuing my work on providing them an opportunity to succeed.

I will also be serving as the assistant ranking Republican on the House Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee. The committee reviews issues related to agricultural production, forest practices, forest fire protection, water and rural development. Serving on this committee allows me to be directly involved in addressing legislation related to wildfires, while also protecting our water and agricultural lands.

I will be serving on a third committee this year – the House Transportation Committee. With the growth in the 13th District, addressing transportation needs will be critical. My aviation background also brings a unique perspective to this committee as I am the only professional pilot in the Legislature.

13th District team

The newest member of the Legislature is my seatmate – Alex Ybarra! He was appointed late Monday afternoon, drove over Tuesday morning, and was in the chamber of the House of Representatives in the morning for the governor's State of the State address. I look forward to working with Rep. Ybarra. He is a great addition to the 13th District team!

13th District Reps. Tom Dent and Alex Ybarra.

Page Program

We have a fantastic Page Program in the House of Representatives. If you know a student who would like to serve as a page, have them get in touch with me at tom.dent@leg.wa.gov. To serve as a page, a student must have permission from a parent or guardian, and his or her school, be at least 14 years of age and not have reached his or her 17th birthday. Paging is a paid position – $35 per day. To learn more about the program, click here.

Keep in touch

There are a number of ways you can stay in touch during the legislative session. Below are some links and websites to follow my work, as well as the Legislature. These links are good resources to stay involved in your state government.

  • Capitol Buzz: A daily electronic clip service of House Republicans. Click here to subscribe.
  • Capitol Report: My weekly three-minute radio program, or podcast, on important issues I'm working on in Olympia. Click here to listen to current and previous podcasts.  You can also listen via iTunes and Google Play.
  • Check out my Website: www.representativetomdent.com. From this link, you can get more information about me, the bills I've sponsored and view my news releases as well as current and past email updates.
  • Photos: Access my photo gallery here.
  • TVW: The state's own version of C-Span, TVW broadcasts floor and committee action live. You can also watch on your computer, smartphone or tablet: www.tvw.org
  • Legislature's Website: You can get bill reports, track legislation, view committee agendas and information about upcoming activities in the Legislature at: www.leg.wa.gov.

If you would like to get in touch with me with any questions, thoughts or concerns or if you are going to be in Olympia, please do not hesitate to send me an email at tom.dent@leg.wa.gov or give me a call at (360) 786-7932.

Thank you for sending me back to Olympia to represent the great folks in the 13th District and Washington state. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your state representative.

Sincerely,


Tom Dent

State Representative Tom Dent, 13th Legislative District
RepresentativeTomDent.com
437 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
tom.dent@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7932 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000