Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Each day I drive onto the Capitol Campus it never ceases to fill me with awe and respect for the people and the institution. Thank you for sending me to Olympia to represent you and the unique needs of the 20th Legislative District.
Meeting the needs of our communities and state
With 98 total members, the Washington State House of Representatives has 50 Democrats and 48 Republicans. While there are many different approaches to governing, our solutions must remain focused on meeting the needs of our communities and state.
While it's crucial we meet the growing needs of our state for mental health care and education funding, there are several other emerging issues this session. Water rights, land use, private property rights, school siting requirements, regulation relief for small businesses, and flood mitigation efforts are just a few of the topics being discussed.
Flood damage reduction
For our communities, I'll continue to do all I can to ensure money is funneled into flood damage reduction and habitat restoration for the Chehalis Basin. I've recently introduced House Bill 1050 asking the Legislature to approve bond measures to help fund projects in the basin.
For the past few years, a work group of experts and other stakeholders has been tasked with producing recommendations for flood damage reduction and habitat restoration in the basin. The group researched several different approaches to reduce flood damage for our region. Project options range from building a new dam to restoring thousands of acres of land to its natural floodplain state.
While a decision has not been made on which project option is best, the work group will soon be replaced with the Office of the Chehalis Basin. My proposal in 2016, signed into law by the governor, created the office as a way to aggressively pursue strategies to reduce flood damage. House Bill 2856 also created a treasury account to help fund projects for the basin. Going forward, the office will be tasked with reducing flooding and increasing habitat restoration in our region.
My latest proposal would authorize general obligation bonds to help provide needed financing for the Chehalis basin flood damage and habitat reduction efforts. It would also provide funding for the local Flood Authority, which includes Grays Harbor, Lewis and Thurston counties. House Bill 1050 has been referred to the House Capital Budget Committee, where it awaits a hearing.
Read more about House Bill 1050.
What a surprise. Thank you!
Thank you to the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce for honoring me with the Evergreen Award. I showed up at the annual banquet expecting to be handing this award to the honoree. What surprise to find out I was receiving it. We live in a great community. It's the people who live here that make it great. Working in Olympia, helping to advance our way of life and economic future, is an honor. It was an extremely moving experience to be recognized by this organization.
Stay in touch with your local, state, and federal government
Interested in learning more about how you can follow what is happening in Olympia? You can actively participate in the legislative process in a variety of ways. Here are some resources:
- Check my website for updates.
- TVW offers live broadcasts of committee hearings. Meetings are televised live and broadcast live in streaming audio.
- Look through the Legislative process overview.
- Subscribe to schedule and agenda updates for committees.
- Look up bill information.
- Check committee meeting documents/Electronic Bill Book.
- Come to the Legislature for a visit.
Click any of the links below to stay in touch with your local, state, and federal government.
- Lewis County Commissioners Office, (360) 740-1120
- Cowlitz County Commissioners Office, (360) 577-3020
- Thurston County Commissioners Office, (360) 786-5440
- Sen. John Braun, (360) 786-7638
- Rep. Richard DeBolt, (360) 786-7896
- Rep. Ed Orcutt, (360) 786-7990
- U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, (202) 224-2621 or (360) 696-7797
- U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, (202) 224-3441 or (360) 696-7838
- U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, (202) 225-3536 or (360) 695-6292
As always, your comments, concerns and questions are welcome. Please feel free to call, email, or come see me in Olympia. My contact information is listed below.